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Thread: Help with dog pooping in public

  1. #1
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    Default Help with dog pooping in public

    Finn has been a dream dog to have and train so far. He turns 11 months old tomorrow and is everything I'd hoped for

    We do have 1 issue though....

    He is toilet trained, hasn't had accidents indoors for a long time... However... When I am out and about walking him through the town (down the streets, so walking on concrete). He'll be happily walking along by my side and then will suddenly stop dead in his tracks (no warning sign) and squat and do a poo in the middle of the street. This is incredibly embarrassing mostly because of the disgusted looks/comments passerby's give me.

    I take him onto grass at every opportunity I can when I'm out with him in hopes hell go to the toilet there instead. But he's pooped enough times in the street that I now carry not only poo bags but also paper towel and wet wipes so I can clean it up properly (Every now and then he has a bit of a soft poo, ain't so easy to clean up... I think it might be black hawk not agreeing with him, just swapped him onto MFM to see what happens).

    But either way... Is there anything I'm missing here? Anything I can do to help discourage this? Other than taking him to appropriate toileting areas literally every chance I get and giving lots of praise when he goes in the right place.

    I do find it interesting that he has never done this with pee... He always waits for grass to pee... but it seems with poo, if we're out walking, as soon as he needs to go, he just goes for it

    He doesn't have a cue for going to the toilet, would a cue for going to the toilet possibly be helpful?

    Sigh, I wouldn't care at all about him pooping in public if he just waited for grass instead of the footpath in a busy street full of shops :/

  2. #2
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    I've found that, like us, dogs have great control over their toilet habits - the appropriateness of when and where. They just have to be trained to exercise that control. When was the last time you got caught out in public absolutely having to poo right then and there with absolutely no control? For me, 1983 in halfway up a mountain in Nepal with amoebic dysentery. You don't forget! But we are very well-trained from a young age, and reinforced by society and cultural expectations. Finn just isn't aware of the inappropriateness of pooing in the street.

    I think we go so far out of our way to do the positive training thing that we are sometimes unable to let the dog know that something is just plain wrong, especially with toilet training. I prefer my dogs don't poo at all when we are out and about because I don't want to pick up dog sh!t, but mostly because I have a real aversion to turning something organic into yet another piece of plastic pollution. I have never told them off for it, but if they ever squat on a path, road, playground, lawn or wherever, I will stop them with an 'ah! not there please'. They are quite capable of stopping themselves and carrying on happily. It hasn't given them a huge complex about ever pooing when we are out, as they will quite happily go if we're out bush or in the mangroves (you'd be surprised at just how quickly hermit crabs can disappear a dog poo, they swarm all over it and it's gone in minutes).

    They don't often try and poo when we are out in the street or on the cycle path because in the early days, if they did, I would just say something in a disappointed voice such as 'oh, that's not very good'. It doesn't matter what you say, it's just a tone of voice that trains them that what they are doing is not appropriate in that place.

    I know all that probably goes against what many people think about never telling a dog off for pooing or peeing, but it works for me, and I think there is a difference between being telling them off and expressing mild displeasure for a particular behaviour in a particular place. The trick is how you get them to connect the behaviour and the place, rather than just the behaviour. Helpful to maybe train 'not there' first.
    Last edited by Troppo; 11-19-2016 at 10:23 AM.

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    My Aussie shepherd, Koda, is much like your dogs, he doesn't poo in public as he generally knows I'm not keen on it. Your BC's are probably a lot like Koda in that respect. Finn is a totally different dog in the way he thinks about everything (whole new experience for me as I've always had herding breeds).

    With Finn, I do and always have done exactly what you describe when he poos on the streets. I don't tell him off I just put on a disappointed/frustrated voice and say something along the lines of "Oh no Finn, don't do that here". He just carries on pooping. I don't like the idea of telling him off for pooping (wherever it is) so haven't bothered doing that. Finn just doesn't seem to get the idea at all that pooping on the street isn't good... not sure how else to get the idea in his head :/

    At the moment I'm messing with his diet a bit and working on getting his poos a good consistency so that I can rule that out as being something that contributing to the behaviour.

  4. #4

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    He doesn't have a cue for going to the toilet, would a cue for going to the toilet possibly be helpful?
    Yes - 'maddogdodge' - It does work ! I have a cue word for my 2. Before we go out - I get my 2 to go to the toilet. It is also useful to time the walks for when they have pooped before you leave.

    It is a good idea to have 2 different styles for walking. Formal walk - which means a shorter lead length and close heel-work for walking down a street with shops, people and cars. No toileting allowed.

    Then the other one I call is a sniff and walk. Which is a very casual walk - with a loose longer lead length and and heaps of stops. This one is where Riley picks up all his D-Mail on trees and has to leave his replies !
    'Jaws' watches all this with great interest. She sniffs and still squats ! Won't be long before she starts cocking her leg !

    They get to know the difference quite quickly

  5. #5
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    Yep, you're right there MDD, BCs do have a finely-tuned sense of shame if they think they're doing something you don't want.

    RileyJ's thoughts are good - the formal walk versus the casual walk, and one walk can involve both styles depending on where you are. Good luck with it, you might need some tips from other owners with dogs with a similar temperament to Finn. Good luck with it!

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    Thanks to both of you

    I like the formal vs casual walk idea, will try that. I will admit I'm not convinced it will help/solve Finn's poo problem because he really does just suddenly stop in his tracks and poo right where he is (no sniffing ground, no slowing down before hand, no warnings whatsoever!) but it is definitely worth a shot so will give it a go!

    Will also work on teaching a cue word for toileting.

    It almost seems like he can't hold it in... but he never has accidents indoors or on our back deck or even the concrete in the backyard.

    I might ask the same question on the Poodle forum and see if anyone's experienced the same/a similar thing.

  7. #7

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    It almost seems like he can't hold it in... but he never has accidents indoors or on our back deck or even the concrete in the backyard.
    maddogdodge' - Has he always been like this or is this something new ? Maybe have a chat to your vet about this.

    You said that you have been changing his food – so you need to take that into account also.

    Good that you are looking to train a cue word for toileting. It does make life easier !

    Even though my 2 are trained to a cue word – it doesn’t mean that accidents don’t happen ! I have been known to pick up/move one of mine if they are toileting somewhere they shouldn’t ! I don’t make an issue of it – I just do it ! When they finish their toileting where I have moved them – they get heaps of praise !

    Sorry - but pups don’t do/feel guilt ! This is something both you, ‘Troppo’ and others need to understand. It is all about body language and tone of voice that the owner uses. Your pups are reacting to you and not what they have done !

    https://www.google.com.au/webhp?sour...20feel%20guilt

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    Oh i know dogs don't feel guilt. Don't think I said they do?

    Koda knows I don't like it when he poos in public so he tends to wait until we get home. I suppose my naturally frustrated/annoyed voice I tend to do when any of my dogs poo in public is a dead give away for Koda that I'm not keen on what he's doing, haha! Koda is incredibly in tune with peoples body language and tone of voice... Finn the other hand seems mostly oblivious to human body language, haha!

    I'm definitely taking the food changes into account. He's done the public poo on and off since he was little. But I must say that every time he has done it in the streets it has been a soft poo... so maybe it is a matter of him not being able to hold it in? I think switching to MFM from Black Hawk seems to have helped firm up his poos, but I will give it a bit longer of monitoring before I decide for sure it has sorted that out.

    If he continues doing it even when his poos are consistently healthy firm then I will look into getting the vet to check him out.

  9. #9

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    Methinks you don't know what you are talking about !

    Oh i know dogs don't feel guilt. Don't think I said they do?

    Koda knows I don't like it when he poos in public so he tends to wait until we get home. I suppose my naturally frustrated/annoyed voice I tend to do when any of my dogs poo in public is a dead give away for Koda that I'm not keen on what he's doing, haha! Koda is incredibly in tune with peoples body language and tone of voice... Finn the other hand seems mostly oblivious to human body language, haha!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by RileyJ View Post
    Methinks you don't know what you are talking about !
    Oh well, lets agree to disagree then. I can't be bothered with debates now days. It doesn't really matter for the subject of this thread anyway.

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