Dog Can’t Find the Perfect Place to Poop

Hi. My name is Dr. Marc, and I’m filming for Pets Best, answering some Facebook questions for you guys at Broadway Veterinary Hospital in Boise, Idaho. This question comes from Samantha. She asks: “Why does it take my dog such a long time to find a place to poop and get comfortable before she goes?” Samantha, that’s a really good question, and unfortunately there is not going to be a great answer for you on this one, but there’s certainly some speculation and theories out there.

Some people think that this is an instinctual thing left over from before the dogs were domesticated, looking for scents of prey, predators, other animals in the area before they actually go. There’s certainly some other speculation as well that this may be conditioning from people themselves. So if you take your dog on a walk or let your dog go outside, and when they defecate, that signals the termination of that activity. In other words, “Dog poops, walk is over”. They may actually be trained that once they go, that enjoyable activity is done, and therefore they take their time in doing this to fully enjoy as much as they can on the walk or being outside.

If you have any other questions, post them on the Facebook page and we’ll see if we can answer them for you.


  • Lynda

    Sounds good for my dog. When we go for a walk around the block and get to the second corner, he digs in and refuses to go down the block. He knows that that’s the way home. If I turn and start to go another way, he has no problem.
    I dont take him right home after he pees and poops because of the reason you stated.

  • Diane

    Positive reinforcement can work wonders Use a verbal cue like ‘Go potty’ and praise and reward your dog with a small treat when they do eliminate. That’s how I trained my dog to not defecate on our lawn which is 85% of our yard and to go on the dirt or gravel instead. I could scold him all week for doing it wrong but it only took rewarding him twice for going on the gravel to train him. A high value treat or reward gets their attention better and makes it more memorable.


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