Ever wonder why some dogs poop the way they do? Poop, as in prancing proudly to find the perfect spot, repeating a regular ritual, and then evaluating, or ignoring, their effort? Perhaps dogs have a unique "pooping personality." Before I explain, I must warn you: If you’re easily offended by doggie defecation descriptions, profuse punnery, and seriously silly alliteration, this column may not be for you. If not – and you can stomach a pint of poop puns – read on. You might discover your dog’s defecation designation or pooping personality.
What’s normal when it comes to dog poop?
The first thing you must distinguish between is normal potty performance versus a pooping problem. In general, if your dog strains, grimaces, seems uncomfortable; or if the stool is hard and dry, loose, watery, discolored or contains black bits or blood, see your veterinarian immediately. [Editor's note: Or if his defecation style changes dramatically.] Those are all signs of a potentially serious medical condition.
If everything seems regular and your dog has a peculiar deuce pattern you’d like deduced, here are some personality observations from my over two decades of handfuls of excretory experience:
Without a doubt, spinning is one of the more common defecatory delays dogs demonstrate. I’ve observed all breeds and manners of mutts sniff a spot, spin around a couple of times, and let it loose. This behavior is so pervasive it’s been studied by serious scientists who concluded the spinning is aligning the dog along the earth’s north-south magnetic field. Grab your compass and measure where your Spinner lands.
Another personality or tactic, especially popular among petite pooches, is the “Poop Fluff” or “Fluffer,” for short. These dogs take their time to precisely potty in a tight cluster. Once complete, they kick grass or dirt behind them to cover their droppings. Often described as “cat-like,” what I find most fascinating about Fluffers is they seldom look back. They poop, cover, and march forward as if nothing happened. I suspect Fluffers see themselves as noble, regal creatures for whom bathroom behavior is far beneath them. All hail the mighty Fluffer!
These dogs have so much going on, they can’t slow down to poop. They’re often seen smelling and searching and walking and pooping – all at the same time. They leave behind a trail of pear-shaped pods primed to detonate on the toes of your sandaled feet. Don’t ask me how; I just know.
The low rider
These canine cruisers squat and squirrel their way forward several feet. I’m not sure, but I surmise they’re executing a “toot and tidy” technique.
The shy baby
I don’t know why, but the "Shy Baby" (sometimes referred to as "The Cautious Canine") seems nervous, wary, or even embarrassed when they perform number two. They look up at you as if to say, “So sorry about this. Really don’t know what’s happening. I hope it never happens again. Can we go now?” Glancing around, listening intently, and ready to flee at the slightest provocation, such as a cell phone buzz (again, don’t ask how I know, I always set it to silent mode, just in case) are identifying characteristics of a Shy Baby.
The party pooper
Ever see a dog that seemed to revel in relieving themselves? I have. Party Poopers are always having a good time, even when, maybe especially when, you know… They’re happy, smiling, probably laughing on the inside as they go on the outside. C’est la vie vie pour un chien!
We’ll probably never really know why some dogs potty the way they do, but humans will continue to study how, where, and when our dogs poop and pee. Come to think of it, why do we watch? Sounds like a future post…
If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian -- they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.