I really love all the information on this blog and as a new dog owner it is awesome that I can come here and learn so much about my yellow Lab, Honey.
I have a question – our dog loves going for walks, runs, and loves to catch tennis balls – she could do that for hours. Our biggest beef with her is that she wont do her business in the yard so we think it’s safe to go for a walk then no sooner we’re walking and she deicides to poop… while still walking. It comes out of no where, we don’t even see it coming so we could allow her to go in a safe place, right there on the sidewalk…UGH.
How can I help her get rid of this bad habit? Are there any tricks we should be practicing? She’s not on a regular walking schedule, most times we just play in the yard where she gets quite a bit of exercise.
Some dogs are very particular where they will or will not do their business. There are some that refuse to go anywhere but their own backyard and others that would rather burst than go in their yard. It is hard to explain why this happens but you are definitely not alone and Honey is not an abnormal dog – she just has a quirky behavior.
How to help her change is another topic altogether. If this were one of our own Lab Brats, I would do the following:
- Begin Scheduled Dog Walks – whatever time best suits your schedule will work but know that Labrador Retrievers are creatures of habit and do best on schedules. Scheduling walks, food and play helps calm the mind of a Labrador Retriever because there are no surprises.
- Begin Housebreaking Again – depending on the age of your pup, she may need to go through a housebreaking dog training routine again to get her used to when and where to eliminate. It is best to use the 10-minute rule when housebreaking which you can find more information about at Housebreaking Your Labrador Retriever.
- Socialize Your Dog – bring your dog to local dog parks and let her socialize with other dogs. This way she can see how they poop and get used to how to smell for dog scents left behind by other dogs that have done their business.
- Speak to Your Veterinarian – if you have tried the above for a few weeks without progress, bring up the problem with your vet. There may be a physical problem where the sphincter muscle is not doing its job during elimination or some other medical issue.
Just remember to not give up hope and never to scold your pup for such behavior. Each dog is different but with consistent and persistent positive reinforcement training, she should be able to easily overcome this obstacle and let you walk around with your head held high in pride.