We’ve all been wondering at some point or another: “Why is my dog so picky about where he wants to poop?” while it may be annoying to us it’s important to keep in mind there’s usually a perfectly good explanation for it.
So why does it take dogs so long to poop?
The reason why dogs take so long to potty has to do with a couple of different things;
- it has to do with smell
- social signals and magnetic fields
From aligning with the Earth’s magnetic fields to responding to social cues from other dogs, dogs have a few good reasons to take their time when it comes to finding that perfect spot to squat.
Well, as it turns out dogs use their own poop compass when going to the bathroom. Research suggests that dogs poop according to the Earth’s magnetic field.
When researchers looked into how & where dogs defecate they found that they have a desire to line up on a north-south axis. Scientists reason that dogs use a magnetic sense when it comes to deciding when, where & how they poop.
You know that spinning around some dogs do before they squat? Researchers also believe that’s an attempt to help align themselves with the Earth’s magnetic field.
Another reason why it takes them so long to decide where to potty is that it’s just another form of marking. When dogs decide where to pee or poop, they’re likely making sure that wherever they go is the best place to leave their scent.
The third reason might be that some dogs just prefer a certain surface. They want soft, baby grass, not this yellow, prickly dead grass you’re offering! Dogs aren’t so great at generalizing, so it makes sense that a dog that’s only used one type of surface as a potty area will sometimes have difficulty learning to use another.
But what can you do about it?
teaching a potty command can help. Starting at your home is the easiest. Take your dog out regularly like you’re house training a puppy. Keep him on a leash, give the command you choose (such as “Go potty,”) and let him circle around you for a few minutes.