How to Train Your Dog to Not Roll in Poop

How to Train Your Dog to Not Roll in Poop
Hard difficulty iconHard
Time icon1-6 Months
Behavior training category iconBehavior

Introduction

Does your pup like to roll in what seems to be every pile of poop he comes across? There is nothing like having your pup come running up to you covered in what looks like mud only to find out it's something completely different and far smellier. There are several theories as to why dogs do this, from masking their own scent to carrying this new scent back to their "pack". Maybe it could simply be that dogs like smelly things like dirty socks, shoes, and, of course, poop.

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Defining Tasks

One thing to keep in mind, it is not going to be easy to train your dog not to roll in poop, especially if you have a large yard or allow your furry friend to go wandering off his leash. Part of the problem lies in the fact that you may not see the poop, so it may not be easy to know when your dog is getting ready to stop, drop, and roll.

However, if you watch your dog over a short period of time, you should be able to see his "tell signs." These are subtle actions or body movements your dog makes every time he gets ready to drop and roll. The first step in getting him to stop this nasty habit is knowing when it is about to happen so that you can put a stop to it before it happens.

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Getting Started

You should teach your dog a command of your choice that accompanies stopping him from rolling in the poop. You can choose to create a specific command such as "no poop!" or use the same "leave it!" command you use to get him to stop doing many other things. Since this is a natural behavior for all members of the canine family, it is not going to be easy to teach your dog not to roll in poop.

Putting an end to this disgusting behavior is good for your dog's health, along with everyone in your family. It also cuts down on the constant baths, which are also not good for your dog’s skin. Not to mention no longer having to deal with all the muck and stink on a regular basis. The two key elements you’ll need to complete training are plenty of treats and patience.

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The Poop Pile Method

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Poop Pile method for How to Train Your Dog to Not Roll in Poop
1

Set up a practice area

For this method, you will need to create a sectioned off training area in your yard with a gate. Exercise pens are a great way to do this as they are lightweight and easy to work with.

2

Check things out

Put your dog on a long leash and let him roam around the pen

3

'Leave it'

When he gets too close to the pile of manure give him the ‘leave it’ command and call him back to you.

4

Reward 'leaving it'

When he comes back give him a treat and heap on the praise.

5

Lose the leash

Once he does this regularly on the leash, take him off the leash and use the ‘leave it’ command until he stops paying any attention to the pile of poop at all.

6

Be patient

Like any type of training, this will take a little time and patience, but the payoff is having a furry friend that no longer needs a bath every time you turn around.

The Clicker Method

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Clicker method for How to Train Your Dog to Not Roll in Poop
1

Take a stroll

Take your dog for a walk in areas where he normally seems to find his favorite poop to roll in.

2

Observe and intervene

When your dog approaches a pile of poop or looks like he might have found one to roll in, distract or call him away.

3

Capture behavior

If he leaves the poop, click and treat and let him go walking again.

4

Keep it up

Watch for his signs and interrupt him with a distraction or a command, such as ‘leave it’. Click and treat if he responds positively.

5

Repeat

Repeat this process until your pup simply ignores any pile of poop he might have once been tempted by.

The Hidden Treat Method

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Hidden Treat method for How to Train Your Dog to Not Roll in Poop
1

Understanding ‘leave it’

Long before you can teach your dog that the command "leave it" also applies to his delightful habit of rolling in poop, he has to be taught what this command really means.

2

Set a lure

Start with a treat hidden in one hand

3

Wait him out

Each time your pup noses your hand, ignore it until he backs off, this might take several attempts.

4

Add command

Once he starts backing off add in the command "leave it."

5

Reward

When you can tell him to ‘leave it’ with your hand closed and he backs off, give him a treat and praise him.

6

Take the command to the field

Now that your pup understands the command ‘leave it’, take him out for a walk and use it when he starts to make like he wants to roll around in poop.

7

Reward 'leaving it'

When he does what he is told, be sure to reward him and praise him.

8

Be patient

Training him this way may take longer if you haven't already taught him the "leave it" command. But if you have, then it shouldn’t take long at all. Just be patient your dog is smarter than you think.

By Amy Caldwell

Published: 10/24/2017, edited: 01/08/2021

Training Questions

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Training Questions and Answers

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Deliah

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Chiweenie

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8 Years

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Question

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She has been attached by a pit bull was not hurt but now for the past two months she has been rolling in pee and poop of my other dog which is a Doberman

March 6, 2022

Deliah's Owner

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Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

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1133 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jessie, First, I would teach pup the Leave It command if you haven't already. Second, I would only let pup out into the yard leashed with you, working on pup's Leave It on leash with you around the poop and pee spots, rewarding pup for leaving it, and using the leash to interrupt pup if pup attempts too. Once pup knows the new rules and leave it is associated with the pee and poop, you will also likely need to create an avoidance of pup's poop and pee spots when you aren't around too, so pup knows that the new rules apply when alone, so they can be let into a fence off leash again, if you have such a yard. I would use a vibration or unscented air remote training collar to spy on pup and correct when pup gets on top of the pee and poop spots. Clean your yard well and mark all the spots with something you can see from afar to tell when pup is over one. Another option is to clean all poop and pee spots well accept just a small handful and place them on top of something like a small scat mat, so when pup touches the area right under the poop for example, it's unpleasant. This scat mat should be small so it's only the area right under the poop, where pup would want to roll. Finally, whenever you catch pup leaving a poop alone in the yard, reward pup with a treat and praise to help pup further make the connection that the yard is pleasant, it's just touching the poop and pee that's no longer pleasant. I would also work on building pup's confidence in other ways, through pleasant social interactions with other dogs that are calm and not overly rambunctious - be picky about which dogs. Classes, structured walking or hiking groups, one on one play dates with a dog pup loves, who isn't too rough, ect... Another general confidence builder is agility, either in the form of a class or making or purchasing your own obstacles to set up at home and work pup through. Agility, when taught right, can help pup practice overcoming new things successfully, while having fun and building trust in you. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

March 7, 2022

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Buzzy

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Border Collie

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9 Months

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1 found helpful

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rolls around in various poo (not her own) when in woods out of our sight

Dec. 10, 2019

Buzzy's Owner

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Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

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1133 Dog owners recommended

Hello Zoe, You will need to booby trap some poop and hide during the correction to create an avoidance of the poop. You can do this either by using a stimulation or vibration based e-collar or something like a snap trap. Set up some poop she is likely to roll in - collect some with a poop bag, being careful not to directly touch it and washing hands well after. Place what's called snap traps on the ground then carefully cover with leaves (be careful not to trigger the traps, and put the poop next to the traps)... These traps work like mouse traps but won't actually get caught on her, they just jump and making a snapping noise to startle. You will need to booby trap poop in a variety of locations randomly over the course of a month and limit her roaming during that month when you don't have the poop booby trapped (you don't want the inconsistency of the booby trap with the poop sometimes but not always - you want her to think poop is always booby trapped now so she will avoid all of it). If you go the remote e-collar route, you would set up poop spots, spy on pup from somewhere pretty far away (I suggest using binoculars and a remote collar with at least 1/3 mile range just to make sure it reaches). As soon as pup starts to touch the ground to roll in the poop, push the button to stimulate the collar so that it appears that the poop created that sensation, not you or a collar. She should also wear the collar around with it turned off for a week prior to doing this so that she doesn't associate the correction with the collar but with the poop. You will also need to repeat this several times with different poop in different locations to convince her poop is the problem and she should avoid it. Check out James Penrith from TaketheLeadDogTraining on YouTube to learn more about properly fitting and using e-collars. Beat of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Dec. 10, 2019


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