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Well, poop. There is nothing quite like getting up close and personal with your pup's poop. You get to clean up those little (or maybe not so little) piles, step in his landmines, find them on the living room rug, and more. Yet despite all of this, there is nothing worse than when your pup simply won't poop. At least not when you take him outside on his leash. Not wanting to poop while he is on a leash is nothing too unusual, in fact, it's far more common than you might think.
Does this mean your pup is too shy to poop while you are standing there with his leash in your hands? Certainly not! Dogs simply do not have the sense of modesty we share as human beings. More likely than not the reason he will not poop while on a leash lies with how you potty trained him. Not to say that this is your fault, but your pup has spent his entire life being told when he could poop and where he could go. Now you are asking him to do something different.
What we are looking at here is training your dog to poop while he is on his leash. Your dog may not seem to have a problem peeing while he is on his leash, he can only hold out so long. But in most cases, your pup can hold his poop for a very long time. Think back to potty training, how often did you have to take him out to pee as opposed to pooping? The problem is that since he is not pooping on his leash while going for a walk, he may end up leaving you a nice stinky package on the carpet when he does finally go.
The idea then is to work with your dog and train him to poop while on his leash just as easily as he does when he is running around in the backyard. Teaching him this habit shouldn't be too hard, but it is going to take time and patience, especially if your pup is resistant to doing so.
Before you start training your dog to poop while he is on a leash, he needs to be potty and leash trained. This will allow both of you to focus on the training at hand. It doesn't take much in the way of supplies, it takes far more in terms of time and patience. You will need:
- Treats: To reward
your pup when he gets the idea.
- Leash: The whole
point of this training.
- A place to practice:
Somewhere where the two of you can go for nice long walks with minimal distractions.
- Time: This could
take as little as a few days or take as long as a few weeks for your pup to
- Patience: You can
never have too much of this.
- Poop bags: Always, always, always clean up after your dog.
How soon your pup learns to poop on his leash depends heavily on how many walks you can take him for a day. You can also just take him for walks around the yard if you don't have the time to go for a long walk.
The Friendly Leash Method
Make friends with his leash
Start out by teaching your pup to think of his leash as part of him, sort of like an extra tail. Many puppies are scared of their leashes. Leave the leash laying on the floor and let him look at it, sniff it, get used to it and then clip it on his collar. Let him run around in the house until he gets to the point where he no longer notices it.
Now take him outside on his leash, just be sure to give him some space. Being forced to be too close to you is likely to make him uncomfortable, in which case he may not poop. Be sure to choose your training times to coincide with when he is most likely to need to poop, such as shortly after he eats.
Be patient and prepared to spend a lot of time walking him. Be aware that you may have to take several walks before he even looks like he might poop. Whatever you do, don't give up on him.
When your dog finally does poop, be sure to give him lots of praise and reward him with his favorite treats.
Try adding a verbal cue
Sometimes your dog wants to take his own sweet time and needs a verbal reminder that it's time to go. Consider adding a verbal cue or command each time he poops. In time he will associate the command with the action, this can also help to speed up training.
The same spot
One last thing to consider when training your pup to poop on his leash is to use the same place each time as this may also encourage him to poop. You may have to try different spots before you find the right one.
The Crate Method
Crate your pup.
Hook him up
Release your pup from his crate and hook him up to a standard-length walking leash. Be sure he has been in there long enough that he needs to go potty.
Take a hike
Go for a nice long walk around your neighborhood together. The most important thing to keep in mind here is that you need to remain calm. If you become impatient, your pup may become too stressed to go potty.
Keep to a tight timeline
Keep the length of your walks to 15 minutes before returning home. If by this time he hasn't pooped, go home, take him inside, and leave the leash on. Head out to the backyard with him still on the leash and allow him to wander around and take care of business.
Keep to a routine
Keep taking him out at the same times every day, your pup likes a routine as much as you do. They learn much better this way. Be sure to praise him and give him a treat every time he poops while on his leash. In time, he will do so just as easily as he does when he is not on a leash.
The First Steps First Method
About that leash
You need to make sure your pup is leash trained and comfortable walking on his leash.
Around the yard
Let your dog drag his leash around the yard. Watch him and when he pees or poops be sure to praise him and give him a treat.
Pick up the leash
Pick up the leash and follow around behind him as he walks around your yard until he poops. Praise him and give him a treat. You are trying to teach him that you approve of what he is doing.
Shorten the leash
Start shortening up on the leash and walking your dog around the yard, repeating the same process. Rewards such as praise and treats can be used to let him know he is doing the right thing.
Go for a walk
Now you can take your pup out for walks on his leash. Here again, you need to reward him when he poops while on his leash. It may take a few weeks for him to get this right. Just be patient and it will happen.
Written by PB Getz
Veterinary reviewed by:
Published: 11/10/2017, edited: 01/08/2021