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June 5, 2014

What’s With My Dog’s Pooping ritual?

When we got our first dog, I really hated taking him for a walk. I just wasn’t used to the routine of taking time out of my night to walk him around the neighbourhood. I sucked it up and did it anyway knowing it was a necessary responsibility of caring for a dog in our family.

I wish everyone that had a dog felt the same way. But I digress…

Now that we’ve had Mojo for over nine years and Oscar for nearly six, I actually enjoy taking them for their daily walk. In fact they get walked twice. A quick 10 minute walk in the morning before going to work, then another 30 minute (or longer) walk in the evening.

But there is still one thing about walking the dogs that I hate. The pooping part! Not the picking up the poop part (I'm quite used to that now) but the ritual dance leading up to the magic moment.
dog looking through a pair of binoculars
There must be a good spot
around here somewhere!

It can be embarrassing waiting for Mojo to do his spinning routine on someone’s lawn. He spins and spins and spins; sometimes it seems it goes on for an eternity! I just love standing there throughout the ordeal wondering if the neighbours are staring at you out their window.

Eventually though, the spinning and going back and forth over and over again ends. It feels like a golden moment when the heavens open up, the angels sing and glory reigns supreme. He’s finally finished!

Oh don’t forget the kicking of grass afterwards. He’s very proud of his grass kicking.

For Oscar, it’s the exact opposite compared to Mojo. He poops so fast sometimes you can actually miss it if you’re not paying attention. Even so, Oscar has his own little routine where he walks as he’s pooping. So there will be a couple of pieces on the lawn, then one on the rocks and a couple more on the side walk. Plus Oscar never kicks afterwards.

So what is it about a dog’s pooping ritual? Why do so many of them have to go through this elaborate routine prior to doing something so basic; something they have to do two or three times each and every day from the day they’re born?

I had to pose this question to the great and powerful Google. After a little digging around on the subject I found lots of sites that actually talk about dogs aligning themselves with the Earth’s Magnetic fields.


I find that hard to believe. Sure, many dogs have the similar spinning ritual but like Oscar there are just as many dogs with totally different routines. Contrasting Mojo’s style to Oscar’s totally throws this theory out the window.

I only found one vet site that talks about this and they simply speculate on various reasons such as the movement gets the digestive tract going or it’s another way of marking their territory with all extra walking around the area.

So really after my research on the subject, I'm none the wiser.

When it comes down to it, dogs are like a box of chocolates, you never know what type of pooping habit you’re going to get.

Does that analogy even work here?

What’s your dog’s pooping ritual?

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