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rossfox

Backscratching Dirt To Cover Poop Or Pee

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OK, so here is what my noodle nose has started doing recently. He is a 2 year, 9 month male and a wonderful dog. We go walking everyday on a paved trail, and he will wonder off to the grassy side to sniff, pee, and poop. He likes to poop a lot during a walk, and the only way to keep him from doing this is to have him walk on my left side, and further est away from the grass on the side of the trail where he picks up the scents of other dog's pee and poop. He just recently started a new habit. After pooping or peeing, he will back scratch the dirt with both front paws and back paws to cover up his business. I know dogs do this and I have not problem - EXCEPT - he really digs down deep with his scratching, and it looks like a John Deere tractor with a turning plow has been there. I am worried about him cutting his foot/feet very badly on a sharp rock or something in the ground. As hard as he scratches, a sharp rock would really cut him deeply. Any suggestions on what to do - if anything, other than keep him on the paved trail, and not letting him go to the side of the trail.

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I haven't seen your boy in action, of course, but I wouldn't worry about it too much. Do you have a command that means either "stop what you're doing" or "let's move along"? I think teaching him "Let's move along" after he's scratched a few times might satisfy both of you.

 

My first male would do this. But we walked mainly in our neighborhood, and of course I couldn't let him tear up my neighbors' lawns. I always wondered if I could have rented him out as a grass de-thatcher. :)


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Ellen, Milo, and Jeter

remembering Eve, Baz, Scout, Romie, and Nutmeg

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My female hound does this all too much on walks. Rossfox, I understand the concern you have with your male getting injured. I would just gently give a pull on the leash immediately after he is done doing his business, to try and lead him away. I initially started doing this because the dirt flinging got so wild that my hound was almost stepping in her own mess, before I could pick it up.

Some people in my neighborhood would have a fit unfortunately if they caught my hound doing this on their lawn, so I try and be respectful by leading my hound away and either saying ah ah, kind of like a no no.

They are just being dogs when they do this but it can get carried away if not redirected. You could also try and have some treats with you to distract.

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My 2 (almost 3) year old female has done this since the day we got her (December 2017). In my readings, it is a territorial thing. Just like marking, it leaves pheromones for other dogs to smell when they come through. So it can become a cycle, if more and more dogs are in that area. We didn't mind she did it, we joked she was "taking off" like a rocket and we would even jog a few steps with her exuberance, after. However, she started trying to do it on concrete/asphalt (she's a last minute- oh crap the grass is gone- type). At that point we followed the advice above and said "let's go" and jogged off with her so she still had a way to get her excitement out and was rewarded for going. She really liked that and now rarely does the kicking after going number two. Every once in a while she will, but she lets us get her back on the grass and then will have at it. She doesn't dig very badly, but I could easily see how it can become an almost impulse control thing. We did worry this would teach her to take off running after going, but she actually will go to the bathroom then look to us to confirm what we are doing and then we will jog or treat her.

 

I would follow all the advice above, try treats, try jogging, any type of reward to just redirect his energy. The "let's go" has helped us a lot on walks when she catches a scent and backtracks and abruptly stops to sniff which isn't very pleasant for us. Just wanted to share my experience though our girl wasn't terrible in the first place, good luck!

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normal dog /animal behavior. just stand clear.

 

"They are simply covering up the mess. But the behavior is also a way to mark territory. All dogs have glands in their feet that secrete pheromones, and a couple of backward scratches into the earth releases those chemicals. But if you're mad that your dog is destroying your grass, there is a solution."

http://www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/why-does-my-dog-kick-the-grass-after-pooping

Edited by cleptogrey

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I am not too worried about the grass, as much as him getting a bad cut in his foot from a hidden sharp object. I will just continue to work with him by pulling him away and giving him a treat. Maybe it will click some day with him to get the treat and leave the plowing behind.

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I am not too worried about the grass, as much as him getting a bad cut in his foot from a hidden sharp object. I will just continue to work with him by pulling him away and giving him a treat. Maybe it will click some day with him to get the treat and leave the plowing behind.

 

in my 45+ years of dog ownership i'm yet to see a cut or nicked paw from back scratching. it's animal instinct.

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Agreed, I wouldn't worry about it. Though I am careful not to let my girls do it in people's yards so when we're places where it doesn't matter like on hikes, I let the go to town and sometimes they really will, Violet especially. It's pretty funny when she gets really into it. :lol


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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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Agreed, I wouldn't worry about it. Though I am careful not to let my girls do it in people's yards so when we're places where it doesn't matter like on hikes, I let the go to town and sometimes they really will, Violet especially. It's pretty funny when she gets really into it. :lol

I also find it amusing how they will take off like they've been shot out of a rocket after taking a dump if not on a lead.

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