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Anxiety prior to pooing?
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AnnieMB · 27/06/2020 08:37

Not sure if anyone has come across this before but my 2 year old dog has started to refuse to walk when we set off from the house and will sit down and refuse to carry on and look anxious. Sometimes we stop and start and eventually she will poo and then she’s pulling on the lead and enthusiastic to walk. She’s been vet checked and nothing found to be wrong. She’s her normal self otherwise eating, drinking, playing. I was going to try a change of diet if anyone has any recommendations but otherwise not sure what to do. She’s better if we drive somewhere to walk or if she’s carried until ready to poo! Any ideas?

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Shambolical1 · 27/06/2020 19:15

'Shy poo-ers' are a thing.

Is it always the same route you walk when she gets anxious?

Has something happened on that route at some point so that she may have made an unpleasant association?

Does she react the same whoever is on the other end of the lead?

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AnnieMB · 27/06/2020 22:43

Thanks for your reply, wow didn’t realise it was a thing. She’s better walking with my DH lately but fine with me as soon as she’s poo’d. Have tried different routes still an issue. She’s quite an anxious dog generally but I can’t think of anything specific that may have scared her when the behaviour started. Any ideas how to help her?

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Shambolical1 · 27/06/2020 23:19

Does she ever 'go' in the garden (if you have a garden)? Or did she as a pup? It may be that if she did, she still thinks she ought to now and is worried by being taken from her comfort pooing-zone. As you say she's quite anxious generally, there could have been something that spooked her which you weren't aware of. If you do have a garden, could she poo there before you go out?

Most dogs do try to be 'clean' and sometimes worrying that they won't be can make them hold on; or it could be something as simple as a change in the surface - grass to gravel, or gravel to tarmac - which she doesn't like.

Some dogs hate to poo on-lead (a friend had a dog from eight weeks until almost seventeen years old and he never performed on-lead his whole life. Travelling long distances was challenging, trying to find a safe, enclosed space at a motorway service station in the rain!).

You say you carry her so I'm assuming she's a smallish breed? French bulldog perhaps, or a chihuahua? Or maybe one of the smaller labrador crosses?

The most important thing is to try and relax about it; the more anxious you get about it, the more anxious she'll be, too. The classic poo pose can make a dog feel vulnerable, so it may be that some general confidence-building games will help.

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AnnieMB · 28/06/2020 19:41

We have a garden but she’s pretty much always toileted on walks on the lead. I may try taking her out in the garden more as walks can be frustrating because I want to walk and yes she’s probably picking up on that and it may be making her even more anxious. She’s mainly poodle and a bit of a lump to carry! I’m trying changing her food just in case she is a bit constipated. Thanks again for your help

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