Stoop, Scoop, Lunge!

There’s nothing like being yoinked off your feet by your dog while you’re stooped and scooping their poop! Especially if you land knee-first in the mess. 

Everything is fine until you take your eyes off your dog for the five seconds it takes to pick up after them; suddenly a squirrel whizzes past or a trigger appears, and your dog is off like a rocket! 

You might not think that you need to train your dog to stay put while you pick up their slack, but you do! 

Practicing at home with your dog on leash…

  • Pull out a doggie bag > feed a treat > put the baggie away to reset
  • Repeat until your dog hears the bag crinkle and looks straight to you, happily anticipating the treat!

You want the retrieval of a poop bag to create immediate focus on you. This will become a passive cue later, which is nice! Next…

  • Say your cue (I use “stay close” but you can choose whatever you’d like) > feed your dog a treat close to your leg
  • Repeat until your dog hears the cue and comes close to you, happily anticipating the treat!

This will bring your dog in closer to you when you’re ready to go live! 

Put it all together! 

  • Pull out a doggie bag and your dog should orient towards you
  • Say your cue and when they come close, you gather the slack of the leash so that they have less than a foot to lunge if they do
    • Feed a treat or scatter a few on the floor
  • Use the doggie bag to pick up the invisible poop on your living room floor
    • Feed a treat again, or scatter a few on the floor
  • Tie the doggie bag over (loosely if you want to reuse in your repetitions)
    • Feed a treat again, or scatter a few on the floor
  • Loosen the leash and give a release cue like “okay” or “off you go” – whatever you might use on a walk to let your dog know they’ve got a moment of free time to sniff and explore. If this is new to your dog, say this cue and toss a treat away for them to go find. 

The baby steps with treats in between will create a marvellous pattern for your dog so that when you go to pick up their poop, they’re not looking around for another source of entertainment.

Always do a quick visual scan of your environment before you stoop and scoop so that you can make a quick getaway if need be, and then return to pick up the poop once the coast is clear.