As with many things we dogs do, this stems back to our ancestors in the wild. Back then, it was very dangerous to poop. When we poop we are very exposed and at our most vulnerable, and this can be scary.
We are not in a position where we can quickly flee or fight back immediately, and these couple of seconds make a big difference in the animal world.
We see our humans as a member of our pack, or family I guess in human terms. In the wild, that’s all we would have to protect us, and we count on each other to stay safe.
We look at our humans because our evolutionary response is to be fearful of vulnerability.
We are putting our lives in your hands, trusting you to keep us safe. You should be on the lookout for danger, and we watch your body language to know if we need to spring into action.
To humans, this might seem like a strange thing to do, but watching you like this is a great way of knowing that we trust you.
Dogs are unique in their personalities, like humans. Some of us just don’t like to be watched while we do our business – I’m sure you understand that.
In cases like this, we are probably looking at you to make sure you’re not looking at us! Don’t be upset if this is the case, some of us just like more privacy than others.
Why does my dog stare at me when I poop?
Dogs have lived with humans for centuries now, and we like to think we’ve got pretty good at reading your body language and behavioral cues.
As I mentioned above, we also still have an incredibly strong pack mentality and see you as part of ours. We love you and don’t want anything to happen to you.
We follow you and watch you to protect you. Who knows what could happen behind that door? It’s the same room as the scary shower after all. Dogs that do this are called Velcro dogs because they want to stay stuck to you all of the time.
Some breeds, like Border Collies, Doberman Pinschers, and Labradors are just genetically predisposed to needing this level of attachment.
Sometimes it’s just because we’re bored, lonely, or just downright nosey. Humans are sooo exciting and you’re the ones who always give us treats and attention. Who wouldn’t want to be with that all the time?
We can also feel vulnerable when we are left alone without you. We don’t want our pack to split up because this leaves us all open to danger. Wherever you go, I go, and then we’ll be safe and sound.
Do dogs get embarrassed when they poop?
No, we don’t. Look at us, we’re amazing. What on earth do we have to be embarrassed about? Everyone poops!
Some dogs will hide to do their business though. While this is not always a cause for concern, if it happens every time there might be a deeper reason.
If your dog was ever punished for pooping then they will have built a negative association in their mind.
This could lead to them suffering from PTSD or anxiety and trying to hide their excretions from you to avoid being punished again.
There are some dogs that won’t poop in front of strangers, I’m one of them. You wouldn’t like some randomer watching you at your most exposed – who knows what they’re going to do?
Don’t be worried if your dog is like this, it’s all perfectly normal.
As it is such a vulnerable and exposed position to be in, some dogs will prefer to poop in covered areas, like inside bushes or behind trees. We’re all unique and we will soon show you what our preferences are.
Should I look at my dog when he poops?
As with anything in life, you should take cues from your dog on how they want you to act. Personally, I get a kick out of knowing someone’s watching me poop.
It makes me feel powerful. Some dogs do prefer to be given some alone time, and will not poop until their human has looked away.
What do dogs think when we pick up their poop?
Sometimes we think that you’re picking it up to have as a snack later. It’s kind of sad to have to watch it dangling from your waistband for our WHOLE walk, taunting us.
I mean, we think it’s delicious. It’s always sad when you stop us from eating poop.
Within the dog world, we all like to know where we stand. Within any group of dogs, there will be a pecking order and one will always be more dominant than the others.
It is not uncommon for the more submissive dogs in the pack to eat the poop of the more dominant ones.
When we see our humans picking up our poop, it makes them seem submissive. Even if we know they are in control, there’s something so satisfying about watching someone clean up after you. We call the shots here.
Why does my dog take so long to decide where to poop?
This is a 4 part answer because we have a lot of things to consider when we poop. One reason is because we are sniffing out other dog’s scents.
Our location choice is also influenced by any distractions near us, our anxiety levels, and the magnetic poles. We like to pick the perfect location and time to do our business and sometimes it takes time to find the ideal spot.
I know, that last one sounds ridiculous. It’s true though, the reason we spin around in circles is to align ourselves with the North-South axis of the magnetic poles.
Humans have theorized that this is our way of reorienting ourselves in space, but no one really knows. Honestly, nor do we, it’s just something we do.