Why do dog owners stare at their pooping pet?
January 5, 2005 5:46 PM   Subscribe

Why do dog owners, while walking their dogs, gaze at their pet while it defecates?
posted by orange clock to Pets & Animals (37 answers total)
 
To know when it's done?
posted by knave at 5:47 PM on January 5, 2005


Response by poster: Generally speaking you wouldn't watch transfixed while your girlfriend defecates, so why such a steely fascination with canine defecation? Why stand transfixed when you can just look the other way?
posted by orange clock at 5:48 PM on January 5, 2005


Because if you don't look at your pet, someone might think you're trying to pretend your pet isn't taking a crap in their yard and then try to skip off without poop-scooping. It's your way of saying to observers "I see this, I swear I'll clean it up"
posted by jessamyn at 5:51 PM on January 5, 2005


To make sure that the canine in question is not defecating upon something unsuitable for canine defecation?
posted by reklaw at 5:52 PM on January 5, 2005


I try to look him in the eye to see if he gets uncomfortable. He doesn't.
posted by clubfoote at 6:01 PM on January 5, 2005


My dog, as soon as he's done, wants to get as far away from his poop as fast as he can, which is entirely understandable. But when we are out on a walk, this often means that he will try to head straight into the street and possibly into oncoming traffic. So it's better to keep an eye on things, so that I can get it picked up and moving along as soon as possible.

And orange clock, we are talking about dogs. Dogs are not people. I'm not saying that it's ok to mistreat dogs, I'm saying that people have a tendency to treat a dog like it's a person, and that's not always a good thing. In my case, this dog feels free to push the bathroom door open (it doesn't latch well) and come in and sniff me when I'm sitting on the toilet. I don't think he cares that I watch him poop.
posted by ambrosia at 6:03 PM on January 5, 2005 [1 favorite]


Um, because it's fascinating. Lots of human people--not me, but lots of people--are fascinated by poop. For example, check out this site. (Warning: if you are not "fascinated" by poop do not go there.)

Haven't you seen, like, any comedy movies lately?
posted by josh at 6:05 PM on January 5, 2005


They watch because they love their dogs, and they think that everything their dog does is cute, including successfully taking a shit. I know it's weird, but this is how a lot of dog owners are.

It even happened--god help me--to my own sister.
posted by interrobang at 6:08 PM on January 5, 2005


If I don't watch exactly where she goes, I'll lose it be unable to pick it up (or worse, step in it while trying to find it).
posted by maniactown at 6:08 PM on January 5, 2005


To make sure everything's coming out as it should? Okay, I've had a couple of 'eat everything that's not nailed down' dogs in my time ... and more than one moment of ahhh, so that's what happened to that (sock, extension cord, bread sack). The poop can also be a good early indicator of a health problem.
posted by NsJen at 6:15 PM on January 5, 2005


Maniactown, you obviously have a small dog.
posted by bDiddy at 6:22 PM on January 5, 2005


No way, bDiddy! 115 Lbs. Akita/Shepherd
Just long grass, I guess... and she tends to poop at the point in the dog park exactly the furthest from me.
posted by maniactown at 6:29 PM on January 5, 2005


Because that is the best way to ensure that you do not inadvertantly make eye contact with someone. It is terribly embarassing.

My dog has a wonderful talent for selecting the spot with the largest audience to take a crap.
posted by stet at 6:56 PM on January 5, 2005


It's a homeland security thing.
posted by mecran01 at 7:17 PM on January 5, 2005


Not a dog owner but ...

1. To make sure the dog doesn't eat it

2. To make sure the dog doesn't get it all over themselves

3. Pervs.
posted by alan at 7:18 PM on January 5, 2005


What NsJen said. I once took in a puppy from a family friend who could no longer keep it. About a week after we got her I was outside playing with her and she paused to do her business. I watched so I could clean it up afterwards. Upon closer inspection I saw that it was loaded with worms. (Gross, I know, I'm sorry.) Thankfully, it wasn't anything a quick trip to the vet couldn't clear up but ever since I've paid attention when my dogs defecate.

(Also, what stet said. They always pick the worst spots.)
posted by LeeJay at 7:18 PM on January 5, 2005


jessamyn's right: It's your way of saying to observers "I see this, I swear I'll clean it up." those who refuse to dutifully remove their dog's poo give all dog owners a bad name.
posted by RockyChrysler at 7:23 PM on January 5, 2005


You city slickers crack me up. I always looked AWAY from my dogs when they were doing their thing, because it IS nasty. But this is because I never, ever had to clean up after them, since I grew up out in the sticks. Nobody gives a shit (sorry...) about dog poop on the side of a rural road.

However, it does make sense that if you're walking your canine companion in a city with dog-shit laws, you do want to see where it went. Of course, some people apparently still don't care--I've had to avoid many a poop while walking through the West Village. Bedford Street, in particular, freaking reeks of the stuff.
posted by cyrusdogstar at 7:29 PM on January 5, 2005


Jessamyn is right.

Also... this may seem gross, but a good pet owner keeps track of their pet's feces. You can tell a lot about your animal's health.

First thing the vet asks me when i take my cat in: "what are the stools like?"
posted by reflecked at 7:40 PM on January 5, 2005


Generally speaking you wouldn't watch transfixed while your girlfriend defecates

If I were to take her for a walk on a leash in public, I might be interested in watching her defecate too.

I may be confused by your girlfriend/pet juxtoposition, though.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 8:02 PM on January 5, 2005


I'm with cyrusdogstar -- y'all city folk are funny. My dogs run outside, head off into the woods, and come back when they're done. If they don't go far enough, I avert my eyes. They don't look at me when I'm on the john, I don't look at them when they're doing their thing. Seems like a good deal.
posted by waldo at 8:28 PM on January 5, 2005


i have two chihuahuas... if you don't keep your eyes on the prize, it's gone forever lost in a sea of grass.
posted by heather at 8:31 PM on January 5, 2005


Yeah, I watch to make sure he's not sick, to advertise to the neighbors that i'm paying attention and intend to clean up after him and so that I don't miss any that might fall in a strange place (he's been known to poop on mounds of dirt/snow and it all goes in different directions). I hadn't really thought about it until now, but I typically look away when he pisses.
posted by soplerfo at 8:40 PM on January 5, 2005


FWIW -- I've never seen a dog owner watch his/her dog doing its' dirty, sinful business. I'm surprised that anyone does.
posted by davidmsc at 8:50 PM on January 5, 2005


Not only do my SO and I watch (so we can clean up), we praise the puppy whenever he manages to "go outside" in the out of doors. Outside + fast = Worthy of Praise, in my book.
posted by subgenius at 8:56 PM on January 5, 2005


They watch because they love their dogs, and they think that everything their dog does is cute, including successfully taking a shit. I know it's weird, but this is how a lot of dog owners are.

This is true, and deeply, deeply disturbing.
posted by rushmc at 9:30 PM on January 5, 2005


You could substitute children for dogs in the above, and it would also be true.
posted by carter at 9:50 PM on January 5, 2005


They watch because they love their dogs, and they think that everything their dog does is cute, including successfully taking a shit. I know it's weird, but this is how a lot of dog owners are.

This is true, and deeply, deeply disturbing.


I haven't heard one pet owner in this thread say that they watch because they think it's cute. I've heard people say that they watch to monitor their dog's health, to be considerate of their neighbors or to help in training. The fact is that when you become a pet owner you take on a certain number of responsibilities, not all of which are pleasant. I fail to see how being a conscientious pet owner is disturbing.
posted by LeeJay at 10:19 PM on January 5, 2005


1) The dog's ability to take a healthy crap is something to monitor in the course of keeping an eye on his health in general.
2) You're going to have to pick the shit up in a few seconds, you'd better keep an eye on how much and where it lands so you can get it all.
3) Trying to look away and pretend that your dog isn't crapping makes you look like a moron. There is actually a sniglet: "squatic diversion" which means "the imaginary thing that suddenly captures your attention off in another direction once your dog begins to poop."
4) Much as people love their dogs, they do have very much a master/servant relationship with them, and as such, aren't required to give them privacy. In fact, that might even work against the necessary power dynamic.

Eh. Forget #4. See 1-3.

And for the record I cannot believe you ever gave me a hard time for asking too many questions here, orangeclock.
posted by scarabic at 10:19 PM on January 5, 2005


Generally speaking you wouldn't watch transfixed while your girlfriend defecates

My wife can decide for herself if she's constipated (or the opposite) and needs a change of diet or a checkup at the doctor's. We're responsible for the dog's health, however, and dogs can't talk. As others have mentioned, observation of defecation is just one of many ways a responsible owner cares about their dog. If someone finds the thought of watching their dog take a crap all that unpleasant, they might want to reconsider whether they should own one.
posted by normy at 4:41 AM on January 6, 2005


Dog's health.

Plus our girlfriends won't let us watch.
posted by petebest at 8:50 AM on January 6, 2005


Orange, I've wondered the same thing too...mine originally started out because my dog had a lot of blood in his stool, but now he's all better...but I still keep an eye on him.
posted by Hands of Manos at 8:54 AM on January 6, 2005


My cat does not like to be watched, especially when she's poopin'
The dog does not seem to mind however.
posted by evilelf at 9:03 AM on January 6, 2005


Generally speaking you wouldn't watch transfixed while your girlfriend defecates

Well, I generally wouldn't have to pick up after my hypothetical significant other, either. ; )

Most of what others said is true. I keep an eye on my dog so I can see where I need to pick up. I take my dog out in the morning before dawn and he has this knack for picking the darkest, shadowiest places to poop. Of course I also want to make sure everything is all right...if he's constipated or if it's running, etc.

When I put him out on the chain in the yard, I watch out the door because we live near some woods where a pack of coyotes happens to live. One of the coyotes actually liked to hang out in our backyard for a while this fall. I don't want my dog to become dinner for a coyote, so I watch to make sure I can bring him in quickly if need be.
posted by SisterHavana at 9:28 AM on January 6, 2005


1) Dog's health.

2) When training a new dog, it's important to reward the proper behavior quickly, which means, yeah, you gotta watch.

3) What the others said about appropriate place.

I have a Dachshund, which is the least reliable housebreaking trainee there is, and they're willful little fuckers, so the constant poop-monitoring is part and parcel to owning an otherwise perfect dog, in my opinion.
posted by TeamBilly at 11:39 AM on January 6, 2005


My ex-boyfriend's dog wouldn't poop if you watched. In fact, you had to go to great pains to act distracted by something else so that he would do his business. When he was ready he would start circling and sniffing the ground, and that was your cue to suddenly become interested in a tree, or make a call on your cell phone, etc.
posted by stinkeye at 2:06 PM on January 6, 2005


I watch my dog to make sure she's healthy, to make sure I clean it up, and to make sure she doesn't eat it, the little Filthy McNasty.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:01 PM on January 23, 2005 [1 favorite]


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