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Answers from vets about your dog:

What's My Dog's Poop Personality?

Reviewed by Dr. Celeste Clements, DVM, DACVIM on Thursday, April 28, 2016
Posted April 28, 2016 in A Vet's Life

spinning terrier

Ever wonder why some dogs poop the way they do? Poop, as in prancing proudly to find the perfect spot, repeating a regular ritual, and then evaluating, or ignoring, their effort? Perhaps dogs have a unique "pooping personality." Before I explain, I must warn you: If you’re easily offended by doggie defecation descriptions, profuse punnery, and seriously silly alliteration, this column may not be for you. If not – and you can stomach a pint of poop puns – read on. You might discover your dog’s defecation designation or pooping personality.

What’s normal when it comes to dog poop?
The first thing you must distinguish between is normal potty performance versus a pooping problem. In general, if your dog strains, grimaces, seems uncomfortable; or if the stool is hard and dry, loose, watery, discolored or contains black bits or blood, see your veterinarian immediately. [Editor's note: Or if his defecation style changes dramatically.] Those are all signs of a potentially serious medical condition.

If everything seems regular and your dog has a peculiar deuce pattern you’d like deduced, here are some personality observations from my over two decades of handfuls of excretory experience:

[Should I Worry if My Dog’s Stool Has Blood or Mucus?]

The spinner
Without a doubt, spinning is one of the more common defecatory delays dogs demonstrate. I’ve observed all breeds and manners of mutts sniff a spot, spin around a couple of times, and let it loose. This behavior is so pervasive it’s been studied by serious scientists who concluded the spinning is aligning the dog along the earth’s north-south magnetic field. Grab your compass and measure where your Spinner lands.

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Ernie has more than 20 years of experience in the veterinary industry and is a well-known veterinarian, media personality and author. He is also a founding member of IDEXX’s Pet Health Network team.

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The opinions and views expressed in this post are those of the author's and do not necessarily represent the beliefs, policies or positions of all veterinarians, Pet Health Network, IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. or its affiliates and partner companies.