I am going to be honest, I thought my dog was the only one in the world that walked and pooped at the same time. But clearly she is not since I have seen a lot of people asking the question “why does my dog walk and poop“!
So, I asked my veterinarian if he had any insight into this and he guided me to some resources to get some answers and helped me understand what makes my own dog do it.
There is no one answer for this behavior – so it could be one of many reasons which I will outline below.
Some may even be physical reasons for which you may want to get them looked at to get some help.
Reasons A Dog Might Walk and Poop At The Same Time
This is probably why my dog does it as concluded by my veterinarian. Since she normally poops when we are on walks and going to new locations, the fear she feels keeps her moving. In her mind staying still may means opening herself up to vulnerabilities that can harm her.
This is common in dogs with abusive pasts. They always need to be “on guard”.
When she keeps moving it helps her feel safer. I noticed she does not do this when she poops in our yard, so the anxiety angle makes sense. There is probably no fix for this, so I just deal with it.
So, if your dog is a notoriously anxiety ridden dog of if you recently adopted an abused dog, you may notice this as part of their behavior.
Constipation is another big one. When your dog (or even you) walk it helps gets those bowels moving and can help reduce that feeling of bloat and constipation.
If they have an upset belly or are constipated – the additional walking while pooping might be their way of moving things through their system.
If your dog has diarrhea that can cause them to poop a lot on the walk as well. Because it is loose and runny it may seemingly “leak out” while they are walking.
Keep an eye on the consistency of their poop to ensure it is not too hard or dry. If you notice the stool is hard – which might be why they are walking and moving, then you need to up their fluids to help soften those stools.
It happens to every living thing! Sometimes all the poop does not make it out. Maybe they have a loose stool that is left hanging or a harder poop that is close to totally being out but is a bit stuck.
If there is a loose poop dangling from their butt, the walking may help dislodge it. If they get frustrated enough they also might scoot their butts on the grass to help get it out as well.
Dog breeds with longer hair might have additional issues with this if some of the poop gets stuck to the fur. Or if they lick their fur often and swallow it, it can be creating poops that are much harder or packed than a normal stool type. This would make it harder for them to pass which would then have them moving more to get it moving.
This happened with one of my senior dogs – she was having joint problems and pooping just became harder for her. Her back legs were starting to fail so being in a pooping position for a long time was just not possible. You may not realize just how hard it is and how much strength is needed for a dog to stay in the poop position. For older dogs, it can be quite the challenge.
So she would go for a few seconds, then stop.
She would walk a few steps and then poop a bit more.
If your dog is not older it could be other issues. Maybe they are arthritic or have a pulled muscle or ACL injury you are not aware of. If the walk and poop behavior is new, then these are things you should look into to see if there is pain happening that is keeping your dog moving.
Sometimes a dog walking while pooping can be as simple as them marking their territory. If they poop in one place it is only telling other dogs that “hey this is my area”.
But if they walk and poop leaving droppings along they way they are saying “hey, all this is my area”.
Would you want your scent left in one small area – or in several small areas to let others now you own the place?
Some dogs might have learned this behavior as a pup.
Maybe they were having an accident in the house and either they – or their owner would move them mid-poop to a proper pooping location. This may be “training” them to move while they are in mid-poop.
If this is this case – you should be able to to change that behavior with some training.
It’s Just How They Roll
Sometimes, there is just no reason. A dog just wants to “doo” what they want to “doo”! If this is the case, then just let them poo as they wish and move on with your walk.
Just like we are all unique – so are dogs, so let them be who they are and embrace their uniqueness!
Some dogs just want to dump and go.
Others want to dump a little and move away from the yuckiness to finish their business in a cleaner area. Kind of like the human version of the mid-poop flush. Yes, you know some of you do it.
Stopping The Walking While Pooping Behavior
If you have noticed this behavior as something new, this can signal a medical condition of some sort. From something as easy as constipation to something more extreme like a torn ligament, getting a check up is highly recommended.
Once they see the vet and get some help you should see their pooping behavior go back to what it was!
If the dog has always done this behavior from the time you welcomed them home, it may be harder to change the behavior. As noted above, it can be a learned behavior or an inherent behavior. You can try reaching out to a trainer and see if they can offer any help to remedy the behavior.
But, is it really that important to fix? Yes, it can be a bit annoying on a walk to have to wait every few minutes for them to relieve themselves, but in the scheme of things – unless it is a medical reason, it might be better to “let it go”. Let them poo they way they want!
So, a dog walking and pooping at the same time is rarely something to worry about. You may never know the real reason your pup does this behavior, but as long as you are not seeing signs of illness – there is nothing wrong with letting them enjoy a poop on the move!