7 Habits of Highly Effective Show Dogs: #6

Habit number six never fails to amuse my non-show friends: the dog poops and pees on command. This is a useful habit even for pet dogs, but show dogs that do it are at an advantage.

A nervous dog that inhibits its usual bowel and bladder movements because he’s not sure where or when to go is not going to be comfortable in the ring.  Who could run in circles and stand up straight if they have to go to the bathroom pretty badly? Shows are busy places for the handlers, and there is not often a lot of time for “exercise”—so its best if the dog can learn to go when the time is available, on command.

My grooming area was once next to that of a few Cavalier King Charles spaniels whose owners showed me their trick to deal with unwilling dogs. They stuck a match (unlit!) up the butt of their dogs, and quickly produced a bowel movement. Supposedly the phosphorous of the match head stimulates the dog to poop, though I’ve also heard that it’s just the object itself that produces the effect. It’s a trick I’ve seen used a lot.

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    I have three Westies myself and really enjoyed your post.