My name is Ruby, and I’m a seven-year-old golden retriever. I live in the countryside with two and a half humans, a poodle and a cat. I’m an agility dog by trade, and my hobbies are eating, swimming, chasing squirrels, swimming, digging holes, swimming and baiting the neighbour’s dogs. However, I’ve also been observing human behaviour for several years and consider myself to be something of an expert. In my blog, I’ll be exploring a few of the more bizarre problems dogs are likely to encounter with their humans, and proposing some solutions. Please feel free to contact me if you need advice.

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Compulsive Hoarding

September 17, 2013  •  1 Comment

 

So let me start by telling you one of my most shameful secrets. My female human has developed a very peculiar problem, and I have no idea what to do about it.

She’s developed an obsession with ... how can I put this ... my excrement. Poop. Doggy doo. Or, as my male human so delicately calls it, dog shit.

She’s taken to hoarding it. There. I’ve said it. Mortifying, isn’t it? Humans are odd, but this seems to go way beyond all her other quirks. I know canine love is supposed to be unconditional, but really, it’s hard to get enthusiastic about someone who does stuff like this.

Every day, she’s out there in the garden, hunting for poop. And when she finds some, she puts it in a bag and stores it in a big plastic bin that she keeps for precisely that purpose. Dog only knows what she thinks she’s going to do with it when the bin is full. I’m seriously worried about her. This just does not seem normal.

She’s become so obsessed that it’s embarrassing to go for walks around the neighbourhood. As soon as I squat down on someone’s lawn, she’s there, hovering, with her little plastic bag. Sometimes I’ve barely finished when she dives in and starts scooping it up, making sure she’s got every little bit off every blade of grass. Then she carries it home like a trophy and puts it in her special bin. I’ve tried to encourage other humans to talk to her about this. For example, when we’re out and about, I look around for humans working in gardens, and when I spot one, I squat as fast as I can and poop right there, in front of them. I always hope this will stop her from collecting it, but it doesn’t. If anything, it makes her worse. She has no shame; she actually starts waving and talking loudly, so they’re sure to see her pick it up – as if collecting dog shit was something to be proud of. I tell you, I just don’t know what to do any more.

I’ve tried everything I can think of. When we go for walks off leash, for example, I find the most inaccessible places to leave it: under low-hanging branches, in patches of poison ivy, under fallen tree trunks, in swamps. You’d think this would put her off, but it doesn’t. She’s absolutely unstoppable – a mad woman. I’ve seen her literally crawl through brambles and tear her clothes to get to her prize. She even has the gall to shout at me for hiding my poop, when all I’m trying to do is help her get over her problem.

But nothing seems to work, and I’m at my wits’ end. If anyone has suggestions, I’d be most grateful. I prefer to train my humans using positive reinforcement, but in this particular case things are so out of hand that I might consider a punishment-based method. She needs help urgently.

 


Comments

Ziggy(non-registered)
lol, Ruby I love your blog it's so funny.
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