"Ask the Dog Guy" with John Wade

"Ask the Dog Guy" with John Wade

Puppy and Obedience Training Without Food or Fear

How to Get a Dog to Poop – You Can’t Be Serious!

– Posted in: Behavior Problems, Columns, House training, Newsletters, Puppy and Dog Humor
how to get a dog to poop

How to Make Your Dog Poop with a Match or two or threeHow To Match Your Dog To Make It Poop

Someone wrote me today asking how to make their dog poop in an area it was unfamiliar with while on leash. I told them they were going to be sorry they asked and not to tell Kramer (their dog) they heard it from me.

I was told this by an old-timer show dog person and thought he was having me on but I checked on it and it’s not as uncommon in the dog world as you might think but then again show dog people . . .

Somewhere I found actual “instructions”. (There was no mention of it so I’m going to take the liberty of suggesting you wear gloves – Just trust me.)

Here: from I don’t know who, and I can’t imagine how they stumbled upon it, (with a precautionary comment or two from me – i.e. When in doubt check it out with your vet first.) is how to make your dog poop using a match.

1. Take one or two paper matches and put the sulfur tips briefly in your mouth to wet them. (It gets worse)

2. Straddle your dog – facing its butt. (Worried yet?)

3. Pull the tail out of the way and insert the now wet sulfur tips of the matches in your dog’s anus. (The bit about “pull the tail out of the way” seemed a bit superfluous to me)

4. Deep enough that just the ends of the matches are visible and hang out just a tiny bit. (I think your dog would appreciate it if you would assume this fellow has a large dog and be accommodating by taking into consideration relative size and adjust the length of the match accordingly.)

5. Release the dog. (aka one very surprised dog)

6. Usually the dog will start squatting almost immediately to expel the matches. (I’m told it has something to do with the sulfur but personally I can think of one or two other possibilities.)

7. If the dog doesn’t, then you can repeat the steps. (or as fair warning wave the book of matches in the air in an ominous manner and then mime your intent.)

8. Do not insert more than 4 matches at a time. (I’m going to assume this means all at once as if you’re trying this on your own I can’t imagine there are enough treats on the planet to fool a dog into standing still 4 times in a row.)

9. Rarely do you need to use 4 matches but some dogs are more stubborn than others. (or more worried than their owners about becoming the next viral youtube video sensation)

Warning: I’ve since heard a story about a lady that decided after her first attempt that the match in question wasn’t quite moist enough so re-moistened the match to “rectify” the situation. (Click for a related story about veterinary students.)

Here’s a link to an article I wrote on house training that will help as well. You can try it first or in conjunction with the matches. House Training Cheat Sheet

Pawsitively Yours,

John Wade


P.S. If you take the video I’ll add the link. :-)

9 Comments… add one

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade October 3, 2012, 10:41 am

This from Steve in Iowa:

I received this advice way back in dog obedience class. The instructor said that military generals who had a dog used this little trick prior to inspecting the troops….obviously they couldn’t have a dog doing its duty during the ceremony. My yellow lab is now 14 and 3 months and over the past several months she has starting pooping in her kennel overnight. She would have never done this in the past. It is perhaps due to senility or laziness or just inability to hold bowls for a length of time. I have since started “matching” her in the morning and the evening. I am not sure what she thinks about me messing around back there, but believe me when I tell you that this method works quite well!


Alice L. Reinhart-Blakey February 28, 2014, 1:57 pm

Well I used a glove an put a little pit of hand soap on the glove finger tip. Then insert it into the anus of my Jack Russell. Cause she would not go. I found this method when my children were babies and was constipated that if you put a little bit of hand soap it seemed to help the bowels move. If it was good enough for my baby why not for my dog. She is my baby too.

Phil December 18, 2014, 11:35 pm

I have not laughed this hard in a long time. I’m sorry my friend asked me how to make her dog poop so I googled it and this posting came up. I guess it worked. Thanks a lot for the laughs and the advice. Phil Z

Mike May 23, 2015, 12:31 pm

I’ve worked as a veterinary technician for about ten years now and this is one of the oldest tricks in the book. There are a variety of medical reasons why we might need a dog to poop on command, and I’ve found that a single match usually does the trick – I’m no chemist but you’re right, it has something to do with the sulfur or phosphorous in the match head irritating the inside of the dog’s rectum, much the way a spicy burrito will do, triggering the “I gotta go NOW” feeling.

Glove up, poke just the match head into no man’s land, and stand back – the results are usually instant and forceful.

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade May 24, 2015, 5:11 pm

I’ve always said that they just don’t pay veterinary technicians enough.


Britt September 9, 2015, 6:22 pm

Is this trick appropriate for puppies who are learning to potty train? Thanks for the advice.

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade September 10, 2015, 10:59 am

Hi Brittany,

I’ve never done this but I’m told by those that have/do that they also do so with pups. I would think that when the handler is equipped with common sense it wouldn’t be a problem. Check with your vet if you’re unsure.


crystal holstein September 22, 2015, 9:02 am

Can you do the matches thing to a six day old pup? Ive only seen her poopy once and im half afraid she may need to bc her belly is fat n hard.. should I just let her mommy do her job? But what if its to late and I let her go to long without popping. I dont no what to do.

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade September 22, 2015, 4:16 pm

Hi Crystal,

I highly recommend you contact a veterinarian and get connected to someone with more experience dealing with newborn puppies then you have.


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