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

– Posted in: By Problem, Dog Behavior Miscellaneous Articles, 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. 🙂

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

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

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.


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


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

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



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

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

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

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

Hi Crystal,

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



We just bought a new house with a large backyard but our dog doesn’t seem to like it. We have to force her off the cement patio to do her business. She just stands there. Do you have any advice?

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

Hi Jessica,

You’re on the right track. You have to “force” her but I suspect it’s how you’re “forcing” her that’s the problem. I’m guessing but if you’re only escorting her by leash (which is what I mean by forcing) off the patio to where you want her to go once in a while as opposed to 3 months straight she’s not likely going to get it. I’ll send you a copy of my house training cheat sheet. It will show you how to get her to go out on a sensible schedule and empty out on one spot.



Little AquaPhor on the non sulphur end and push it in a wee bit..within a minute or two Tank was producing beautifully.

Peter Upton

How do I get my 18 month old Lab to poop in one area of our yard?

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

Search for my House Training Cheat Sheet on this site.



Puppy mill rescue(7yr.old)isn’t g oing poop ,and refuses to go potty.


This works. Recently brought an outdoor dog in. He seemed to be afraid to go and would sneak away in the house to do his business. Even in a kennel, he would not go or wait several days before he finally went. After walking him 2 hours straight and him seeming like he was literally holding it, I googled “How to make a dog poop.” This was the first hit and in under 3 minutes, it was out. 🙂 Now to do it regularly, I feel he is on his way.


My four-year-old Chihuahua mix ate about 8 to 10 inches of ribbon two days ago. I pooper-scooped the yard yesterday and found no ribbon. I’m just worried that it will get tangled in her intestines and so I want to help her to poop everything out. Would this technique help her to eliminate everything in her bowels ?

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

Not really. It just jump starts a bowel movement. Sort of like a gastric colic reflex. I’d call the veterinarian to ask how long is a reasonable amount of time to wait for the ribbon to pass and what symptoms to look for that indicate the dog might be having intestinal difficulty.



Wow!! My sister found this for me. Have a 9 month old Toy Australian shepherd who refuses to poop outside. Walks great, pees but forgets to poop. Not sure of his past, but I rescued him fourth owner counting breeder. He’s dog friendly but leery of 2 legged beings! I’ll let u know if this works when I find his butt under all his fur coat. No tail to guide me!


wow! I have a 14 yr old chow/retriever who was recently diagnosed with DM,(degenarative myolopothy)being able to induce the waste removal process within minutes after being taken outside is an excellent way to keep your dog out of the cold weather,specially if you live far north! I took a QTIP, and removed some of the cotton swab on one end plced in water and a little bit of hand lotion or liquid soap or Vaseline and slowly placed in for several seconds twice and within 3 minutes he was doing his thing!!! thanks for the tip!


I laughed at this whole thread and even harder while I did it and then laughed when I saw the look on my pups face, then I laughed the hardest because it did work


Got a puppy today owner says she’s about 7 weeks old has no gone poop in about 7 hrs any suggestions

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

That’s not crazy weird but call your veterinarian. I’m going to send you my house training cheat sheet and also my puppy socialization cheat sheet.



Thanks for this info. I have 2 or 3 year old Pitbull who was a shelter rescue. He would pee and poop but only one. A long walk across our community.

He would refuse to poop in the backyard. I’m assuming he’s previous owner “discouraged” pooping in the yard. My pit would literally stand wimper in the ward but wouldn’t go.

It took 3 matches and sure enough he let it rip.

As a note to anyone thinking about doing this take care with large or strong dogs that you are trying this on. Once the matches were in my Pitbull was almost in a panic to poop and I had a very strong dog almost dragging me by his leash to find a spot to squat.

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

Delighted it worked. Wished you’d sent along some video though.


Macy Palmer

please help me get my dog to stop barking and help get my dog to poop

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

Hi Macy,

Do a search on this site for barking.

I’ve sent by email “John Wade’s House Training Cheat Sheet” and a chart you can use to track progress. Check your spam or junk folders if not in your inbox.

Keep in mind this is the basic approach for getting a pup on track for learning where they should eliminate, to do so 3 times a day on a schedule and to do so in a small area so you aren’t cleaning up “landmines” all over the yard. If you want something more detailed then the cheat sheet and especially if you are having a long standing problem I’d recommend buying my more detailed e-booklet – The e-booklet is only $4.97.



Thank you so much! This totally worked and I’m hoping will help with my dog pooping at undesired times. (in the night in his kennel)

Danny Collins

Just got a 6 month old shit tzu who will just sit and lay in the grass when i take him outside. He will pee sometimes but other than that he wont poop. Help! Lol

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

Hi Danny,

I’ve sent by email “John Wade’s House Training Cheat Sheet” and a chart you can use to track progress. Check your spam or junk folders if not in your inbox.

Keep in mind this is the basic approach for getting a pup on track for learning where they should eliminate, to do so 3 times a day on a schedule and to do so in a small area so you aren’t cleaning up “landmines” all over the yard. If you want something more detailed then the cheat sheet and especially if you are having a long standing problem I’d recommend buying my more detailed e-booklet – The e-booklet is only $4.97.



I just adopted a 7 year old puppy mill rescued Brussels Griffon. She will produce a liquid elimination outside, but only after about 30 minute. (Very challenging since I have to go to work at certain times.) The solid elimination has happened twice indoors. Once right after her foster left and once when she Houdini-ed out of her kennel. She greeted me at the door, looking pretty pleased.
I’ve only had one successful solid elimination with her outside.
She’s still working on trusting new and learning her name. I’ve had her 5 days.
I’m just concerned about her health.




What happens if he doesn’t poop the matches out? Will they hurt him?

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

I believe you’re supposed to just put it in part way. While I’m sure it will come out unassisted if somehow you’ve managed to bury it I’d suggest taking him to the veterinarian.


I’ve explained the process to my dog Ollie and have the book of matches in my pocket… he looks concerned… I’ll send video if I still have fingers to press the record button…


It worked!!! It worked!!!!!!!!! You’ve saved our vacation!!!!!!! No video… way too many things to manage at once to take a video….


My dogs not allowed to walk around unleashed due to nerve damage in his foot and him dragging it around but he just won’t poop while leashed. I’ve tried so many things. Would this actually work for him? I know he doesn’t like the thermometer up the booty bit.

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

Hi Tiffany,

By all accounts, it seems to work. However, keep in mind that no matter how resistant a dog is to emptying out on a leash there is no amount of will power that will override when it’s time to go, it’s time to go. I’m going to send to you my house training cheat sheet which if you follow to the letter will eventually result in your dog eliminating where and when you think it’s best for him no matter what he thinks with the least amount of stress for him possible. Have a look at it and failing that you can go the route outlined in the post. Check your email for the files I’m sending and your junk/spam folder if not in the inbox.



My older small poodle ,randomly yelps like in pain…then pants ..yet we noticed she urinates but we never seen her potty so I’m wondering this match trick does it have to be paper match or can it be the wooden stick one

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

I don’t have any personal experience to go on but I suspect it doesn’t have to be a match. A q-tip should suffice. However, a dog that is randomly yelping in pain doesn’t need a match or a q-tip, they need a veterinarian.



Works !!!! Thank you so much! I looked on the Internet but I’ve found nothing good till this article. It worked for my dog with only one match. Very helpful!


Enjoyed all that u have replied to. Pls could
u send me a cheat sheet? I have an old timer and could use all the help that I can get. With thx, Linda

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

Cheat sheet for house training is on it’s way along with a progress chart. Check your junk mail if not in your inbox.

Deb orr

My little terrier about once a fortnight I’ll hear him scurrying rd carnt get comfortable sooks is sad moves round whole room crying every now n again n by the next couple of days he’s back to normal what can I do at this time when it’s bad so he dosnt have to go through with this

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

It was difficult to get the gist of your inquiry but if I understand it correctly it sounds like more of a medical issue than a behaviour problem. Maybe impacted anal glands? Take him to the veterinarian clinic would be your wisest first step.


Denise Escalante

Please help our puppy can not go to potty what can we do at home can’t afford to take her to a vet how can we pull it out of her now please help

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

Hi Denise, this article isn’t for a dog that can’t, it’s for a dog that won’t or that you need to. If your puppy is in medical distress you need to go to a veterinarian. If you can’t afford to, contact your local humane society or one of the multiple rescues that are no doubt in your area. They may have funds set aside for situations like this or know who does. I don’t know where you’re from but in Ontario, Canada my region of the world there’s an organization called the Farley Foundation for these sorts of issues.


Sandy Young

Why not use a suppository, neater, cleaner, and works works just as fast. I would never use a match on my dogs. Suppositories have always worked great.

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

Hi Sandy,

If you would never use a match on your dogs how do you know that your suppository suggestion works just as fast? I’m assuming that the suppositories you’re suggesting are those containing glycerine that are used on humans to relieve constipation? From what I’ve read glycerine suppositories should produce a bowel movement within 15 to 60 minutes. Not sure I see how it’s neater or cleaner but from reports from people that have tried the match approach no where near as fast.

Personally I wouldn’t be giving a dog a laxative that isn’t suffering from constipation and I would only do so with a veterinarian’s guidance. I’d check as well with a veterinarian to make sure that a human laxative is safe for a dog. I do know that some brands of glycerin laxative suppositories used on adult humans are not recommended for children and is not generally recommended for children under the age of 2. Perhaps some are dog friendly but which ones?

It’s important to know that what is safe short and long term for a human may not be for a dog. Here’s a quote about glycerin laxative suppositories, from a medical site: “Overuse of a laxative may cause damage to the nerves, muscles, or tissues in your intestines.”, and “Do not use glycerin rectal more than once in a 24-hour period.”

Bottom line, the article you are commenting on is about getting a dog to poop as opposed to a suggested treatment for a dog that can’t poop. That’s a medical issue and one where I would suggest visiting a veterinarian.



Our 2.3 lb chi, (full grown) seems to me to be uncomfortable, not his usual self. Thinking back I can’t remember him pooping yesterday or today. I’m going to try the match stick (really, the q_tip thing) for beginning efforts. Can I get your cheat sheet, we just got a puppy, English sheep dog and poodle. So don’t want to over look anything thanks shearron


Hello I have a 7 year beagle/corgi mix he acts like he has to go poop really bad in the house but when I take him outside we can be outside for 20 to 30 minutes before he even goes what is this

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

Hi Cindy,

Is this new behaviour? Any time a dog over 3 years of old starts behaving outside of the norm the best bet is to visit the veterinarian. If this has been an ongoing problem I’d take all the variables out of the equation. If his diet is wrong, change it to something more efficient. Examine his treats, most a crap. Dried liver is usually the best bet to replace. Reduce volume, if not frequency. Most important of all, if he’s one these dogs that let’s you know it’s time to let him out, transition that so he’s on a schedule. Write me if you want a cheat sheet on how to get him to do that.



My dog just walks around with matches sticking out of his butt. He’s a 165 lb 2.5 year old Great Dane. You think you’re frustrated? We’ve been doing this for over 2 years. I love my dog, but the poop holding is the most freaking frustrating thing I’ve ever gone through with a dog. He’ll keep holding it and often holds it for more than a day. He makes me late for work. When he finally realizes he has to go, he poops an unbelievable amount. There is nothing medically wrong with him. He simply gets distracted and then I don’t help because I get frustrated. I finally figured I’d commit to making him go on a day off. I gave up after 3 hours. I’m really sick of trying to make this dog poop – failing, and then later having to carrying pounds and pounds of poop.


I have been using this trick for over 40 years as I have show dogs and you don’t want them to go in the show ring. It works!

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

I’d love to believe you Sandra, but I’m going to have to insist on seeing pictures or video. 🙂

John ‘Ask The Dog Guy’ Wade


We’ve had a now 1 yo beagle for 2 months now. He has major anxiety and pees/ poops in his crate within 5 min. of us leaving. I tried this method this evening with hopes he would be empty for tmrw morning… tries 3 times, and nothing please help!! I have a 4yo and a 2yo i cant spend everyday cleaning him & his kennel after dropping my son off at preschool!!

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

You don’t have a house soiling problem. Well, you do, but it’s the symptom of another problem. You very likely have a separation anxiety problem. Search my site (this site) for separation anxiety. There’s tons of information that may help and if not write back and let me know how I can help.


John ‘Ask The Dog Guy’ Wade
Embracing Science and Common Sense

Sandra Saylors

Wait a minute now, how rude. Never will do this. l gave mine coconut oil the 1st time 1/8 teaspoon, since she is 20lbs, a yorkie/ Cavalier mix, now l give her 1/2 teaspoon to keep her digestive tract in check. And read on it you will be surprised all the good benefits. Be nice to your dog. In relation to using matches for dog constipation.

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

Rude or not, it may be less dangerous than what you’re suggesting if people aren’t also careful. Is Coconut Oil Good For Dogs

While coconut oil is generally safe for dogs, some canines may have an allergic reaction to the supplement. Additionally, giving a dog too much coconut oil in the diet could result in diarrhea. Smith warns against giving coconut oil to dogs prone to pancreatitis, as it can be a risk due to its high-fat content.

And not all veterinarians are convinced that coconut oil is beneficial for dogs at all. Dr. Ken Tudor notes that coconut oil may possibly raise “bad cholesterol” levels in dogs and “adds 120 calories for every tablespoon without adding any appreciable nutritional value.”


John ‘Ask The Dog Guy’ Wade
Embracing Science and Common Sense
London’s #1 Referred Puppy and Dog Trainer


How will I know if I’m doing it right ? I don’t want to accidentally get the matches stuck in my dogs butt


Does this work if my dog is constipated too?

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

See a veterinarian.


John ‘Ask The Dog Guy’ Wade
Embracing Science and Common Sense


Ok! I got a rescue Bishon 2 years ago. She goes pee all right if doggy door open but not the other. I have to keep diapers on her (dont want new carpet messed up). We take her out but can not get her to go poop!
Read about the matches and laughed. Im willing to try anything… except punishment. I finally found a place to get the matches. So this morning after taking her out of her crate and putting her outside to pee I had two matches ready. I put them in place and took her out the door where their is a doggy door. She ran straight to the little patch of lawn and turned around and around and “pooped”. Im jumping for joy! I praised her and praised her for a job well
done! My goal is for her to go out doggy door alway so I can take off the diapers. We have a lovely screened in back porch with that grassy spot!

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