Friday, December 28, 2012

Poop & Pooping at 8 weeks old

Yes, I decided to devote a post just to this topic.  Mostly it's because I've had some difficulty and confusion with it for the following two reasons:
1) He would not go poop in the same place he peed!
2) What should the poop look like?
3) How Often?

1. Pooping and Peeing on Command
He learned to pee in his "spot" quickly, which he wound up deciding for me despite me picking one out before he came home.  He seems to know the word "potty" now, but it's hard to tell.  He may also just know that we're in his spot.  However, often times even though I knew he had to poop (I could tell because he was sniffing the ground avidly and arching his back), he would keep pacing around and trying to run away and not go!

Indie, about to poop...he ran all the way over to this tree!
All the dog training books say you should pet your dog and give them treats while they're doing their business to reinforce the good behavior.  As I would try to do that he would keep walking away from me while continuing to poop.  That's when I realized he did NOT want to poop in front of me!  Eureka!  Apparently this is an Aussie thing.  They are reserved...maybe it's respectful?  My friend has an Aussie and he will walk 20-50 feet of the trail to poop and then come back.  

So what's the solution?  If this sounds like your dog you need to buy a longer leash...I would suggest a minimum of 6 feet or more!  It allows me to keep him on leash and also let him go someplace secluded.

2.  What should 8 week old puppy poop look like?
Indie's poop was a very light brown, almost yellowish. It was soft and rarely formed a perfect "log." In consistency it was like tomato paste that you squeeze out of a tube and some of it would be little like applesauce, soft, but not totally shapeless.  It never had mucous in it and was never what I would call diarrhea, which is very liquidy. 

This type of poop is very normal as your puppy is adapting to the stress of a new home and also will be eating erratically because they are more interested in their new environment than the food.  So, unless there is blood, mucous, parasites, or very watery poop you don't need to worry. 

3.  How often should they poop at this age?
I was told puppies poop A LOT.  Well, Indie doesn't really.  Even at 8 weeks he was only pooping 2 times a day, 3 max.  Usually he pooped mid afternoon and late at night, around at 2 am.  He was probably forgetting to poop during our frequent trips outside during the day because during this first week he was just so interested in this new environment.  Smelling leaves outside, digging in the dirt, hearing birds...I think he got too distracted! He was eating his food and also lots of treats so I was expecting more poop (not that I'm complaining about the lack of it though!).

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