No one likes to pick up dog poop—especially if your pup is any bigger than a Pug. And yet, we do it. Every. Single. Day. They poop, you bag; everyone knows their job.
Dog parents have long been shamed into picking up poop, carefully maneuvering the dog poop bags to make sure no part of our hand is left uncovered. And we’re not only expected to pick it up, but also to walk around with it until we find a garbage can, which most of the time, doesn’t come soon enough. Quite honestly, it’s an unpleasant experience and a hazard to the senses.
Friends and fellow dog parents, your days of poop retrieval, transport and disposal end today! Read on to find out how to dodge poop pick-up now and forever.
1. Look and Book
This simple method can be used in pretty much any situation. It’s great for people who like to avoid (or literally run from) problems rather than walk right up to and address them, and there are only two easy steps.
First, look around to make sure no one saw the incident in question. Be sure to check for people sitting in cars or in hidden areas. Wait until anyone who might have seen passes by, using stall tactics like checking your phone. If no one seems to be staring at you with judgy eyes, then run and don’t ever look back.
2. Invisible Pet Parent
Make sure you’re wearing a hoodie for this method. If you live somewhere humid and hot, this might not be the best technique for you, but for those in a cooler climate, try it out.
Don’t look around at all. Then when you see your pup assuming the position, look down toward the ground and turn your back to any onlookers.
Slowly cinch up the hoodie around your face, covering up as much of your face as possible as your pooch answers the call of nature. Wearing sunglasses is a good addition.
Now, walk away casually. The idea here is that if they can’t identify you, they can’t turn you in.
3. Hover and Cover
Here’s one for people who feel a little guilty about leaving poop unbagged, but not enough to pick it up. After the deed is done, hover over the target as if you’re actually picking it up.
The trick is to obscure anyone’s view of the situation as you look around for anything you can find to cover up the poop. A large leaf works well, or a stick.
Kendall Curley, who has a Ph.D. in Illusions and Responsibility Avoidance, claims that “just about anything can be used to cover the poo.”
“Get creative,” she adds. “Use your resources.”
Place the object over the pile, taking care not to accidentally touch it. We like to think of this as “found art.”
4. The Pretend Bend and Scoop
This is another technique for the guilt-ridden pet parent. For this poop-avoidance tactic, you need to be able to do a tiny bit of acting.
It’s the final scene, and the whole play is riding on it. Your audience is waiting for the scooping action. So, of course, you’ll bend down and perform the most realistic-looking poop bagging you can. Then everyone walks away happy, as if everything is right in the world.
5. The Curveball
So, your pooch is in the poop position and, from any bystander’s perspective, is probably pooping. That’s where the curveball comes in. At this point, you’ll exclaim loudly, “Well, I guess you’re not going to poop today…” or “Oh no, you’re still constipated!”
Instead of incurring the wrath of any witnesses, you might even get a sympathetic look or two. No one will ever know that a crime against social norms actually has been committed.
6. Duck and Shuffle
Chances are that wherever your dog sniffed out as a good spot to poo, there’s an existing pile nearby. Use a stick to carefully shuffle the new droppings over toward the other pile. If anyone tries to call you out, simply say, “That’s not my dog’s poop.” You’ll only be telling half of a lie in this case.
Sam Schwab, president of her neighborhood watch committee and self-appointed doggy poo-poo police officer, says, “I hate the duck and shuffle—there’s no way to prove it, but I’m on to you!”
7. The Sympathy Grab
Dog parents who feel the need to save face can use this technique. To pull it off right, bring along an empty dog poop bag dispenser.
Act as though you are obviously going to pick up your dog’s waste, and wait until he finishes. Then reach for the dispenser, shout, “Oh no! I’ve run out!” and put on a seriously shocked and appalled expression.
Repeat a few different versions of this as you frantically search your pockets and your bag. After a good show, exclaim, “I can’t believe this day!” and just walk away.
8. The Emergency Call
You need a little bit of acting skill for this one. After all, the right inflection of the voice can make anything believable.
Set off an alarm on your phone that could be mistaken for a ringtone. Then proceed to be the receiver of an emergency phone call where you loudly state an emergency situation, get visibly upset and then rush off.
Caitlin Ultimo, certified poop dodger, says the emergency call is her go-to method.
“You have to make it really believable,” Ultimo says. “People need to know there’s a reason why you would dare to leave a pile of poo unbagged.”
9. Reverse the Blame
Everyone gets upset when they see dog poop that hasn’t been picked up. Even though you’re one of the main offenders, you still have the right to get angry if someone else has done the same.
Simply pretend that someone else’s dog left it, and loudly complain that people should be picking up after their dogs.
This tactic goes one “step” further than the Reverse the Blame technique. And it’s only to be used when every other method has failed or is impossible to carry out. Hopefully you will be wearing your old sneakers, not your good ones. When all else fails, you’ll have to do the unspeakable: Step in it.
Then get upset about having stepped in poop that some other dog parent left behind. How rude! Just look at your shoe! No one will suspect it was your own dog’s poop all along.
Our final words of advice: Rest easy, run fast and remember that these methods have been perfected over time by pet parents just like you—for April Fool’s Day! Let’s be real—don’t be the person who leaves your pup’s poop behind for unsuspecting neighbors. And check out our real article on dog poop pickup tips (you’re welcome).
Nikki Naser, Pet Central Senior Editor
Instead of owning 30 cats, Nikki has an impressive collection of 30 cat-themed T-shirts, and just 4 pets—a ginger-haired senior cat, a senior Maine Coon, a middle-aged Choodle, and a young kitty who showed up one day on the back steps. A former Orlando resident, Nikki worked on several tourism publications before moving to South Beach. When she’s not stopping to take pics of community cats to post on Instagram, Nikki spends her time with the office pets at Chewy, writing for their Pet Central blog.