It is an old story.
Girl leaves boy. Boy gets lonely and depressed. Boy poops all over girl’s clean carpets.
Girl comes home and is angry and disappointed by boy’s actions. Boy gives girl a very endearing look, and many “apologetic” licks.
Girl forgives boy and the cycle continues.
So is it vengeance poop or something else?
Dogs, it turns out, do not have a vengeful bone in their furry, little bodies. Vengeance poop is simply, us humans, projecting a very human quality onto our dogs.
If you have a vengeance poop situation, then it is probably a dog separation anxiety issue.
A Conversation About Dog Separation Anxiety
“Separation anxiety?!”, I exclaim.
“But I spent three days straight with you before I had to work late for only one day”, I try to explain to my dogs.
My dogs sigh at me and respond slowly,
“It is not the total time you are with us during the week, but rather the uncertainty and change in schedule”.
My wonderful Shiba Inu adds,
Spending extra time with us and then suddenly no time at all, just makes things worse because we really do not know what to expect.
“But you have each other”, I cleverly returned. “It is not like you are all by yourself. Why so needy?”.
My Siberian Husky is only too happy to answer with her usual enthusiastic style.
“We worry when someone in the pack leaves suddenly, without any clear reason. We worry because you are part of the pack and a smaller pack means a weaker pack and less goodies for everyone.”
She pauses, and considers how to make it clear to me. “If your dad disappeared unexpectedly , wouldn’t you be very worried too, even if your mom and brother are still around?”, she asks.
“Of course you would be!”, adds my know it all Shiba Inu.
Like us, dogs like routine and often get anxious over large changes in their schedule, especially negative changes that they do not expect and that they do not understand. When faced with such disruptions, dogs may chew up your house, or leave you some smelly, welcome home presents.
When there are large changes in your life or schedule, and you find yourself in a dog vengeance poop situation, it is not because of vengeance but likely a result of anxiety.