Dog Vengeance Poop

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.

Read more about separation anxiety and how to help your dog cope with the stresses of change …

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  1. Morgan says

    I need some help. I have a 3 year old Chihuahua mix (Oscar), I moved in with my boyfriend a few months ago and my boyfriend and Oscar can’t seem to meet eye to eye. Lately Oscar has been pooping on his bed and in the dog house during the day while we are both at work. Oscar is outside for about 10-11 hours a day, so I don’t know why he must poop in the dog house and on his bed. It is causing some serious friction with my boyfriend and I. I love my dog, he will always be my baby, but I don’t know what to do? It is causing me some SERIOUS stress!

    • shibashake says

      Moving to a totally new environment can be very stressful for a dog. What you describe sounds like stress and anxiety issues, as well as separation anxiety.

      so I don’t know why he must poop in the dog house and on his bed.

      Dogs may urinate and defecate when in a situation of extreme stress and anxiety. This can be caused by moving houses, stress in the house, and being separated from their primary caregiver.

      This ASPCA article has more on separation anxiety.

      More on how I help my dog with anxiety and stress-

      My dog is also very sensitive to the energy of the people around him. If I get stressed, he will quickly pick up on that, get even more anxious, and that will worsen his stress symptoms and behaviors. To help my dog be more calm, I need to control my own energy, and manage my dog’s environment so as to set him up for success.

  2. says

    This is a great post. My little Chihuahua Teddy is having separation anxiety issues my wife and I are trying to work through.

    I think working with a dog to train him through the process is key., Leave the house for a bit to test him, try a webcam to keep an eye from the neighbors house.

    Somethings got to work – until then I’m gonna keep on trying πŸ™‚

  3. shibashake says

    Hi Natasha and Shadows,

    Here are some things that have helped me with my Siberian, who is a bit timid:
    1. Bonding: It is important to try and establish a strong bond with the dog so that she will trust you when she becomes afraid rather than resorting to running away or aggression. Some things that can help with bonding include hand-feeding, positive reinforcement obedience training, fun walks, playing games, etc.

    2. Go slowly: Set her up for success and go slowly and at her pace. Do not expose her to things that she is not ready for, and always protect her from rude people and rude dogs.

    3. Desensitization: A good way to build confidence is to desensitize her to a wide variety of objects and sounds. First you want to start with a simple, non-moving, non-threatening object – say a simple toy. Show her the object and reward her for not running away. Reward her a lot, together with a lot of praise for showing any curiosity over the object. You can also put peanut butter or something else yummy on the object to grab her interest. Keep repeating until she is happily playing with the toy, then move on to another toy, and slowly introduce more scary objects like moving objects, objects that make sounds, wierd objects, e.g. umbrellas etc. Once she is comfortable with objects, you can slowly move on to desensitizing her towards people, then finally other dogs.

    Make sure to only expose her to things that she is ready for. If she runs away or starts showing any fear, stop. This means that you have moved forward too quickly, so you want to step back and reduce the level of stimulus.

    A book that I really enjoyed, and that really changed the way that I interacted with my dogs is Suzanne Clothier’s book Bones Would Rain from the Sky: Deepening Our Relationships with Dogs. It doesn’t deal specifically with separation anxiety, but more generally with bonding with your dog.

    I too watch the Dog Whisperer. Some of his advice have helped me improve things with my dogs, in particular, the part about controlling my energy. However, I have also tried some of his techniques that have had detrimental results for my Shiba Inu Sephy. I actually like the methods in “Its Me or the Dog” (on Animal Planet) a lot more. I would definitely only use positive reinforcement techniques on a timid dog. Do not do leash jerks, alpha rolls or any other aversive techniques which can worsen the problem. Getting help from a professional trainer also helped me a lot in the beginning. Just make sure to find a good trainer that uses positive reinforcement techniques.

    Please feel free to post me further questions or to write to me.

    Hugs and kisses to Shadows.

    • Kai Brown says

      I’m watching my son dog. He’s house train, and he lets me know when he needs to go I

      The other day I went to the store. Hadn’t been gone a half hour, come home he pooped in my bed. Every time I go out he poops. Please tell me what to do

    • shibashake says

      What you describe sounds like separation anxiety. Big changes (e.g. change of environment, your son not being around), can be very stressful for a dog. I help my dog with separation anxiety by setting up a fixed routine and *very slowly* getting him used to alone time (desensitization and counter-conditioning).

      This ASPCA article has more on separation anxiety. There is a section on how to conduct desensitization exercises.

      Calm and successful alone periods will help my dog to build confidence and trust. Similarly, panic attacks and reactive experiences will undermine that confidence, set back training, and worsen my dog’s anxiety symptoms. Therefore, I always set my dog up for success. I manage his environment and do not expose him to more than he can handle. If I need to be away for more than he is ready for, I arrange for someone that he trusts, to be with him.

  4. Natasha says

    Hey there.. I have a wolf X belgium shepard, so I do believe that the pack mentality is much stronger in her than my Rottweiler. I got her when she was a year and a half years old, after being abused and neglected!

    Her problems include; separation anxiety, low self-esteem, getting into the garbage, runs away (can jump any size fence!) extremely skittish, fearful, timid, anxious, and the list goes on and on… I thought I had tried anything and everything, and was ‘at the end of my leash’ so to speak.

    I started watching The Dog Whisperer, and have been practicing many of the techniques, such as; walking out the door before the dogs, making them work for their food, I don’t allow her to bark when people come over ect ect… I definitely have seen some behavior changes in the short time I have been practicing these methods…

    She hasn’t been socialized much or trained so I believe we will have a long road to recovery. I am writing this because I was wondering if you knew of anything I could do to help her self esteem. If theres any books I should look at or anything. I am having a bit of difficulty getting into the whole alpha dog mentality, but I’m trying my best… Please if you have any information that will help me out, I’d love it if you’d send me a email πŸ™‚

    Thank you soo much

    Natasha and Shadows.

  5. says

    Hi Shibashake!
    I like normal-sized shibas as well. I thought the miniature version looked cute, but I heard that if you try to breed a dog too small, they don’t live as long (which is really sad). I’m not sure about the mame shiba’s lifespan though.

    Wow…Jomon shiba does look interesting. Almost a shiba. Haha.

    I haven’t played Diablo before, but I heard it’s really good. I had a high school teacher who used to play Diablo until 3 or 4 am, and his wife woke up to make him go to sleep. I don’t know how he makes it to work to teach us. LOL.

  6. shibashake says

    Hey Linda. Actually, I have not heard of mame shiba. Thanks for pointing me to it. It is interesting that they are breeding a smaller Shiba, although I have to say that I like their current size. There is an interesting post on Dogster about mame Shibas by “Guest”

    Guest also mentioned a new Shiba type called Jomon Shiba. They are interesting looking.

    lol – another Shiba?! I am with your boyfriend here πŸ˜€ I think my next dog will be a non-stubborn breed, who doesn’t try to kill the vet πŸ™‚

    Yeah will definitely get into the PS3 soon, but currently still playing Diablo II – while waiting for Diablo III. Are you a Diablo player? One of the best games of all time.

  7. says

    Hi Shibashake!

    I mentioned to my boyfriend that we should get another shiba to keep Mochi company. Now he thinks Why would he ever think that? LOL.

    Have you ever heard of a mame shiba? They are ‘pea-size’ shibas, kind of like tea cup dogs we have here in the States. Mame shibas are only bred in Japan, so I’ve never seen a real one. I’ve only seen the a few pictures from google. (

    By the way, I love Sephy’s resume! It’s hilarious. Mochi is beginning to act more and more like him! I think I have a real shiba! Haha. Hugs and kisses to Sephy and his understudy. πŸ˜€

    Do make use of the PS3…the graphics are awesome! πŸ™‚


  8. shibashake says

    Hi Linda, so good to hear from you. My Shiba has similar separation anxiety issues. I think it is a common trait with Shibas because they tend to be very loyal to their owners and take a lot longer to warm up to strangers. My Shiba goes and sits by the window when I leave, and I can see his cute ears over the window sill when I walk by.

    As you say, it feels warm and fuzzy to have someone miss you so, but it would be best if he didn’t feel so stressed about being alone for short periods of time. I have tried daycare, dog walking, etc., but he hasn’t really enjoyed any of those experiences. It is difficult to find someone with the patience and experience to deal with his “personality”. He is a bit better now that he is older and has Shania to play with, but he is still a stress cadet. I try to keep alone time to a minimum for him. πŸ™‚

    Hugs and kisses to Mochi! Btw. I finally got a PS3 for Christmas. However, I haven’t been using it much yet.

  9. says

    Hi Shibashake,

    How are you? I’ve been pretty busy lately, so I haven’t got a chance until now to stop by.

    Speaking of separation anxiety, I think Mochi has that problem. Just last night, we took her over to my boyfriend’s parent’s house (which she’s been to before on several occassions). We had to go back to our apartment to drop something off, so we left her there for ten minutes. When we came back, his parents told us that she was really sad (like she had a sad expression on her face). She didn’t want to play or run around, she just sat there until we went back. Then she was happy and playing again.

    I’m glad she loves my boyfriend and I so much…but I feel sad that she has this separation anxiety.

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