You’re walking down the street with your dog, not a care in the world, just humming a happy tune…until you almost slip. What the…?! You look down and guess what you see? A piece of doggy doo doo. Rage fills your insides. You throw your head back and bellow into the sky, “WHYYYYYYYYYYYY?!?!” No? Just me?
If you, like me, have wondered why people don’t just pick up their dog’s poo, then you’re not alone. Matthias Gross had the same question so he conducted an official study to figure out why. Consistent observation over a period of 10 years proved that some people just don’t clean up after their dog.
Through detailed field notes maintained over six months, Gross was able to determine that people were most likely to pick up their dog’s waste if they felt like they were being watched (like a crowded place/park).
He found that time of day also played a role in how likely they were to bag it. The earlier in the day, the less likely people were to make the effort.
Gross hypothesizes that people who pick up their dog’s poop in crowded places do so because they want to be seen as responsible dog owners.
He also found that dog owners mostly did one of three things:
1) Pretend like the poo wasn’t there.
2) Pick up the poop but throw the bag on the ground, on someone’s lawn, or right next to the trash can even if it wasn’t full.
3) Pick up the poop and dispose of it in the appropriate manner.
For those who are willfully ignoring their responsibility as a dog parent, there’s bad news! More and more communities are using poo DNA testing to catch the owners guilty of the act so be careful about what you do, the next time your dog dog has to doo doo.
If you’d like to read the well-written study, hop on over here.