Samoyed squatting to go poop in a yard.

Does Rubbing A Dog’s Nose In Poop Work?

5 mins |

Pet parents use different techniques to prevent their dogs from pooping in the house such as taking them outside frequently or rewarding them each time they use the bathroom outside. Whatever the techniques used, it is essential that they be approved by veterinarians or specialists. So, does rubbing a dog’s nose in poop work, and is it approved by the experts?

No, rubbing a dog’s nose in poop isn’t a good choice. It makes dogs fearful, nervous, stressed, and can make dogs more aggressive since it’s a form of punishment. This can lead to the dog trying to eat the poop to avoid being punished. Plus, if the dog becomes afraid of you, it will stop pooping or urinating when you are around. 

Does Rubbing A Dog’s Nose In Poop Work?

Closeup of a Samoyed sniffing some grass.
Thankfully, this dog is just sniffing something it finds interesting.

No, rubbing a dog’s nose in poop does not work. It has the opposite effect. In fact, it has a lot of opposite effects, which we’re going to get into in the next section.

What’s The Harm In Rubbing A Dog’s Nose In Poop?

Puppies can’t control their poop or urine because those bodily functions aren’t yet under their control. As a result, they poop on the floor, in the bed, or in the house. You must poop-train the puppy without rubbing their nose in their poop. There are lots of reasons why too, so let’s take a look starting with an increase in certain kinds of behavior.

Compulsive And Aggressive Behavior

Rubbing a dog’s nose encourages compulsive behavior (behavior they feel like they have to do) in dogs, particularly puppies. To respond appropriately to various situations, puppies require particular training. Instead of punishing a puppy that accidentally poops in the house, you should instead train it with its favorite rewards.

When you rub your dog’s nose in the poop, they may also become violent. Rubbing a dog’s nose in poop is not painful, but it is a form of punishment because canines dislike the smell. If the dog is not trained and socialized with humans properly, it may react aggressively and bite.

Irritating The Dog’s Nostrils

A dog’s nostrils open to redirect the air when its nose touches something. As a result, when you rub your dog’s nose in poop, bacteria and spores from the poop may enter its nostrils. Because the cilia are present in the dog’s nose, bacteria can harm and weaken the ciliated hair follicles, and it can irritate the nostrils and cartilaginous septum, which separates the dog’s nostrils. So, rubbing a dog’s nose in poop is bad for the dog’s nasal health.


By punishing a puppy that poops where it isn’t supposed to, they may end up hiding and not pooping when you are around. This will only make training harder. They may also become fearful of you in general. This will be especially true if you aren’t giving them the love and care they need.

It Can Affect Their Ability To Smell

By rubbing a dog’s nose in poop, it’s possible for the contaminated particles to enter the nasal cavity. This can cause something called turbinal inflammation, which can affect their ability to smell.

Bacteria Can Enter Their Nose

When you rub your dog’s nose in poop, infected poop particles may get into the dog’s airways when breathing. Campylobacter, salmonella, and E. coli are among the bacteria and parasites found in dog feces. When bacteria enter the intestine, they can cause gastroenteritis, diarrhea, vomiting, and upset the digestive system. This can also lead to the development of intestinal parasites.

Dogs Will Eat The Poop To Avoid Punishment

When a dog is punished for something, it will not repeat what it was doing when you are there. Similarly, if you reward a dog for a certain activity with a favorite treat, the dog will repeat what it was doing in order to receive the reward. If you rub the dog’s nose in the poop, it will try to hide it after it has pooped. 

The dog may consume feces to avoid punishment because the dog anticipates you rubbing his or her nose in the poop. As a result, the dog may experience digestive issues because the poop is unhealthy for dogs and contains a variety of bacteria and parasites.

It Hurts The Bond Between Owner And Dog

The link between you and your pet might be weakened over time by bad training. Dogs are lovable and intelligent pets. Their behavior is a reflection of how you interact with them, so, if you love them, they will do the same back. The reverse is also true.

Conclusion: Does Rubbing A Dog’s Nose In Poop Work?

Dogs are incredibly lovable, hygienic, and wonderful pets. It is critical to use vet-recommended techniques for care and training. Rubbing a dog’s nose in poop not only doesn’t work but it isn’t recommended by vets either.

We’re curious what you think about all of this too. What effects of rubbing a dog’s nose in poop surprised you the most? Which ones did you already know about? Let us know your thoughts and why in the comments below!