We laugh at jokes and memes that declare how having a dog means you will never poop alone again, but it’s true!
Our dogs are really tuned in to us and curious as well, but seriously… do they have to attend our potty breaks?
Your dog probably stares at you when they poop, but most humans don’t stare at anything (with the possible exception these days of a smart phone) and prefer to be alone for their time on the porcelain throne. The answer to this question may lie in who your dog is. As a member of your family pack, your dog feels the need to be with you. They may feel vulnerable in your absence.
Dogs are also naturally curious so when you slip into a room and always close the door, you are odd. Your home is your family’s territory and the bathroom is within the boundary of its sphere of influence. Your dog probably feels like that area must be patrolled and secured – surely that is the reason that you go there. Patrolling is a cooperative venture. Why wouldn’t you want him there for back-up? When he smells that you have “marked” there, he instinctively understands.
Dogs place value on resources in order to survive. High value resources are ones that are a priority and these are things like food, water, and territory. Pack animals understand resources as something that benefits the whole group. They are masters at cooperation. In the wild, they hunt and forage as a group. They share and defend their territory as a group. So from your dog’s perspective, you would never want to go anywhere in that territory alone. Privacy is not a communal word and your dog only understands communal living.
If you feel that you just want some alone time, give your dog a distraction for your time in the “reading room.” Enrichment toys are ideal for this purpose since they take some time to figure out. You can find a special item that will entertain them for a little while, so that they are not banging on the door!
But if you're weird like us, then they're always welcome in the bathroom! ... and training them to fetch extra TP will definitely come in handy one day. We've all been there!!