People often ask, “Hey Matt, how DO you keep your yard so inviting and dog poop-free?” Well, I’ll tell you now, in the form of this handy list.
- The most important rule of all pooper scooping: don’t step in it. Sounds simple, but it’s vitally important. Even if hard-soled shoes protect you from tactile assault, poop is equipped with viciously effective olfactory defenses. One step and the odor is unleashed upon all within a radius of at least 10 feet (the range depending on the dog breed, diet, and poop freshness). This can induce gagging in susceptible individuals (such as me or Carrie’s Uncle Don). Don’t do it; don’t step in it!
- Get yourself a quality scooper. Forget about using an inverted bag or a pair of old garden tools — that’s BUSH LEAGUE! You need something designed for the purpose, developed by genius minds devoted — no, obsessed — with proper scooping. Considerations: reusable bag (preferably something generic as opposed to special expensive ones), poop-touch-free operation (duh), ergonomic (so no constant hunching required), and of course effective. For me, I go with the Poop Hound. It has its flaws, but it’s a quality product. It has chowed upon many tons of poop over the years.
- Don’t overload your scooper. We can’t tolerate explosive poop loss. That screams “amateur.” Here’s mine fully loaded as a counter example.
- Take a deep breath and hold it as you approach and engage your target. Operate quickly, then move away (preferably upwind) as you suck in your next breath, thus outrunning the smell that you’ll generate. The last thing you want is to snort in a big bolus of stench as you’re scooping.
- Don’t scoop after a recent rain or watering. Any seasoned pooper scooper operator knows this one, but I included it for the rookies. You don’t want to scoop formed peanut butter, you want to scoop peanut brittle. Solid. Dry. Moisture is the enemy.
- Make a second pass at the yard. You may think you got it all the first time, but you didn’t.
- Advanced technique: try not to go when the sun is at a low angle, such as just after dawn or just before dusk. The light will cause shadows across the grass, making quick poop detection problematic.
- Reread item 1. Remember it!
And that is it. Safe scooping, my friends!