The matchstick trick is a weird dog behavior training technique. Every time I suggest it to a client I typically hear, “You want me to do what?” It works, though. Let me preface the trick first, however, with the reasons why you would want to do this trick.
The matchstick trick is a method for getting your dog to go to the bathroom right now. There are several reasons why you would want to use this trick.
1. You are house training a puppy. When you are house training a puppy or any age dog for that matter one of your main goals is to get your dog on a bathroom schedule. In order to get that dog on a schedule your dog needs to go to the bathroom when you want him to go to the bathroom. For some dogs this is a challenge. You take them out and they just sniff around for a while and don’t feel like going to the bathroom. You, being the person in the situation, know that it is going to be a while before Fido is going to have a chance to go to the bathroom again, so it would be in his best interest to go now. (It is tough explaining best interest to a dog) Use the matchstick trick and you will help Fido go now, and thus help him get on your schedule.
2. From time to time I have clients tell me that their dog is so conditioned to going to the bathroom only in the back yard. When they take their dogs on walks the dogs won’t go to the bathroom because they associate only the backyard with bathroom time. Use the matchstick trick and you can help change the association. You can show your dog that it is okay to relieve himself in spots other than the back yard.
3. Constipated dogs. If your dog has a health problem you should take him immediately to the vet. It may not hurt, however, to try the matchstick trick to see if you can help relieve your old pal of his burdens.
Ok, so what is this trick, you ask? First, get yourself a book of matches. They need to be the soft kind that you rip out of a book. Second, rip off a match. Third, this is where it gets weird; insert the NON-sulfur side, or the torn side, into your dog’s rear end. DO NOT LIGHT THE MATCH! I think that goes without saying, but believe me, I have fielded that question before. Insert the match about halfway into the backside of your dog and let the rest hang out. Any further and it could go all the way inside and that would be bad news. Now wait. The match is going to be an irritating feeling for your dog. Your dog is going to want to get rid of that feeling. To get rid of it your dog will squat to try and push …