View Full Version : Asking the age old question....

22nd July 2006, 03:05 AM
Why oh why do dogs sometimes eat their own poop or the poop of other animals????? :yuk:

22nd July 2006, 03:52 AM
not sure how true this is but my trainer told me that she asked the vet that one time and the vet told her the word "dog" actually means "horse poop eater" in some kind of other language. :lol:
I do know that there's a condition that's actually named about dogs eating their own poop though. The best way to get them not to is to tempt them with something else (like a nice treat!) (: I had a dog poo eater for a while there but we ended up giving her treats IMMEDIATELY after she went before she got the chance to eat it, and she eventually decided treats tasted better than poo. (who woulda thunk it?) hehe

22nd July 2006, 04:26 AM
My problem is that he seems to find the poop when we're out walking and is gobbling it down like foie gras before I even see what he's got. I've tried offering a treat while saying "drop it" but he just eats it faster, so I end up having to pull it out of his mouth. :yuk: :yuk: :yuk:

Oh, and I used to have horses and it would crack me up how eager the neighbor dogs were to chow down on a nice fresh pile of road apples.

22nd July 2006, 04:33 AM
I'm having the same problem walking Kosmo - not eating poo, but he's eating weeds. I've had to start keeping him on a short lead because of it. Really short . . . But it works@! :) He is going through his terrible 2s right now so I suppose it's normal to drive me nuts and not listen (:

22nd July 2006, 01:47 PM
In the wild it is pretty common to eat the feces of animals. The parents of animals often have to help their young defecate and they "clean up" after them by ingesting it.
There is actually an expensive coffee that they gather the beans AFTER the animals have eaten them. I'll pass--- lol-- Sandy

Cathy T
22nd July 2006, 04:23 PM
Shelby eats her own but won't eat anyone else's! :shock: I have to be sure to pick hers up right away. I also tell her "leave it" as soon as she starts. It was a real issue when she was getting greenies!! She chomped them down so fast they never digested, came out the other end in chunks, and she decided they were just as tasty the 2nd time around :?

The last time I gave them their heartworm meds I found hers in her poop! It's a big piece and she didn't chew it. Now I know I have to break it up and put it in her food in pieces so she can't just inhale it!

22nd July 2006, 06:20 PM
It's known as coprophagia and simply means poo-eating (!!). Training a 'leave it' command effectively, working diligently on reinforcing it, and being very vigilant on walks is the best way to address this. You can try doing things like feeding stuff that makes them less likely to eat their own feces but this really doesn't help if your dog eats others' feces.

I have two dogs that will go for cat poops in a second, but not dog poops, so they have a variety of tastes in this dept :lol:.

This is an excellent guide to how to teach this command and is bascially what Tara and Lisa at Dog Training Ireland use:


However Tara and Lisa start with NOT saying anything the first few times, just closing your hand and pulling it away (as if you are doing a curl with a weight in your hand, lifting your closed fist towards your chest) , saying nothing, til the dog hesitates, then praise and immediately give the treat in the other hand (NOT the hand with the treats you are saying 'leave it' about). About the 4th or 5th time, introduce the command.

Tara and Lisa also teach this using the phrase 'take it!' for the hand that has the OK treat. Training this way means you teach two commands at the same time.

You'd be surprised how quickly a dog will learn 'leave it' but note you MUST practice this daily for a while, even a few short stints a day (say 5-10 minutes a few times a day) to reinforce it, and once the dog really gets it, reinforce with practice regularly (a few times a week; this should be fun for you and the dog). The more your reinforce, the more effective and fixed the command becomes. Take treats on walks so that you can proffer a treat as a reward to further reinforce that good things happen when poo isn't eaten :lol:.

BTW what kind of lead are you using? A flexi or long lead is going to give the dog way too much freedom if you are having problems with feces eating as the dog will have swallowed it long before you even see it. Start walking on a four-foot lead and that should really help. :thmbsup: :yuk:

22nd July 2006, 06:25 PM
Oh yeah, Tara and Lisa say never to use this for objects you would allow the dog to take but not at this time. For that, teach 'drop it' or 'give'. That teaches the dog that some things must be totally avoided while others are jut things you might want to retrieve or have the dog drop *at this time*.

23rd July 2006, 04:21 PM
I'm actually just using a regular 6' lead. And I think it is mostly cat poo they're going for. The problem is they can find it buried underneath other stuff, so I can't see what they're sniffing at until they're already chewing on it. I've just started pulling them away with "let's go" or "leave it" if they start sniffing at something I can't see.