View Full Version : Unhealthy Diet/Behavior

2nd October 2006, 07:17 PM
I new here and hope that I can get some advice. I'm not sure if this should be posted in the "Health and Diet" forum because it is the most unhealthy diet I can imagine.

Cappy, my 6 m/o black and tan pup, will eat anything and everything: poop from any animal, grass, branches, paper, plastic, leaves, pebbles, etc. If he can get to it, it goes in his mouth. Since we have other animals (dogs, cat, horse, goats) and there is plenty of wildlife here, Cappy could be in "buffeters heaven" with poop from at least 10 different creatures. If I'm not walking him on concrete, he keeps his nose to the ground and will eat every blade of grass, leaf or twig in his path.

Because of this behavior, I cannot EVER let him go off-leash...EVER! I'd love to take him to our local small dog park, but fear he'd spend the whole time scavaging for stuff to eat, and then be sick the rest of the day. He escaped from the house once and ran straight to the pasture going from pile to pile while I tried to get him. He spent that evening vomiting. I can't even let him romp in our back yard, so the only exercise he gets is walks on leash with me.

I feed him good quality kibble (Nature's Variety) and rotate different proteins with in the line. I add sea-meal and yogurt to his morning meal (8AM) and give the second meal at 3:30PM.

I spoke with his breeder and she said none of her dogs have this behavior. I never saw any of them do anything like this during my visit with her and her 10 (at that time, including a litter and two fosters) beautiful cavs. She's equally stumped.

Any advice, suggestions or tips would be greatly appreciated.


2nd October 2006, 09:34 PM
Could he still be teething? He's still just a pup. Holly (my 3yo B/T) went through a phase of eating poo and junk like that at that age, but she grew out of it. Sorry that's not much help, but at least you can hope it's just a growing stage.

2nd October 2006, 10:16 PM
As disgusting as it sounds, I don't think eating other animal poo is that uncommon of a problem. I know there are some dogs who also eat their own poo. My min pin used to do it. It took a long time to redirect her but whenever she would head for a pile, we'de offer a treat before she could get to it. Also Kosmo used to pick up rocks and anything on the ground he could see. He still tries now, but before he gets to it I let out a very loud "AHH AHH" and he stops, races back to me, and sits down (again trying to manipulate me for another cookie. :roll: )

There was a thread posted on here about this not too long ago here:


There was also another one but I cannot find it. Maybe someone else will have better luck than me!! :flwr:

2nd October 2006, 10:25 PM
I don't have quite as many temptations around as you do, but my little Lucky has just discovered the cat's litter box and now thinks it is his own personal treat box. :roll:

Sorry I don't have much advice to give except do your best to keep him away from the temptations and try to use a non-toxic cat litter in your litter box .... I can relate though and I'll be watching the replies with a lot of interest

2nd October 2006, 11:35 PM
Thanks for your support. At least he's not the only one!

btw, our cat is an outdoors gal, so we don't have a litter box. She's a barn kitty and is really tidy. She buries her waste, which makes Cappy feel like he's playing a game...buried treasure!

Another behavior Cappy has that may be related is his obsessive licking of the tile floors. I'm talking about every square inch of a very large eat-in kitchen. I've reverted back to keeping him on a leash in the kitchen with me so I can correct/distract him every time he starts to lick. As soon as he starts licking, I say, "Ahh-ahh-ahh!" and he freezes. He's completely confused and basically sits and stares at me...like he's afraid to move.
I've been looking for any training classes that are held during the day while my kids are in school. The only ones I can find are private, and that wouldn't help with the socialization that both my cavs need. I just got a lead on one place that may have day classes, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.


2nd October 2006, 11:41 PM
I'd also, along with the avoidance approach, start to work to train a 'leave it' command. A dog well trained to this will immediately leave whatever it haswhen so told. Ypu'll need to work on leave it not just for something offered by hand (the way you inititally train this command) but by building up to where you can walk your dog amongst little mounds of attractive foods like treats and kibble and he will leave them when told.

He may also grow out of a lot of these interests. But as you note this is a worry -- the poop isn't that big a deal outside of eing unplesant but eating sticks and stones could cause death -- an impaction or a puncture internally -- and really will need careful watching.

3rd October 2006, 11:52 AM
I agree with Karlin, unfortunately my garbage scoffer is also deaf and so I have to watch him like a hawk and have my eyes ten steps ahead of him :roll:

Chewing gum is a particular favourite of Maxx's :yuk: Must admit though, he never eats poo but when I was walking him a few weeks ago and wondered why people were giving me funny looks. I then saw a condom wrapper dangling from his mouth :shock: :yikes . I almost died & do you think my normally obedient baby would drop it? I had to prise his mouth open and shake it out :yuk:

Then I noticed it had 'mint flavour' printed on it :roll: :lol:

3rd October 2006, 12:26 PM
:shock: :shock: :shock:
Obviously liked the taste..

LOLOL! Shame you didn't get a photo. Or a vid, although I suppose the main concern was to get it away from the dog asap.. That would have been very, very funny! If he's deaf, do you use hand signals? Holly's hearing is fine, but I don't always trust my voice so she has been trained to both. I'm reasonably fluent in BSL, so I simply adapt the relevant sign so it's easy to do with one hand. Seems to work quite well.