View Full Version : Embarrassing Problem

8th April 2008, 04:03 PM
Bobby has started a very odd behaviour. He loves it when we leave the patio door open so he can run in an out between the kitchen and the garden. Three times however I've caught him sniffing his poo after he has finished and then he nibbles a little bit. Today, took the biscuit. I let him outside to go to the bathroom. I hadn't time to collect what he had done after an hour. While I was working away, he came inside to lie on the mat. I noticed, he had something in his mouth and it was his poo.

Why is he doing this? And more importantly how can I stop him from doing it. I try to clean everything up outside once a day, but I don't have time to ensure every corner is covered each time he goes out.

8th April 2008, 04:16 PM
My Lab did this,i coudnt stop him.I think you must clean up straight away..

8th April 2008, 04:19 PM
A lot of dogs do this. No one really knows why (but they especially like eating cat poop, as any cat owner can testify!). People have tried hotsauce on the poops, feeding pineapple, etc. But I have rarely heard of any of these things working. The best and only reliable solution is -- you need to go out with him when he has a poop and you need to clean it up immediately afterwards.


Why Dogs Eat Poop
Daniel Estep, Ph.D. and Suzanne Hetts, Ph.D.
Copyright ABA, Inc.

A behavior that is very common in dogs but not well understood is the eating of
feces. Technically this is known as coprophagia. When given the chance, many dogs
will eat the feces of other animals such as horses, deer and house cats. Raiding the
litterbox is a common activity for dogs in households with cats. The behavior may be
derived from the carnivorous (meat-eating) heritage of our pets. Carnivores frequently
eat the internal organs and stomach contents (including poop) of the animals that they
kill. As a result, eating the feces of other animals may be a normal extension of their
carnivore behavior. There may be proteins and other nutrients in the feces that are eaten.
Less well understood is why some dogs eat the feces of other dogs or even their
own feces. There are a number of animals that normally eat their own feces or the feces
of other members of their species. These include rabbits, horses and rats. In these
animals it is thought that eating of feces may provide nutrients, enzymes or bacteria that
help with digestion.
It is not known why dogs eat their own feces. For some dogs it is a strong habit
while others may never do it. One theory is that it may be related to boredom or stress.
Another is that it is related to digestive deficiencies. Neither theory has any support at
the present time. No one really knows what causes it.
Controlling or stopping coprophagia is very difficult. Veterinarians can supply a
substance that can be added to a dog’s food that makes the feces distasteful. Sometimes
this is helpful. Most of the time, the best way to stop the behavior is to prevent the dog
from getting to feces. Picking up soon after your dog has pooped can be the best way to
prevent him from getting to his own feces.

PS puppies in particular do this and often stop as they get older but really, you must clean up right after him now while he is just starting to do this, so as not to allow this to become a habit or it will likely be a permanent habit. Believe me it is an unpleasant one and who wants a dog to ever lick them again knowing they are eating poop!

8th April 2008, 04:22 PM
Thanks guys for the info. I guess I'll be following him around with my pooper scooper :). But is it harmful for him to do this?

8th April 2008, 04:37 PM
Eating his own is probably safer than eating another dogs, or another type of animals stool. Puppies and dams seem to do this the most. You can train them to stop, it just takes a while and you must be quick with the cleanup.

8th April 2008, 04:43 PM
Lily likes to nibble at her own and eat Leo's (her adoration of him knows no bounds :rolleyes:).

It has taken a lot of time but she has learned through training to 'leave it' (but will still sneak a nibble if she gets the chance, and cat poops she loves :yuk:).

8th April 2008, 04:57 PM
you must clean up right after him now while he is just starting to do this, so as not to allow this to become a habit

Exactly what I was going to say! Dylan did a couple of times so we picked it up as soon as he performed! Break the habit asap

8th April 2008, 07:11 PM
Charlie likes snaging chocolate treats from the cat box.
We just turned the box around so the opening is at a wall. The cat can fit in, but Mr. McFarlie can not. The box is enclosed (except for the small opening), so his days of self service treats are over. :)

8th April 2008, 08:32 PM
Sandy & Karlin--you both mentioned "training". Can you be more specific? One of my new rescues does this-I'd do just about anything to get him to stop!! Thanks. Deb

8th April 2008, 08:38 PM
Charlie likes snaging chocolate treats from the cat box.
We just turned the box around so the opening is at a wall. The cat can fit in, but Mr. McFarlie can not. The box is enclosed (except for the small opening), so his days of self service treats are over. :)

This made me laugh!!! Sally did this a few times as a puppy but has now stopped. It worries me that she will get worms from eating poo and especially cat poo!!:yikes

8th April 2008, 09:02 PM
Gus used to do this as a pup,but by actually standing with the poop scoop ready when he went ...! we eventually got him out of the habit.It was terrible we would see him going and say NO as he went to pick it up but he would stel a piece and run off with it.We had to start going with him when he went.Visitors to the house used to think I was a clean freak who didn't want poop in her garden and I was to embarressed to tell them other wise!

8th April 2008, 09:07 PM
I know lots of people who have had this trouble with pups and dogs. I recon the dog foods must be more 'palatable' second time round:eek:

Cathy T
9th April 2008, 01:00 AM
:p That's what we say Karen!! Shelby said it tasted so good the first time....she has to eat it again. She's now 4 1/2 and still eats it given the chance. Our only remedy is to pick it up immediately after she goes. If she goes and starts to eat it I'll call out "Shelby, leave it" and she will grudgingly walk away :rolleyes: I'm just glad it's only her own poop she's interested in. We had a dog park buddy who ate anyone and everyone's poop. It was so difficult for her owner with all those dogs running around. She was constantly calling out for Callie to "leave it" but she was bound and determined. I think she quit going to the park and decided to stick with walks instead.

9th April 2008, 07:04 AM
Makes you re-think those loving doggy kisses doesn't it! :razz:

My Sam used to be a poo eater extraordinairre, but thankfully he has eventaully grown out of it. I never found out why, or how to stop him. He used to love o.d's (other dogs') as well.

Brian M
9th April 2008, 08:56 AM
Daisy seems to enjoy some chocolalate too ,so i have to follow to follow her around with a poop bag when i think she needs to go.

10th April 2008, 12:56 AM
I have had poo eating dogs in the past, but thankfully, Dottie is not the least bit interested in hers or any other "landmines" we find along the way on our walks. Not sure why some dogs are so excited about adding that extra re-cycled protein to their diets:grnyuk: , but, some do, some don't.