View Full Version : eating poop

24th May 2008, 07:37 AM
I wasn't sure which forum to post this question, so I'm sorry if I picked the wrong one.
I have 2 cavs. My oldest cav has taken to eating poop. Not his own, and not our other cavs, but as we take our walk everyday he finds it and swallows it before I can get a chance to grab it away. I always give him a correction, but that hasn't seemed to detour him in any way.
We lived in a rural area and there was always lots of turkeys coming around our yard. That's when he started with the poop......only turkey poop (it must taste like chicken). Now he has graduated to dog poop. The turkeys don't come around since all the new houses in our neighborhood. He doesn't eat just any dog poop, it has to have some kind of smell or something.
Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

24th May 2008, 08:54 AM
is he a puppy? what type of food do you feed him?

24th May 2008, 12:26 PM
That's difficult as you cannot address this in as a controlled way as you could if it was just his own poop. Corrections do not solve problems like this -- they basically just make him sneakier about trying to get to the poop. I don't think corrections are a great approach generally and you have already seen that they don;t often work, either, just making you and your dog more frustrated -- it is much better to train a dog to choose the right behaviours and reward, rather than punishing especially as often the dogs do not have a clue why they are being punished so it just makes the dog more nervous and anxious.

Have you worked to train him to the command 'leave it'? That would be one start.

Also -- is he on lead or off? You may with this one dog need to work to train him to walk at your side, which gives you the chance to see what is ahead. No off lead jaunts, in other words, unless you are in an area you can trust to be fairly poop free -- eg an open field perhaps. BTW lots of dogs like bird poops -- mine often try to lick them off the pavement. If I notice. I interrupt and redirect their attention or use 'leave it', but I am not that bothered -- after all, they are dogs and do some disgusting things! The risk of illness is pretty small.

I think TKC (our resident board trainer!) posted directions and a video for teaching leave it in the training section here recently, BTW!

In other words -- the solution is for your dog to be trained to respond or work with you in ways that diminish the opportunities for eating, always remembering that a dog cannot do what it hasn't been trained by you to do. :) That will take time from you to train and positively reinforce, and daily practice. But it is fun and worth the easier walking experience! :thmbsup:

These might help you in approaching this task:

24th May 2008, 02:05 PM
Karlin, thank you sooo much for your excellent post! You are right on the money about everything. Correcting him only makes him sneakier! I am going to train him to "leave it".
Thank you again for your post, and the helpful links!
You showed me the problem in a whole new light. Redirecting, and leave it, are far more positive than correction.

24th May 2008, 07:28 PM
No problem, hope the suggestions help. I found TKC's two threads -- lucky you, one is on loose lead walking:


and one is on training leave it:



24th May 2008, 11:44 PM
Just to let you know, you're not alone.

Rosie likes a bit of poop too, it's quite disgusting but normal for a dog.

She does respond to "drop it", thank Heavens. :)

Good luck with your training, it can be managed or stopped.

25th May 2008, 01:43 AM
Thank you for the posts. I feel much more positive about being able to control the problem with proper training.

25th May 2008, 01:47 AM
I just got the joke about lucky me with loose lead walking, very funny! thanks Karlin!