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Old 24.07.2019, 09:45
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My dog eats (plays with) his poo

Hi!


Does anyone know if you can buy this Fish4Dogs dry food in Switzerland?
Tried googling and can't find much....and Qualipet does not seem to carry it.


https://www.fish4dogs.com/


Or else, what fish based dog food is a good brand? My parents' vet said this dog food has helped dogs that tend to eat their poo.... (to stop)


My dog - when left at home for a while (OR, even when we are at home and not give him attention) - eats his poo. (he's paper trained so has a designated area - but he gets daily outdoor walks too needless to say) NONE of my previous 4 dogs have ever done that. Yes, he has enough toys and bones to chew on, and he is not hungry.


So was hoping he might stop when changing his food. We currently feed him Royal Canine for chihuahuas. (We do not feed him any human food)


The only other way to stop him from doing this is to probably get a camera, watch him constantly and make a loud noise the moment he gets near his poo again, but it's not doable as he's totally unpredictable. (and he doesn't always do it)


Other than him once in a while doing this, he is the most perfect dog - extremely well tempered and obedient....so it would be GREAT if we could get him to stop this disgusting habit. Would love to hear from others who have experienced similar problems.


(a friend's dog did the same and she gave up....let it be ... but I can't!)
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Old 24.07.2019, 10:05
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Re: My dog eats (plays with) his poo

Well you can try this place:
https://www.tierbedarf-discount.ch
good range, you can try maybe a smallish bag of the Orijen or Acana dry food, Pacifica or Six Fish.


Otherwise I'd stop him sh1tting at home and only allow the outside doo doo.
This would be the best solution in the long run in any case. I'd go as far to say it's unusual for people to allow a dog to crap in the kitchen, tbh.




My dog is in a routine, breakfast, 45 mins later a walk, and usually the toilet magic happens. Same in the evening. This seems to be the dog owning norm.


My dog used to eat horse sh1te, but not in the kitchen ;-)
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Old 24.07.2019, 10:12
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Re: My dog eats (plays with) his poo

His designated area is certainly not in the kitchen!
Plus, I've had small breeds my whole life and being both outdoor and paper trained was really good for the dog when he/she got older as it got harder to hold his/her bladder. Also during harsh weather (hot & cold). I've experienced it all.


Thanks for the link, will have a look!
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Old 24.07.2019, 10:22
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Re: My dog eats (plays with) his poo

I generally do the same with my poo, don’t knock it until you try it.

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Hi!


Does anyone know if you can buy this Fish4Dogs dry food in Switzerland?
Tried googling and can't find much....and Qualipet does not seem to carry it.


https://www.fish4dogs.com/


Or else, what fish based dog food is a good brand? My parents' vet said this dog food has helped dogs that tend to eat their poo.... (to stop)


My dog - when left at home for a while (OR, even when we are at home and not give him attention) - eats his poo. (he's paper trained so has a designated area - but he gets daily outdoor walks too needless to say) NONE of my previous 4 dogs have ever done that. Yes, he has enough toys and bones to chew on, and he is not hungry.


So was hoping he might stop when changing his food. We currently feed him Royal Canine for chihuahuas. (We do not feed him any human food)


The only other way to stop him from doing this is to probably get a camera, watch him constantly and make a loud noise the moment he gets near his poo again, but it's not doable as he's totally unpredictable. (and he doesn't always do it)


Other than him once in a while doing this, he is the most perfect dog - extremely well tempered and obedient....so it would be GREAT if we could get him to stop this disgusting habit. Would love to hear from others who have experienced similar problems.


(a friend's dog did the same and she gave up....let it be ... but I can't!)
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Old 24.07.2019, 11:54
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Re: My dog eats (plays with) his poo

If it was me, I would train her to only poop outside (at least for a while). Then she won't poop unsupervised and you could at the same time train her to not eat her poop.

Good luck!
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Old 24.07.2019, 12:01
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Re: My dog eats (plays with) his poo

Try adding a small piece of tinned pineapple into his meal, it makes the poo unpalatable apparently. It can take some time to work, and indeed, did not work with our youngest who felt the need to eat her own and the elders. Older one started to wait until we went on our walk and young one has now grown out of the habit, thankfully!

We did go out with them both at the times they normally perform and had a command which in effect said no, this worked well, it was only when we were not outside with them we had the problem.
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Old 24.07.2019, 12:09
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Re: My dog eats (plays with) his poo

I had luck with canned (tinned) pineapple as well. How old is the pup? I have also had small dogs but I honestly don’t recommend indoor potty training until they’ve got the concept already outside. That however is your decision. I’ve never heard that fish based food helps with poo eating but it certainly won’t hurt to get him on a good food with a higher meat or fish composition than Royal Canin (I use Swiss Natural semi moist kibble, other good brands include Farmina, Orijen and Acana. Try Meiko for the food).

In the US I used to be able to buy a product that was supposed to stop dogs eating their poo. However I found canned pineapple worked better.

Does he get enough exercise and playtime ? Does he have toys and bones while you’re gone? Perhaps most importantly is, is he home alone too much? Those are all contributing factors.
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Old 24.07.2019, 12:28
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Re: My dog eats (plays with) his poo

Is your dog still a puppy? Or a very old dog?

In very young pups coprophagia is often just a 'what is this on the floor? Maybe I should eat it to find out" behavior, one that you want to train out just as you would any inappropriate exploratory eating behavior. Not much to worry about.

In very old dogs, sometimes cognitive decline can lead to coprophagia. Worth a discussion with your vet - but as mine become very elderly I tend to prioritize my worries.

But if coprophagia persists in a healthy dog mature enough to control impulses, my first reaction is a vet check to rule out any nutritional or medical cause.

Some dogs eat their own poo because of malabsorption or other disorders, some because they are missing a specific nutrient, some it's a learned disordered behavior - and some just like the taste of poo.

When dealing with a behavior problem I always find it prudent to rule out any possible medical issues first, as medical issues are often quicker and easier to fix.

So, ask if a fecal test is warranted when you see the vet (maybe before, to save time) and if so collect a stool sample(s). My vet always wants three days' worth, but call your practice to ask their protocol. Ask to check for the usual parasites, and ask if any of the 'unusual' ones are worth checking for.

Then have the vet do a full check up.

If it's thought that your dog is missing a nutrient then yes, changing foods often helps. Discuss this with your vet.

If nothing is found, you may have a behavioral issue. Welcome to the club.

When one of mine shows this behavior without a medical reason, I use good ol' counter conditioning and environment management to stop it.

Environment management: As others have advised, always go out with your dog and pick up immediately. No poo, no poo eating.

Counter conditioning: If I'm not fast enough with the Robisack and one of mine starts to try to eat his poo, I give an interrupt signal. (One of the basics, something every dog should learn.) After several hundred thousand iterations, mine have learned that the interupt signal means 'Stop what I am doing, whatever it is, and look at mum'. If my dog stops and looks at me I click and reward with a meaty treat. (I find meaty treats best - it has to be something of pretty high value because poo is high value - you need to better that.)

If my dog ignores my interrupt signal or quickly gobbles the poo beore looking for me, we have more work to do.

In that case, I deliberately do not pick up immediately, but rather stay very close to my dog, ready to give the 'leave it!' command the moment he turns around to look at the poo. (Leave it is another basic, one that we constantly train.) Click and treat for leaving the poo. To reinforce 'don't touch the poo', I will do some heel walking by the poo, clicking and treating every time the dog successfully ignores it. I might even start some more involved activity, keeping that third eye in the back of my head on the poo, clicking and treating every time my dog overcomes his instinct to snarfle the contraband. The idea is to teach that ignoring poo = look to mum for a better reward.

Of course, I can only do this in my private garden. In public, the only correct response is to pick up immediately.

---

Whenever Heffalump starts up with the coprophagia that usually means he has a parasite infestation. That is not really a common reaction, but that's his normal. Hence my suggestion to check out medical issues first.

Good luck!


ETA:

Another training trick:

Because I walk more than one dog at a time I need more control - so I have taught my dogs that while on walks they are to sit after pooing. Thus they are in a controlled, stationary position as I bend down to pick up, the one time my eyes are not on the dogs and the horizon.

You could do this in your garden too, to reinforce 'leave the poo'. If he learns the routine 'poo, then sit until released' the dog has less chance to turn and pick up his poo before you get to it or to him. Standard command/reward, just as you would train any routine or new behavior.

Last edited by meloncollie; 24.07.2019 at 13:16.
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Old 24.07.2019, 12:53
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Re: My dog eats (plays with) his poo

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Try adding a small piece of tinned pineapple into his meal, it makes the poo unpalatable apparently. It can take some time to work, and indeed, did not work with our youngest who felt the need to eat her own and the elders. Older one started to wait until we went on our walk and young one has now grown out of the habit, thankfully!

We did go out with them both at the times they normally perform and had a command which in effect said no, this worked well, it was only when we were not outside with them we had the problem.

According to one post i read here, from BLP i believe, she claimed pineapple juice made male sperm far more palatable
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Old 24.07.2019, 14:58
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Re: My dog eats (plays with) his poo

Thank you all for the great suggestions


First to answer some questions:


1. No, he is almost 2 years old, so not a puppy anymore and he didn't do this during the first few months with us.


2. Yes he has enough toys and bones to chew on and keep him busy. And we are very active people so we laugh our chihuahua is probably the best exercised tiny dog


3. When it was time for the annual vaccination, we did ask the vet here and he deemed his health to be perfect. He sympathized regarding the poo eating and said some dogs grow out of it, and some don't...and that ours is definitely not the only one... (nice to know but doesn't help)


4. We changed his food once to a higher-end type, but the kibble even for "small breed" was so large, that we changed back to Royal Canine.


I definitely prefer to have my dogs both outdoor and paper trained. Try walking a 2.2 kg chihuahua (also had mini-dachshunds in the past) in pouring rain for example - it's like throwing them in a pool and they didn't like it. So on days like that, it was much better they could go indoors too.
Like I said, all my previous 4 dogs were trained this way, and it has been prefect for us and the dogs. (especially when our last one got old and sick, he was on meds that made him very thirsty needed to drink and pee repeatedly during the night) It's very hard to paper train older dogs that have learned to only do it outdoors, so training them for both from young, is the easiest.


My current dog shows no interest in his poo when walking outside. He knows the "pee" and "poo" command. He knows the "leave it" command. I'm quite into training and use the "yes!" instead of a clicker as the sound scares him. At home, I know his poo times so pick it up right away. But once in a while (again, this is not everyday, which makes it harder) he'll do one during the day, random times. Sometimes it is left there, and sometimes I see the pee pad soiled and there was a poo, but it's gone.


It's definitely a behavioural issue and he does it for attention. So - when I've found out, I ignore him for a while to show him this won't help getting my attention. (and then off to the sink where I rinse his mouth!) When I see a poo on his pee pad, I praise him ridiculously for having left it there I just thought if a certain type of food makes his poo unsavory, that might help.....so might try the pineapple route! (although I really want to keep him off human food) And also will check all the food brands you all mentioned. Thanks a lot and wish me luck!
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Old 24.07.2019, 17:49
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Re: My dog eats (plays with) his poo

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I just thought if a certain type of food makes his poo unsavory, that might help.....so might try the pineapple route! (although I really want to keep him off human food)
Tinned pineapple is not human food in this house, I had to check all the cans to check which had the fewest additives and least sugar before I bought it. It might be worth a try and if you don’t eat it he should not associate it with “human food”

As he did not have this behaviour in his first few months with you I would definitely follow MC’s advice and get him tested for deficiencies, you never know!

Good luck and I hope it works out
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