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My dog eats poo

(13 Posts)
bankofmum Wed 10-Apr-13 18:52:04

I have an 18 month old Golden Retriever. She has eaten poo, her own or others all her life but now it's turned into a mission. We cant enjoy walking her and she's stopped playing with other dogs preferring to sniff out poo. She also eats rubbish but we can cope with that. When we tell her off she gets nasty and keeps having diahorrea/vomiting. Any ideas?

YouveCatToBeKittenMe Wed 10-Apr-13 20:07:59

There was a dog with this problem on the Dog Borstal programme a few years ago. They cured it by using a remote controlled spray collar

I also have a poo eater, I do have a spray collar but dont use it as she will stop if I tell her off, I have recently been carrying a bottle of very hot Tabasco sauce which I sprinkle on any poo she starts to eat so she won't return to it the next day. However it doesn't sound as though my dog is as bad as yours.
You could consider changing her food, maybe she missing out some nutrients and is eating poo to compensate. Otherwise I suggest you try a spry collar to deter her and then offer her a tasty treat in return for ignoring the poo, she should soon learn to come for her treat rather than eat the poo.

Pollykitten Wed 10-Apr-13 20:17:56

commercial dog food often has flavouring in it that persists through a dog's gut, so it isn't necessarily that your dog is behaving unusually, but that the poo smells the same as food. I think that is relatively easy to solve with its own diet (additive-free food) but harder in terms of offerings from other dogs. I don't have any great advice, sorry, bit just wanted to let you know about that.

bankofmum Wed 10-Apr-13 20:31:26

We are giving her additive free food. Have tried putting mustard on poo but you have to get there first. Im really frustrated as we go to a local field where she used to chase all her doggy friends, now shes on the lead most of the time. Thinking of using a muzzle but dont want people to think she is aggressive although actually she is if we try to stop her eating poo!

needastrongone Wed 10-Apr-13 20:50:28

Really not the expert but our puppy is a big fan of horse poo and, living in a rural area plus having a daughter with a pony, there's no shortage of the stuff round here!!

We have taught the 'leave it' command which works most of the time, unless I am very distracted of haven't noticed, but I usually have an eye on him even when with friends anyway and spot poo before he doessmile

I used the clicker and put bits of high value treats on the floor in front of him. Or on his paws if I am feeling mean! He's not allowed to eat until I give the ok command. We have worked up to him moving to each treat but waiting until I give the command to eat before he takes the treat. I I I-guess 'wait' might work too? If he leaves poo I praise very very enthusiastically and he gets a high value treat like chicken, liver or cheese. Basically better than poo I guess!

Sorry if that's not helpful or I haven't explained it well.

needastrongone Wed 10-Apr-13 20:52:03

I phone typos sorry and had a glass of white wine, been a long day today!

Callisto Wed 10-Apr-13 20:56:36

Disgusting isn't it? DD's terrier x eats poo. Chicken (they are free-range so no stopping him - he even follows them around waiting for them to crap), horse (great lumps of the stuff) and most disgustingly, cat. Tonight I witnessed him eating his own for the first time <barf emoticon>.

What to do? He seems to be getting worse not better, and was sick today from the sheer quantity of horse shit he had consumed. He is a licky dog too, and I worry about him 'kissing' DD and giving her some foul illness.

A muzzle may help break the habit. Might be worth a try. I'm not a fan of the spray collars - too easy to mis-time and stress the dog for no reason.

BeQuicksieorBeDead Wed 10-Apr-13 21:01:16

Our border collie used to do this as a puppy, apparently she picked it up from her mum and it is common - vet said that the den mother does it to keep the place clean when the puppies are newborns!

We stopped her by using her crate training - if she ate poo, she went in the crate for ten minutes. I wasn't sure about crate training, never used it before, but it worked for our very wilful and clever dog.

bankofmum Wed 10-Apr-13 21:11:56

Our dog behaves when she wants to, will do the off command with food on her paws and has passed the KC Gold test. Off the lead (and out of the classroom) she does as she likes.

glasscompletelybroken Thu 11-Apr-13 15:42:52

I'm watching this as our dog eats the cats poo. Short of putting her on the lead everytime we let her in the garden I don't know how we can stop her. It's disgusing! She has sensitive skin and is on Royal Canin dermatological food so not cheap stuff.

I think she sees the cat as a living vending machine...

LastMangoInParis Thu 11-Apr-13 22:10:02

I'm sure I heard somewhere that dogs eat poo if lacking in a particular nutrient (available from the poo they're eating - or so they feel...)
This made sense to me as my dog used to tuck into poo when recently rescued and so probably not fed on very nutritious food. She stopped poo eating after a few weeks' benefit of the varied, nutritious and delicious diet she's been lavished with ever since (apart from horse shit, which she still has a soft spot for - looks quite contrite and leaves off when asked, though).
Varying DDog's diet might help it cut the crap habit.

Booboostoo Thu 11-Apr-13 23:20:28

There is no scientific evidence that dogs that eat poo do so because they are lacking something from their diet. Dogs eat all sorts of poo, their own, that of other dogs, cat poo (super delicacy), horse poo, rabbit poo, fox poo (the nuclear option) - it may be that they just like it.

I think you can either let her and live with it or teach her a strong 'leave it' command. Aversive training (e.g. spray collars) may work but you need to be experienced in using it otherwise you may discourage the wrong behavior and create all sorts of problems. A crate should never be used as punishment.

pigsDOfly Fri 12-Apr-13 14:38:16

My dog used to eat the cat's poo. First time it happen almost vomited my self. If she's eating enough to make her sick I think I'd think about a muzzle, not the cage type, the other type that is made for exactly your purpose (sorry can't remember what they're called, but pet shop will advise).

Meanwhile I would find some type of treat that she can't resist (I find cat food very good, which oddly enough I can treat my dog with to stop her eating the cat poo) and do what Booboostoo says, good leave it command. And definitely stay away from 'shock' collars of any kind, hateful things.

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