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Poo eating. Please help(38 Posts)
We have a lovely 4.5 month old Lab puppy. He’s gorgeous and we adore him. But he’s got an absolutely vile habit which is eating poo. He’s done it since we first got him. His own, other dogs’, horse poo, sheep poo. We spend walks wrestling him away from it. It’s getting worse as well. At first when he ate his own poo, it would only ever be solid ones that were a bit old. Tonight we let him out in the garden, took our eyes off him for a few minutes, and he did a sloppy poo (eating poo upsets his tummy) then licked it up.
I’m assuming this isn’t normal behaviour. I think we’re feeding him enough so I don’t think it’s hunger. We feed him a mix of wet and dry food.
Advice would be much appreciated - what might be causing this behaviour and how can we stop it? It really is awful - he just came in and slobbered shit on my hand and on the sofa. I’ve spoken to a few other dog owners about it and they didn’t seem to have this problem!
Put him on a lead even in the garden, pull him away with a very firm NO if he looks like he is going to munch on some.
Unfortunately some dogs just do it. No particular reason, just for fun. It's vile. Two of my four dogs do the same, but it's gotten much worse in their later years.
All I can do is closely monitor them, tell them off when I catch them and make sure they are up to date with a broad spectrum wormer.
Your pup might grow out of it
Our lab was the same. He has grown out of it slightly so that he’s only interested in dog poo. We pick up immediately at home. Watch like a hawk on a few walks where we know he finds fave snacks and we say “no” firmly or “drop” if we’re too late. He has gradually learnt that he’s not meant to and (at age of 3) finally thinks for a while before eating, almost giving his guilty thoughts away so we get a chance to intervene. It still upsets his stomach if he indulges - and he never makes that connection 🤦🏻♀️ Never let a labrador lick you!
Ours loves rabbit poo and grazes on it in the nearby field 🤮
Thank you for your replies. I’m relieved to hear that lots of dogs do it - I was worried our pup was ill or that we’ve made some terrible training mistake without realising it. Not so relieved to hear that there’s no quick fix but I guess that’s true of most things to do with dog ownership!
My dog does it too. I have had others who have done it as pups and grown out of it, but she hasn't. Fortunately she has reasonably regular bowel habits. In the garden I either pick it up with a shovel or bag it straight away, but it does mean standing guard at poo time, on a walk I don't let her off the lead till she's been, so easy to keep her away while I pick up. She also eats other animal excrement, but tbh I think every dog we've had has done that.
Try changing his food. My mums greyhound used to eat her own poo until her food was switched to a different brand.
My Golden Retriever used to do this when she was a puppy. We had to keep a very close eye on her and clear up straight away when she went to the toilet, with plenty of strong "NOs" when she made a move to eat it (we didn't always get there in time). She did grow out of it thankfully.
Ours does this. We have to be super vigilant in the garden (I found him the other day picking bits of carrot out of his own poo and eating them) and he's eaten a few other dogs' poos when out on walks, especially sloppy ones. Apparently giving them pineapple deters them from eating their own poo but it's mostly a case of vigilance, unfortunately.
We have a dachshund who is 18 months and his fave hobby is poo eating. Tried lots of things,training,spray,rewards...he still does it. Apparently it stems from them living as packs and wanting to rid their scent? Also high quality food and a dog that eats so fast,without even chewing,means it probably comes out much the same as it went in so he just devours it!! 🤮
I really think it's something that some dogs just do, and there's very little you can do about it unless you have them leashed to your side 24/7 (and even then, some would still manage it!)
Mine doesn't eat dog poo but he loves cat, sheep and cow shit. We have taught a "leave" command to get him away from the worst of it, but if he's off the lead, it's often too late for me to do anything about it.
It doesn't worry me. He's upto date on his worming and has never displayed any unwanted side effects (except poo breath!).
As soon as I saw the title of this post I thought I bet it's a beagle or lab doing it!
I've got a 13 year old beagle and nothing has ever stopped her doing it unfortunately. As she's got older she's not as bothered about horse poo etc but still likes other dogs poo and rabbit poo! She isn't too bad about eating her own poo anymore too.
It's a shame as it means we can't let her off lead on walks as much because some owners don't pick up after their dogs, then ours goes and eats it. Makes me so angry! If all owners picked up their poo she could be off lead more!
Unfortunately nothing worked for our dog, the vet said some dogs are just like that. We tried giving her certain foods that would put her off eating her own but that didn't work, we try to be firm with her and call her back with treats but she then just scoffs the poo quickly before she runs back to us we even tried muzzling her but I didn't want other owners thinking she was aggressive!
We've just learnt to live with it unfortunately and try and be one step ahead of her!
Our doesn’t eat dog poo thank god but yes to horse poo and sheep poo.
I keep him on lead in the park now because he also loves cat poo and that reeeks like nothing else.
There is a dog training programme hosted by a man, who managed to train a pug not to do with a talking garden gnome.
Think it was on channel 4 might be worth a look on All4?
Probably not a great idea but my exFIL used to sprinkle poo dog did in garden with Tabasco sauce. Only tried to eat it a couple of times. 🥵
My puppy did this but by about a year had stopped of his own accord. I think it is fairly common.
I can sympathise. My sweet looking Lhasa thinks it’s a delicious not envy! Her own she bypasses but loves other dogs.
I’m at the start of changing her food to see if it makes a difference.
Otherwise vigilance is key.
Our Ddog does this but only with his own. His vet said its very common and the best way to deal with it is to supervise poo times and to pick it up promptly so he doesn't have the opportunity.
Definitely a pup thing! We had a serial poo eater but he grew out of it, when they're pups I think they still have some nutrients in their poo so it's not the worst thing, just the worst smelling thing! They're growing fast and hungry... labs especially!
Just a supervised poo trip and reward when you tell him to 'leave it' should do the trick!
My 3 year old lab grew out of eating her own poo, but my 12 year old lab has only got worse (though curiously I've never seen her eat her own). She spends her time on walks snuffling around for cat and fox poo. 🤢
Battendog did this also at about the same age.
He grew out of eating dog poo but still makes a bee line for horse poo or rabbit truffles.
He likes to wear the fox poo.
He likes to carry sheep poo then drop it.
He is disgusting.
Mine loves cow and horse poo and he regularly dines out on a walk.
The amusing thing is watching him run after a ball whilst trying to take a mouthful as he passes a pile of it without slowing down
It can be a sign if nutritional imbalance or behaviour. Try looking what your feeding up on All About Dog Food and Dog Food Adviser and see if you can make any improvements there. Adding Pro Fibre to meals can help with it, also Copronil is worth a try. Both can be helpful for dogs with coprophagia.
Some dog foods with high protein don't digest as fast so when it comes out the other end to them still smells of food, put pineapple juice in its food. When that comes back out they cant stand it