Coprophagia | Does Your Dog Eat Poop?

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by jtclough on November 4, 2010

What do fat loss and coprophagia (uh that would mean when your dog eats poop) have to do with one another?

Well it could be do the to fact that it tastes good to them.

Now on to the point regarding fat loss.  Ever wonder why people who are trying to lose weight have such a hard time staying away from crap for food?”

Read CoachDebFitness’s theory on how it parallels a couple of the reasons why dogs eat poop.

In response to my comment on CoachDebFitness I found out what answers dog owners are looking for on the “my dog eats poop” problem so I responded with my honest opinion about how to deal with this dog behavior issue.

I so wish I had the magic answer here for poop eating dogs.

It is a problem that I’ve dealt with in training for more than a decade and the one thing I can tell you for sure…..

There is not a “product” out there that works to stop it.

I have had success with dogs (and their people) who train for a stellar recall… or “leave it”, then “come here”.

Interrupting the act repetitiously before it happens is the best bet and works for some dogs.  However… it requires constant supervision like a true alcoholic or drug addict, one little poop eating session can ruin weeks of rehabilitation!

Solving the Coprophagia Problem (Better Known as Eating Poop)

I’d put myself up against any trainer as far as problem solving goes… and yet I will tell you that one of my own dogs (a Lab) will “leave it” with just “a look” at this point in her 3 year old life.  But let me just tell you, if she gets a chance and is left to her own accord and she thinks she can get away with it… she goes for it.

We have a designated area for the dogs to go… and we are on it and pick up piles right away so that when she does go out in the back yard on her own there is nothing to get.  On trails and adventures we take, she is supervised and “leave it” works.  So for the most part she is a reformed addict when supervised!

For other dogs, and my Weimaraner is one of these, they do train out of it with the “leave it” method.  She stopped at about 11 months old with the “leave it”, “come here” way of directing her on what’s she should be doing instead of eating poop.

Giving a ball or bone as something to focus on right after “leaving it” over time will create a habit where dogs will go for these items rather than the temptation of “the pile”!

I have trained literally hundreds and hundreds of dogs (and their owners) and the outcome for this problem usually falls into one of the two above scenarios.

So why do some dogs not respond to the training and blow off every deterrent product/training method there is while others seem trainable?

Wish I could get a true answer from these dogs filled out questionnaires…. but from my years of experience there are certain breeds who seem to be worse than others and it is usually coupled with the fact that they love to eat… and in fact will eat anything.  It is their addiction.

Not to humanize the dog at all…

But there are still parallels… life seems to move from one addictive behavior to the next.  Since people can logic they can be more active in choosing a good thing to be addicted to…. exercise, good food, career, their children activities, creative outlets, writing etc.  Or they can choose bad addictions… you can fill in the blanks there.

Dogs do the same without the ability to logic.  Being addicted to a tennis ball, alerting when someone approaches your home, swimming after a stick, the movement of exercise are the good things.  I’m sure you can also come up with a list of bad behaviors including poop eating.

Constant redirecting to do something else that is a good thing enough times will become a habit.  For a dog that is addicted to eating poop ya gotta be vigilant… unfortunately like some people, there are those who aren’t able to resist without a guardian looking over their four paws and assisting them to “just walk away”!

When I come up with the No More Poop Eating magic method…

I’ll let you all know, but for now hopefully some of these tips will help you in getting your dog to “just walk walk away” or at the very least… eat less shit!

Feel free to Re-Tweet and Wag!

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{ 2 comments }

1 Deb November 4, 2010 at 4:36 pm

Thanks so much K-9 Coach for coming to the rescue with some really great solutions to our poop eating problem.
Deb´s last blog post ..Why Dogs Eat Cat Shit And What It Has To Do With Fat loss

2 Eve February 28, 2011 at 11:52 am

I found a great article for getting your dog to stop eating poop at curiousroze.com
I tried it and it works! Hope this helps.

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