Frustration with Coprophagia
This yet another dog eating poop thread.
I have a nearly 6 month old pup, and he has an obsession with poo.
Now, those who have read my other thread, he has been positive for giardia, roundworm and recently coccidia. Currently on day 7 of panacur and gonna have a retest on day 10. I have a big feeling its going to be positive still due to this habit.
So my pup, Loki has had this issue for some time now. He has no interest in his own poop, so adding stuff that will make it taste bitter wont help. Whenever we go for walks I feel like its his mission to go find poop as he is picky with who he plays with. He will play with puppies, GSDs of any age, and likes wolfie looking dogs. Other than that he is uninterested in other dogs at the dog park and you can find him in the corner nose is constantly on the ground sniffing for poop.
I do have the leave it command, he will either leave the poop, come to me for his treat then go straight back to the poop, or two meters later finds another dog poop. Im like yelling "leave it!" every 2 secs at the dog park and we end up eating a whole bag of treats for each time to redirect him... now avoiding that place. Bunch of irresponsible owners...
There are times he finds a certain irresistable poop, and he will ignore my command, scoop up the poop and run from me. I wont chase him as I know it will engage in play. But there are some really nasty suspicious poop out there, and one time i had a struggle fishing out this poop from his mouth coz I saw something in it. He cried, and i got lightly bit, and the object in the poop turned out to be a condom. I hope it didnt have aids since i also sustained a cut while fishing it out. He doesnt seem to learn from the several fishing out of his mouth moments.
He is on proplan puppy chicken and rice from his breeder, I tried to switch to origen which ended up in severe diarrhea and hospitalization. So back to the old kibble, and I started him on probiotic tablets 2 days ago and half a banana as some people suggested for added vitamins.
I will continue to reinforce to leave it, he as been constantly on leash now, but its hard to tire him out while always on leash as opposed to free running and exploring. Im getting so frustrated waiting for him to grow out of it. It not fun taking him for a walk anymore since Im always watching him like a hawk, and I do want him to be able to roam free.
Im almost thinking of going up to a muzzle, but I really dont want that on my dog since he is a sweet boy, very gentle. But if he is always going to be sick due to this habit i might not have a choice, and i dont even want to go near shock collars.
Until you successfully redirect this behavior, I would suggest staying away from public places like a dog park. You need to keep him in an environment where you can keep the poop picked up, also keep him on a leash or long line so you can redirect or correct him away from poop if you haven't been able to pick it up. I am dealing with sort of rescue, a 5 yr. old previous breeding bitch who was kept in a kennel for much of her life, so this is a matter of behavior modification. I have had her for about a month, and she is doing much better. I still don't let her run loose in our yard, however, unless I know I have picked up all the poop and know that she has already pooped. As for the food additive supposed to keep them from eating poop, I read somewhere else on one of these forums that MSG is usually the main ingredient, and that it can be toxic to dogs. Until I research that further, I am not going to use that product. Perseverance and diligence are your best tools right now.
Yes, we are avoiding the dog park for now. I do have the 30 foot leash on him again.
He is somewhat better, reacts faster to my leave it commands, upgraded his treats to boiled chicken or beef. As well as distraction by throwing a stick or ball while walking.
He is better at listening but I want him to know that eating poop is bad! He knows listening to me is good, but I want him to stop going for it at all. I want to go camping in the summer without having to supervise him all the time. *sigh* maybe i need to show him how angry i am when he eats poop.
when you go camping you definitely want to supervise him
all of the time.
Maybe something from this thread will help.:D
Per Whole Dog Journal: The four R’s of dog training, can be used to address almost any training issue:
2.REDIRECT THE NEGATIVE
3.REINFORCE THE POSITIVE
4.REPEAT, REPEAT, REPEAT
Applying the four 4 R’s to address Coprophagia.
REDUCE ENERGY: “While debate continues as to whether coprophagia is a behavioral problem, there’s no doubt that dogs who are bored, receive little aerobic exercise or interesting play, and have unlimited access to their own or other
animals’ droppings will be difficult to discourage. Increasing the dog’s active exercise, giving him a larger assortment of interesting toys to play with, keeping the dog’s exercise area clean and free from
excrement, keeping cat litter boxes out of reach, and giving the dog several small meals per day rather than only one large meal can all help reduce his interest in coprophagia or at least reduce his opportunity to indulge”.
REDIRECT THE NEGATIVE: You need to first get your dog’s attention OFF the stool and to you. You may be able stop the behavior using a no reward marker (NO!) or duck noise (AAAAACCCKKKKK!) If this doesn’t work, you may need to try something stronger – perhaps an alarm, loud horn or whistle –any obnoxious noise to temporarily get the dog’s attention back to you. If this doesn’t work, try tossing a shake can (a small metal can filled with pebbles or coins) near your dog to get his attention. Some trainers have used a remotely operated citronella spray collar – when your dog turns around to eat the feces, immediately push the button on the remote to spray the dog in the face with the citronella spray to get his attention away from the feces. You may need to have your dog on a lead that you can step on, to prevent him from getting to the feces before you can redirect him. NEXT – let your dog know what you WANT him to do by redirecting his behavior. For some dogs, yelling DO YOU WANT A COOKIE and waving a treat bag in the air will get your dog running towards you! You might have to bring out your dogs favorite toy (A squeak toy? A tennis ball?) and entice him with that. You might engage your dog in a game of chase by running in the opposite direction! Do whatever it takes to get
your dog to come to you! The name of the game is “do your business, then come running to me for a reward”.
REINFORCE THE POSITIVE: When your dog comes running to you, enthusiastically reward the behavior with a verbal marker (YES, GOOD BOY) and an incredibly tasty high value food treat – dry biscuits aren’t going to cut it here!
REPEAT, REPEAT, REPEAT: When teaching any type of new behavior, you must repeat, repeat, repeat! Practice makes perfect. Consistency is critical. Behaviorists estimate that it will take at least a month – and possibly as long as six months –to break this habit, but with practice (and the use of very high value treats), your dog will learn that running back to you after doing his business results in good things happening to him – high value treats! Yum!
Here are some other thoughts:
Per PetMD: "For some dogs, eating feces is a behavior learned from the litter-mates and/or mother. But, dogs that are fed a low-quality food (or an insufficient amount of food) may also resort to eating feces in an instinctual attempt to balance out a dietary deficiency. This may be further exacerbated if your dog has a digestive enzyme deficiency, because it prevents any of the food’s nutrients to be properly absorbed by the body. Basically, your dog is attempting to eat feces in the hopes to forgo starving to death."
Dr. Karen Becker: "Dogs on entirely processed, dry food diets, who eat no living foods at all, will intentionally seek out other sources of digestive enzymes to make up for their own lifelong enzyme deficiency. Feeding your pet a diet containing human-grade protein, probiotics and supplemental digestive enzymes can sometimes curb the urge to find gross sources of free enzymes around the yard or in the cats litter box."
Coprophagia can also be caused by a Vitamin-B1 (Thiamine) deficiency. “B-1 deficiency can be caused by feeding your dog a low-quality or a nutritionally incomplete diet (Dogspire).”
Here is a whole food supplement: Vitamin Code Raw B Complex: RAW ORGANIC FRUIT AND VEGETABLE BLEND(ORGANIC:STRAWBERRY,CHERRY,BLACKBERRY, RASPBERRY,BEET JUICE,BROCCOLI,CUCUMBER,TOMATO,KALE,SPINACH,CABBAG E,CAULIFLOWER,CELERY,PARSLEY,ASPARAGUS,GINGER)
Also, she may need some Vitamin K-1. You can supply this naturally to her diet by adding 1 Tablespoon of chopped parsley every other day (never use synthetic Vitamin K-3, also called Menadione Sodium Bisulfate, as prolonged use can possibly damage organs and have a carcinogenic effect). Additionally, “the flavonoids in parsley—especially luteolin—have been shown to function as antioxidants that combine with highly reactive oxygen-containing molecules (called oxygen radicals) and help prevent oxygen-based damage to cells. In addition, extracts from parsley have been used in animal studies to help increase the antioxidant capacity of the blood.”
Adding animal based enzymes and fresh foods that contain Vitamin B-1 (Thiamine) could curb this habit.
BileX is an animal based digestive enzyme and very cost effective. It contains Pancreatin, Ox Bile Extract and Papin (Papaya). Crush 1 or 1 ½ tablets between 2 spoons and mix into the dogs food. Bilex 90 Tablets by Douglas Laboratories
Sunday Sundae is a plant based digestive enzyme/probiotic that could help along with the BileX: Sunday Sundae Nutritional Supplement also, the Sh-emp Oil from here.
Please research MSG (Accent) or deterrents with MSG in it before purchasing as it is VERY suspect of being a dangerous toxin:
Per Wiki: MSG is classified by the FDA as an excitotoxin, a dangerous neurotoxin that shrivels and kills brain cells and has been linked to causing seizures, migraines, heart palpitations and even cancer, amongst it's many symptoms.... in people! Never mind your dog, YOU should be avoiding MSG! It's definitely one of those things you should not feed a dog.
http://evidenceofmsgtoxicity.blogspot.com/: All processed free glutamic acid (MSG) – no matter how produced -- is neurotoxic (kills brain cells) and is endocrine disrupting (damages the endocrine system) (7-8). In addition, all processed free glutamic acid (MSG) will cause adverse reactions ranging from feelings of mild discomfort or simple skin rash to such things as irritable bowel, asthma, migraine headache, mood swings, heart irregularities, asthma, seizures, and depression when the amount of MSG ingested exceeds a person's MSG-tolerance level(9).
http://thehydrantblog.com/2012/07/31/dog-food-and-the-hidden-msg/ MSG or glutamate is a suspected addictive neurotoxin that has been associated with chest pain, headaches, numbness, asthmatic reactions, brain damage (in rats, rabbits, chicks and monkeys), depression, irritability, and mood changes, reproductive dysfunction in males and females, nervous symptoms (decreased sensibility in neck, arms and back) and irregular heartbeat. It’s also on the FDA’s list for further study for possible mutagenic teratogenic, subacute and reproductive effects.
Hope you find something that helps!
Of course I will be supervising him all the time when camping, you know what I mean. I just dont want to be holding the leash all day, I want to go hiking, relaxed and not tensed at every direction his head is looking. Dont be sassy.
We've been pretty good these days, I throw the stick and he chases it and we do this for the whole 2 hour walk. I'll still miss a few times where Im talking to someone and he manages to sneak a bite.
I also talked with a trainer and I found out I was teaching the leave it incorrectly. I would "leave it" to the treat, then say ok! and he can have the treat. I should have been taking the treat then replacing it with a better one, not giving the old one at all, meaning "leave it" means you cant have it at all.
Problem is when he is with my dog walker, he obviously isnt supervised as often and he is now warning me he is going to ban him as he keeps throwing up in his van. (Though I dont its because of poop eating, rather motion sickness). Unfortunately I will have to buy him a muzzle during the walks with my dog walker.
Thank you Momto, I will be reading the thread. I am trying with the 4 Rs. And looking at nutritional deficiency.
Gah, my bad cant edit. I looked up the analysis for purina proplan. chicken and rice...and there is 0 Vitamin B1. Could be the culprit.
Im going to grab some Acana on the way home tomorow. Hopefully I will be sucessfull with switching foods this time, as last time he had severe diarrhea with Orijen.
The Orijen is too rich for a lot of dogs. I hope the Acana goes well for him. The Grain Free would be a good choice: Acana Regionals | Acana Store Locator: Store Locator | Acana
Or grain free Four Star Fromms: Four-Star Gourmet Recipes for dogs - Fromm Family Foods Store Locator: Fromm USA Retailers
You may want to get a bottle of the Vitamin Code to give your dogs system a boost. If you do, introduce at 1/4th the dose and increase slowly. This is REAL/pure food that your dogs gut has not experienced and sometimes they will go thru a detoxing where the stool is loose and mucousey. This is a good thing, so don't panic if it happens! Detoxing removes toxins from the gut and system which could be inhibiting absorption of nutrients.
PM me if you need any help!
Yeah, the point of switching to Orijen was to hopefully address this issue but I guess it was way too much for him. There is a pet store that sells acana thats a 10 min walk from my place, Ill grab one on the way home.
I was looking at the puppy large breed, had 99mg/kg but the Acana Regionals(Prairies) have 97mg/kg which is pretty close.
How long do you guys keep your dogs on Puppy food anyway? Should I just go ahead with the regualr Acana Regionals and save him another food switch in the future? Loki just turned 6 months this week.
I can order the the B complex tablets on amazon.ca thankfully. Some stuff arent available here in Toronto all the time :rolleyes:
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