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Old 01-05-2014, 07:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Need (serious) 'real world' advice for eating poop.

How can i prevent my 8 month old dog from eating poop while playing in the yard ? I clean up after her to allow for a poop free play zone but sometimes she deliberately goes again after I clean up just to eat it. Ive tried commercial products, "leave-it" command, pineapple, pumpkin, and her blood work and vet check-up came back perfectly normal. So IT IS a BEHAVIORAL issue. Also tried a basket muzzle but she uses it like a potato masher and smushed the feces in between the bars to eat them and came back with a mask full of poo! She only does it when I am not looking so I cant even use correction as an option. I don't know what to do. Im being outsmarted by an 8 month old. Im also pregnant and am trying to avoid cross contamination from e-coli. Can anyone help me solve this dilemma?


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Old 01-05-2014, 07:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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My pup did that when I first got her. Did some research and supposedly they do it if they feel like they are missing nutrients. If you are feeding kibble, maybe you can switch to a different brand to give her something is feels is missing. OR maybe it will make the poop taste different and in a bad way, and she won't want to eat it. My gsd pup will go right up to my other husky mix while she's pooping and get it while it's fresh, well atleast that's what I cause her doing yesterday, I corrected her but I doubt it completely stops it.


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Old 01-05-2014, 07:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It's a nasty habit. Yuck. It's an easy fix. Go out with her on lead, every time. Pick up poop immediately, and keep her on lead for now.
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Old 01-05-2014, 07:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by countryboy73703 View Post
My pup did that when I first got her. Did some research and supposedly they do it if they feel like they are missing nutrients. If you are feeding kibble, maybe you can switch to a different brand to give her something is feels is missing. OR maybe it will make the poop taste different and in a bad way, and she won't want to eat it. My gsd pup will go right up to my other husky mix while she's pooping and get it while it's fresh, well atleast that's what I cause her doing yesterday, I corrected her but I doubt it completely stops it.


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My dog is 12 and still eats poo. He has eaten poo his entire life. I have tried everything. I do keep it as clean as possible. But if their is no dog poo he will eat bird poo or owl poo. He has had many different foods. It doesn't matter. He just likes poo and will sneak a snack any chance he gets. So I've trained him not to lick instead. He is not allowed to lick people and knows it.
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Old 01-05-2014, 08:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
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When you figure it out let me know, i too have a poo muncher, he snax on poo anyway he can get it, i run around like a maniac with bags over my hands ....all the freakn time. It just kills me that he uses his basket muzzle like a masher tho, i suppose mine would too.
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Old 01-05-2014, 08:49 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I work at a vet clinic and they sell a product which is packets of msg and wheat gluten. Not sure what the gluten is for (flavour maybe?) but the msg once metabolized is very bitter- therefore turning any dogs poop extremely unpalatable for them. This only works if you can feed it to every dog who's poo your poo-eater can get to. The msg is safe for dogs and the quantity they need to eat is pretty small.


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Old 01-05-2014, 08:50 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Training:
Per Whole Dog Journal: The four R’s of dog training, can be used to address almost any training issue:

1.REDUCE ENERGY
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)
http://www.amazon.com/Garden-Life-Vitamin-B-Complex-Capsules/dp/B0098U0SQO/ref=sr_1_1?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1386558619&sr=1-1&keywords=vitamin+code+raw+b+compl

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.

Here are some fresh foods that you can add to your dogs’ diet.
Pork is high in B-1. 1/3rd cup served raw several times per week may help. Pork must be frozen for at least one week before it is given to your dog. Choose very lean pork such as diced “taco meat” without any seasonings added or purchase pork chops on sale, take off most of the fat and cut in smaller pieces before freezing. Introduce slowly in small amounts at first.
Liver from Beef, Pork, and Chicken contain Thiamine. Asparagus (pureed), green peas (pureed), flax seed and tuna (cooked) also have high quantities of B-1 that can be added to the diet.

If you look for a commercially prepared “stool deterrent” make sure that it doesn't contain MSG (Mono-sodium Glutamate) which can be toxic.


If considering changing foods, I would suggest high quality food such as The Honest Kitchen Dehydrated Food www.thehonestkitchen.com , or Acana Grain Free www.acana.com or Fromm's Four Star Grain Free Four-Star Gourmet Recipes for dogs - Fromm Family Foods


Hope something helps!
Moms


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Old 01-06-2014, 10:44 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mell4now View Post
How can i prevent my 8 month old dog from eating poop while playing in the yard ? I clean up after her to allow for a poop free play zone but sometimes she deliberately goes again after I clean up just to eat it. Ive tried commercial products, "leave-it" command, pineapple, pumpkin, and her blood work and vet check-up came back perfectly normal. So IT IS a BEHAVIORAL issue. Also tried a basket muzzle but she uses it like a potato masher and smushed the feces in between the bars to eat them and came back with a mask full of poo! She only does it when I am not looking so I cant even use correction as an option. I don't know what to do. Im being outsmarted by an 8 month old. Im also pregnant and am trying to avoid cross contamination from e-coli. Can anyone help me solve this dilemma?


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Should be an easy fix with alittle training. Take her out on a lead and after she poo's, use a realease or break command and gently guide her away from the poo. Do this every time. You have to be consistant until she shows signs of not being interested anymore. This is the only way she will understand what you're wanting her to do or that it's not acceptable behavior.

Cruz ate his poo like that when he was younger. I used the leader and commanded "break" and guided him away from the poo using the leader. Eventually he lost interest in it. Consitancy is key. I would not let her loose in the yard unless all the poo is picked up prior to going out. I would also take her out on the lead when first going out. If she's potty trained, she may be looking to poo first. After a minute or so, then let her off lead and watch her close.
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Old 01-06-2014, 11:19 AM   #9 (permalink)
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i keep our pen clean. a strong "leave it " command works when out and about, except for cat poop.
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Old 01-06-2014, 11:37 AM   #10 (permalink)
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You could try a big e-collar (cone of shame) so she can't actually touch her face to the ground.

I had a dog that did this for about 7 months. He only ate his own poo and would literally turn around and eat it. I'm a neat freak and keep my yard clean as I run agility with my dogs in the same space, but unless I had the poop scoop ready under his butt, he would grab the poop. It was driving me crazy and then around 7-8 months of age, he just quit doing it. Not sure if this is related, but as a puppy he pooped 4-5 times a day despite being fed the correct amount. I wondered if his digestion was off and that made his own poop more appealing? When he quit eating poop he also started pooping on a more normal schedule. It's also possible he pooped so often b/c he just kept eating it and was always "full". Eeeew! I don't know.
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