Eating poop

Posted by Peggy
May 31, 2009
My miniature poodle, since a puppy has eaten poop. To begin with it was her own but I was able to break her of that. She is a year and 4 1/2 months old now. I have to really watch when walking her she will be sniffing and I think she needs to do her business but instead as soon as she sniff poop she grabs it. When I started letting her run in the park, the same thing. I have scolded her, held her mouth shut, everything I can think of. I have thought about carrying a bar of soap along with me and when she eats it I rub the soap in her mouth. I can find things to do when they eat their own but I just can't find suggestions for getting them to stop eating other's. Is there anyone out there who has had this probem and has found something to help? :rolleyes:
Posted by KOPsarah
Jun 3, 2009
Hi peggy, thanks for your post.
Your dogs situation is a slightly unusual one and I was wondering if I could get some more information. First of all what does she eat? Secondly is her coat in good condition? Thirdly is she more likely to do it sometimes rather than others for example will she be fairly uninterested some weeks and then other weeks getting into it all the time? Sorry for all the questions just trying to get a better picture of her motivation and rule out mineral deficiencies etc.
Posted by Peggy
Jun 4, 2009
Hi Sarah,
I feed her Royal Canine Mini Adult. Once in a while I will give her a bite of fruit or chicken. I have noticed her hair is a little dry looks good. She will eat poop anytime. She can be playing in the park and I guess gets a whiff and off she goes. Usually she will come when I call her, or drop it when I tell her to do so. But sometimes she is far away and I can't get close enough before she eats it. Other times we will be walking and all of a sudden she grabs it. She does eat food scraps people leave along the walk or whatever too. She just picks up all kinds of things but when I say drop it she usually does. Sometimes I think she is bored but I wonder about her food if it isn't meeting her needs???? Thanks for any help.
Posted by Maggiesmom1
Jun 4, 2009
That is the most common reason why dogs eat poop....they feel the need to supplement their diet. I would change foods and see if that helps. The soap thing is a bad idea--I don't think that would be a good association for the dog.
Posted by KOPsarah
Jun 8, 2009
There are likely 3 possible reasons for this behavior in your dog although it may actually be a combination.

First of all it may be a purely nutritional problem. If your dogs diet is deficient in a particular mineral or low in fiber your dog may feel the need to ingest other poop to make up this deficit. The solution to try for this possibility is to try a dietary supplement such as mybeau and/or change to a high fiber diet such as the special high fiber hills formulation or any other high fiber high quality kibble (your vet can recommend ones available in your area).

Secondly it may be a behavioral problem due to boredom. Possible solutions for this one include keeping up exercise, trying to include plenty of socializing with other dogs, building up a collection of tricky toys especially ones that contain food as these are a good mental challenge and keeping her mind busy with tricks and training.

Lastly the problem could be behavioral but based on peoples response to the behavior. Dogs are often happy to get any attention from people even negative and this can cause behaviors to be repeated. The solution to this problem is to make sure the reaction to the poop eating is calmly and quickly remove the dog from the situation, distract her with a command then reward the good behavior i.e. the following of the command. This shows her that she will not get the attention for bad behavior but can easily earn it from good behavior.

As we do not know exactly which one of these or which combination of these is causing the behavior the best approach is probably to try a combination of solutions and see how we got on and reassess from there. I hope this helps, let me know how you get on and if you have any other questions please don't hesitate to ask.