• Raychel Hill BSc (Hons)

Poop Eating

Many owner have asked this question, how do I stop my dog eating poo.

First, its important to understand that dogs can sometimes eat poop, even though it is unpleasant for us as owners, it rarely causes harm and is a fairly common behaviour.

The mother dog tends to eat their puppy’s waste as she must clean up after her puppies and some of her pups may end up copying this behaviour- it commonly starts in puppies around 4- 9 months of age.

Puppies may eat their own poop for a number of reasons. It’s always good to have a check up with your vet to rule out any tummy issues that may cause your puppy to want to eat their own waste.

Also it can be due a number of reasons, boredom, taste or even trying to hide the poop if any punishment (shouting) was used in house training. Some puppies grow out of this behaviour but prevention is key in avoiding the behaviour.

Ways to help stop this behaviour (after a vet visit):

  • Plenty of enrichment and tastier things to eat and chew

  • Prevent by picking up his poop before he has chance to eat it

  • Practice recall to call him away positively from any poop

  • Practice a leave cue.

You can also practice choice training- so start by building a positive connection between the click of the clicker and a tasty treat. Then, when he is interested in the poop before he has any in his mouth- CLICK and treat him for the choice he made to look/ sniff at the poop but not eat it. Ensure that you click at the right time (interested but not eating). Eventually he will understand that not eating poop is a good choice.

Please never shout or punish your puppy, this includes trying to remove the poop from his mouth. This will just reinforce that he needs to hide the poop or that it is an important resource to guard. Please don’t consider putting anything in his food or pulling on his lead, as this is regarded as aversion and is unlikely to change his behaviour in the long-term.

#poopeating #dogbehaviour #puppybehaviour #stoppoopeating

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