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February 08, 2008

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Leigh Lear

I couldn't find a place to contact, so I thought I would ask this here. We have a 10 month old lab, blue heeler mix puppy. She's just a mut, but a great dog, except for a few little puppy things. Lately, though, she has been eating her poop, not just picking up the old pieces either, she will actually go, then turn around and start eating it fresh. I know this is somewhat common, but we are trying to figure out a way to discourage this, do you have any suggestions?
Thanks
Leigh

Doc

Coprophagia (eating poop) is a common puppy behavior, which is not to say that I consider it "normal". Some dogs grow out of it, but many do not. Some folks have success with products that are added to the dog's food and are supposed to make the feces taste bad. ForBid is one product expressly made for the purpose, and Adolph's Meat Tenderizer has been used with success on occasion. You add it to the food.

This does not always work. I mean, you have to wonder how good the poop tastes in the first place. How is this stuff going to make it taste that much worse?

Supervising the dog and scolding or otherwise correcting it when you see it going for the poop should help, but you'd have to catch them pretty nearly every time. Apparently there's a "reward" every time, so you've got to be consistent with the punishment.

I've also heard of people sabotaging the poops before the dog gets there. This is no good if the dog is turning around and eating his own, but adding some cayenne pepper to the cat poops might discourage the dog.

I wish I had a better answer and sure cure for you, but I don't. This is a disgusting habit... especially the part where they want to kiss you afterwards.

Good luck, and thanks for reading

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