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MsNobleEleanor Offline
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Dog Recyles... - February 24th 2016, 11:42 PM

I am frustrated with my dog. He is eating his own crap still and no matter what I do, he is still eating it. For instance I took him out for a walk and I didn't bring any plastic bags with me, but had tissues in my pocket. I was getting them and he is there having a go at his crap. Once he craps he is cleaning his own mess up or saves it for later.

The weather has been bad here lately so going outside to clean it is hard cause it's either snowing or raining, which is covering it. He literally digs for his crap.

How the heck do I stop this?

I know this may seem terrible but I feed him but seeing him eat his crap... he's ate so he shouldn't need to have dog food right? I am getting annoyed with him, I don't want him coming back in with shit breath and licking me.

It's gross. Walking him and he crapped then proceeded to eat it right after? What is wrong with my dog? Or what is wrong with me?

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Re: Dog Recyles... - February 25th 2016, 12:12 AM


As disgusting as it is, coprophagy isn't all that uncommon. It's more common in younger dogs, though, so the fact that your adult dog is displaying it might suggest that there's an underlying problem. Can you pinpoint when the issue started, or has he always done it? If it's a new behaviour it's likely a response to some kind of change in his environment (either external or internal) so if you can figure out what changed, you might be able to change it back.

One of the main reasons dogs may do this is because they're lacking something in their diet, such as thiamine or other B vitamins. You might like to talk to your vet about this and see if they can recommend a food that's got a sufficient protein and fat content so your dog doesn't try to regain essential nutrients from his own feces. If the behaviour started around the time you changed his diet, you might like to think about changing it back if it wasn't causing a problem beforehand. I wouldn't recommend not feeding him after he does this, because that will probably just encourage the behaviour - especially if it's related to any kind of deficiency in his diet. If he's missing out on anything in his diet he's going to try to supplement it, and coprophagy is a natural way to do that.

If you can, you might like to try going out into the yard with him when he does his business and then cleaning it up right away. Limiting his access to fecal matter is a definite way to reduce this behaviour - he can't eat it if he can't find it. I know it sucks when the weather's bad, but sometimes curing problem behaviours means doing something unpleasant or putting in a little extra effort.

There are other reasons why he could be doing this, such as boredom, stress, or anxiety. Try to take note of things like when the behaviour started and when it gets worse or better. If it's due to any of these causes, see what you can do to minimise the damage - for example giving him more exercise or mental stimulation so that he's too tired to engage in this behaviour. Another reason for this could be that he's doing it for attention. When you notice him doing it, what do you do? If you scold him or give him any attention (negative or otherwise) that might be encouraging the behaviour, because in doing so he gets you to sit up and take notice. If you see him starting to eat his feces, try just quietly moving him away - don't make a fuss, don't talk to him, just stop him from engaging in it.

Overall, if you can figure out what's causing the problem, you're well on your way to fixing it. Otherwise, just try to cover all your bases - happy, healthy, well-adjusted dogs shouldn't feel the need to engage in coprophagy, so if you make sure he's well taken care of in every possible way you may help reduce the behaviour.

Hopefully this helped a bit, and I hope you find a solution to the issue. Good luck with it all!

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Re: Dog Recyles... - February 25th 2016, 12:41 AM

Thank you for replying, Chess.

He's always ate his feces. When I am out with him, he battles me for the feces as I pick it up... When I do go out (usually 2-3 times a week) to clean it all up, we play in the snow, then he stops and is digging for more (within the snow). I feed him throughout the day, small amounts so it's not once in the morning and once in the evening but throughout the day equaling his daily amount. I know his dog food is high in rich in fats and oils and other things and I give him dog food mixed with his fish dog food, which is for his teeth.

I try my best to play with him and spend time with him. Right now I am training him not to be on the couch. Which I can tell is stressing him out, but he knows he can lay in his chair. He's also slipping in terms of going in the kitchen which he isn't allowed to do, I simply say, "out" and he knows he wasn't allowed in there and scurries out. For bed time I say "it's bed time, bed time." I head to get a piece of his dental dog food and he is waiting by the door (if its closed) or sitting in his cage.

I sometimes watch him when he is outside, after he pees or poops I call him in and give him some dog food, nothing huge. (I am not sure if that is bad to do?) I know I should be going out and cleaning it up. I guess it's something I need to get in the habit of it. I was out there every second day in the summer and fall, but winter its cold and crappy so it's not as often.

How he battles me for his own fecal matter is just... I don't understand when he is being fed sometimes more than I should. I give him about 2 or 2 and half cups each day but it's spread apart throughout the day, 'cause I am giving him some when he poops or pees and I call him back inside. (which is a struggle cause he is eating it before running inside)

Him eating his own feces has always been an issue. I've talked to the vet and she recommended me going out with him, which I did, but in the winter it's hard cause I rather not pull on a sweater, coat, scarf and hat and then boots cause it's cold. I know it's such a lame excuse but sometimes he wants to go out 3-5 times in an hour and doesn't do anything or searches for his crap. Which, if he's gone I don't let him out again because he shouldn't need to go out again if he just went.

Maybe I am doing something wrong?

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Re: Dog Recyles... - February 26th 2016, 11:23 PM

Some animals are weird.
Like chess said, it's usually a deficiency in something. Have you checked your food and the way you feed him with your vet? I've never heard of someone feeding their dog little bits throughout the day instead of having set meal times, but I've never owned a dog so maybe I just haven't met the right people. It might be worth checking if you haven't already.
Cleaning it up straight away so he can't go after it later would probably be a good idea. I guess when it gets warmer it'll be easier to do.
I don't know if dog training would help, there might be a trainer who could help you? I'm just speculating now, I have no idea if they would cover this
But anyway, good luck and I'm sorry I couldn't be of more help.

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Re: Dog Recyles... - February 29th 2016, 12:06 AM

I would also pay a closer look to when this was going to get started and what happens after he has done that one, is he coming up back to you, looking for your attention or not? Must be a hard try, but there will be a chance to get hom not doing so, like trying to get his attention to another point - and then give him a snack as trait.
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