My little black lab started eating our older labs poops about a month ago. I know this isn't unheard of with dogs, so much so that they even have a name for it....cacophagia. However, I thought it was a little odd that he didn't start this until he was six months old! I get eating the deer poop and cat poop, but eating his own species poop is gross. I've read that they usually outgrow this habit, that you can add certain things to your dog's diet to make their poop smell/taste unappealing, that your dog might be lacking something in his diet, hence the need to eat the poop.....etc.
Odie is super healthy, beautiful coat, nice poops himself, lots of exercise and eats a high quality dog food. I do not believe something is missing in his diet.
I've read about adding some things to Bailey's (our almost 10 yr old lab) diet (e.g. Pineapple), but that only makes her poop unappealing, not all other dog poop. I'd hate to worsen the situation and drive Odie to eat other dog poop, as currently he only eats Bailey's (if he has assess to it in the backyard).
What we've been doing is to clean up Bailey's poops immediately after she goes so Odie does not have access to it. Which works great as long as we stay two steps of our little Poop-eating Hoover machine.
Any other suggestions or tips that I might be unaware of?
Dogs start that at any age. My dog started at FOUR YEARS. I kid you not, out of the blue when he was four. And it remains an obsessions even at 9 years of age. His life's mission is to FIND and EAT poop. But I would say 6 months would be a typical age. Especially if you are just starting to get poopcycles now
You want to break the habit ASAp to avoid it becoming ingrained. This means picking up each poop as it happens. It sucks, but it's the ONLY way to get him to stop. I have to do this with my current dog, and yes it means I go out with the dogs all the time.
I don't think it has to do with diet for most dogs, especially labs. I think it is self rewarded. They do it because they can. I haven't really heard positive results from feeding a dog something to make the poop unattractive cuz - i mean really it can't be any more unattractive right
Picking up is the only way to currtail it. I don't know that they ever really stop once they start. I have a poop eater, but thankfully, it's only in the winter...so he likes the poopsickles. But I still need to pick it up so he doesn't munch on it.
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Thanks for your replies. Sounds like prevention is the way to go. I hope he does outgrown it though. I read that you shouldn't make a huge deal out of it either or else that is a reward in and of itself.
It's interesting Odie is VERY attached to my nine year old lab. Whenever he lays down he has has to be next to her and likes to part of his body touching her. It's awfully cute. Maybe this is just another way to be close to Bailey.....by eating her poop! Nothing says love like..........
Picking it up is the only thing that helps. In the wild if animals don't get enough to eat this is what they eat. My vet says doesn't harm them.
I just found my old post and here's an update if anyone is listening.......Odie graduated from eating our other labs poop, to now eating his own poop AND when on walks he will go for any poop that he discovers on a walk. Here's a good one, when playing off leash with other dogs, if one of those dogs goes into the "poop position" he will zoom over and position his mouth right under their butt so he can catch the poop as it comes out of the shoot. I try to run over when I see what's about to happen, but sometimes they are a bit of a jog away from me and I can't get there fast enough. We've been doing the pick up his poop and our other lab's poop immediately so he can't eat it. On walks we are hyper vigilant to watch him, use LEAVE IT, or DROP IT commands, with a treat and lots of praise when he listens. Some poops must be so tempting though that he will not always DROP IT if he gets it in his mouth. When I let him off leash to play with his buddies, he will be running around having fun and then suddenly veer off in a direction away from the playing and you can see that he has scented poop. It's getting to the point where walking him and letting him play off leash are getting to be a total hassle. I'm thinking of getting a citronella spraying collar to use as the positive reinforcement method is definitely not working. Any other ideas.......
Isn't this fun?
Oh and the GAS from poop eatin hu?
Meat, Fruit, Vegetables, Bread, Plastic. Paper Products, Pine Cones, Print Servers, Feces, Wood Products, Rubber, Cotton, DVDs.
Anybody have experience with the Citronella collars? I wouldn't particularly give a s_ _ _ t, it's not the gross factor of the poop eating that gets me. After all these are the same dogs that lick their butts and testicles (if they have them), etc. What worries me is the risk of picking up parasites, bad bacteria, etc. and getting sick. The poop seeking behavior has become a big distraction for him, preventing him from just being able to hang out playing and romping with other dogs.
By the way those are very funny pictures of your labs!