I have had it up to here (pointing way above my head) with rocky's poop eating. He had gotten really good but now he does it repeatedly during EACH trip to the park. I keep lots of treats (good ones) adn call him (working on perfecting recall) so he KNOWS that if he comes to me he'll get a little "rocky party" and good treats. But he still chooses the poop over the treat.
My plan of action:
I will leave a long lead (6ft I think) attached to him as he runs around. I will do my best to keep up with him (hmm...workout!) and if I see him about to eat something I will say "Rocky Leave-it". If he doesn't move on IMMEDIATELY I will tug on the leash.
IF i happen to mess up and see him get to it, and eat it, before I can get control of the lead, I will get him and quietly (but FIRMLY) put his regular leash on and leave the park. Now the leaving the park - will he get that it's because of the poop?
He does not show ANY intesrest in his own so "peppering" his is not an option. I'd try "tainting" (not poison, just bad tasting) other poops in the park but I can never find them in time. With everything else the 'leave it" command is actualy pretty solid. So this is really the only thing I can think of short of NOT going to the park.
I like your idea but for a start, you will need more than a 6ft leash. You will need a 30ft drag line at the very least. If you are only 6ft away from him at any given time this is NOT going to give him the feeling of freedom. A 30ft line will.
Secondly, running around franticly after him is not a good idea. This turns it into a game. Instead you must keep cool and act as you normally would if you were taking a relaxing stroll in the park. Remember if you are stressed Rocky WILL pick up on this and take advantage. I know how much of a pain this habit can be but seriously...bite your lip. If you get worked up and frustrated the dog wins the battle. YOU are in control so set the example.
Leaving the park after he eats the poop won't work. He can't make that connection. If you need to correct a behavior it must happen immediately after the action --dogs don't understand consequences.
The reason he chooses the poop over the treat is because the poop is a doggy delight...large in substance and smelly. Better then a measly dog biscuit in his eyes. What treats are you using? I would use something he has NEVER had before and the smellier the better. Something like mature cheese, pepperoni, dried liver or chopped up pieces of meat should do the trick.
Ok, here is what I would do. BEFORE you try the long line, try a Flexi. Yep, a rectractable leash. You want to build up on the distance slowly. If you give him too much freedom too soon he will mess up. With a flexi you can give an instant tug on the collar. You can't do that with a long line because there is too much slack on the leash. When he is reliable on the flexi THEN try the long line.
Agree with trickster about flexi lead works wonders with Lizzie (poop eater)... also we use chicken she would rather eat that than poop anyday.. it is working.. we can let her off lead (leash) now for a play and run and any sign of poop eating and we call her (high pitched) LIZZIE show the chicken.. and she is over in a flash..
Another thing, learn to look for the signs. I always knew when Maisy was going in for the poop kill when she sped up and was air sniffing. Typically if a dog is on the lookout for poop they will sniff the air. If they are tracking a critter their nose will be on the ground. The idea is to call him back BEFORE he reaches the poop. If he reaches the poop and THEN you call him he is probably going to pick the poop over you.
Some dogs like their own some other dog's, and some human poop... (There are ppl that poop in our park - an awful sight) What's the difference?
Toshiro is indifferent to other dog's poop but has a taste to human poop, there is some close to the kids playground. I never get close to the playground because kids might tease him and pull his tail. But some moms keep taking their kids to poop deep in the bushes, and that's where he finds it...
Is it bad for his health? Fortunately he only did it once but still I can never be sure...