Poo eating (and other nasties)

Poo eating…some dogs eat poo. There. I said it. It’s not lovely but it happens. First things first. If your dog does this, then you may want to lay off the face licks.

But more seriously it can cause problems. Sometimes it’s a behavioural habit that’s come from poo being cleared up too quickly when a puppy. They think the poo has to disappear. And so they make it disappear. Who knows why some do it and others don’t. We’re not here to judge.

However at a practical level, if you want to stop them poo eating, because it can cause upset tummies, then you need to keep a very close eye on their behaviour and just before they’re going to do it, distract them with some something they like. Whatever motivates them: food, squeaky toy, come here for a cuddle, whatever works. This is to get them out of the habit.

However, this is not always possible. In which case you might think about a muzzle. The Baskerville muzzle is what we would recommend as even though it looks a bit Hannibal Lecter it means they can still breath pant, and drink. But it prevents them being able to grab at whatever ‘treat’ they’re after. Worth having one in your box of tricks.

When you first use it, always do it with LOADS of positive reinforcement. Make if fun and rewarding. So you can integrate it into play: make it a ‘chase me game’ so as soon as it after it’s on get them to ‘come and get you’. Give them lots of praise and some favourite treats before, during and after. Do that while they’re adapting to it.

Good luck. Some dogs will always do it and if it’s persistent it may be a dietary problem rather than a behavioural one so always worth clarifying with a vet to make sure they’re not lacking in some nutrient they’re trying to get from their scavenging. Good luck!

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