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Behaviour & Training

Coprophagia

Eating poo is called coprophagia. In puppies it is a normal behaviour and is thought to be copying the mother who usually 'cleans up' after the puppies. Most dogs grow out of this but unfortunately some dogs do not.

But My Dog Is On A Good Diet!

The behaviour is not due to a deficiency in your dog's diet. It can continue after puppyhood because it has been rewarded by accident (the owner's reaction to the poo eating in the past is seen as a reward by the puppy), lack of cleaning of the environment or reasons unknown.

How Do I Stop It!

There is no treatment that consistently fixes this problem apart from cleaning up your dog's poo straight away.

A recommendation in the past was to feed your dog pineapple chunks for 6-8 weeks. Other's have tried covering poo in cayenne pepper or spices — both have mixed results and who wants to handle the poo that much?!

You can try to train your dog to come for a food reward as soon as they have finished pooping enabling you to clean it up.

Additional Information

The Merck Veterinary Manual

Veterinary Partner: The Canine Behaviour Series
By: Kathy Diamond Davis, Trainer

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