Canine Coprophagia - How to Stop Dogs From Eating Feces

Coprophagia is the consumption of feces by your dog. Reasons for Coprophagia vary from complex (Some dogs are carriers of the parasite) to simple (Vitamin deficiency) but in general it is not an issue that we want to get too concerned about.

Canine Coprophagia - How to Stop Dogs From Eating Feces

When we think of feces we tend to focus on the obvious like stuffed toys, dirty paws, and piles of poop but the simple fact is dogs will eat any and everything. The question is what can we do to stop dogs from eating feces?

Well the first thing is to understand how to be the pack leader. Dogs are pack animals and as such have a pecking order. The pecking order is determined by a simple hierarchy and one of the appendant stages in the dog's life is the family. Your dog views your family as his pack and naturally follows the leader of the pack (You) so when your dog eats feces he is actually taking part in the social hierarchy of the pack. When a dog views humans as his pack he takes on the role of the leader, and as such when your dog consumes feces he is actually elevating himself to a social position higher than you.

Now that we understand the psychology of the pecking order we can get on to the matter at hand. How do you stop your dog from eating feces? The first thing you want to do is to make the poopflag thing. Door interacts with poop and time is of the essence so let's make this happen. Door Behavior:

  • Give your dog anintersgiving for using the bathroom outside. If your dog is outside for more than a few hours give him a very small window of time in which to go the bathroom.
  • Give your dog a treat and put him outside as soon as he uses the bathroom. If you discover a mess in your house be sure to not punish your dog.
  • Wait for 15 minutes or so and try again. If your dog does not go to the bathroom try taking him out for a walk and trying to get him to use the bathroom again in an appropriate spot.
  • Give him a firm "RING" and put him outside. The minute he rings you let him out and go for a walk.
  • You need to get routine with this step. Every time he uses the bathroom outside you ring the bell and put him outside.

I suggest you find out what your dog likes for a treat. Preferably his favorite food is something that you can give him every single time he uses the bathroom outside. This makes it easier for you to use the bad behavior over and over and make your dog think he is doing something good by using the bathroom in that spot. You can try to win him over with the treat and get him to start using the bathroom in that spot again. You will test it by using different things like bones, chew toys, and little balls. It just might work. The important thing is to make it consistent so your dog knows what he is supposed to be doing.

When you make it clear to your dog that using the bathroom in the house is a bad thing, you are going to help him stop doing it. This is what makes housebreaking a dog so difficult because it is the natural instincts of a dog that makes them do it. They are hard wired for survival.

If you catch your dog in the act of using the bathroom in the house take him out immediately. You don't want him to think he is allowed to use the bathroom in the house all over the place. It's simpler that way. If you can't watch him, put him in his crate or outside. You can try chaining your dog, but be sure and watch him and immediately when he starts using the bathroom, take him outside. Like a young child, once they use the bathroom they will keep using it over and over again.