Copraphagia ...... Help!!!

Discussion in 'Dog Behavior Problems' started by moggy91au, Jun 20, 2008.

  1. moggy91au New Member

    My 11 month old Chihuahua is still eating her poo. Or she brings it inside and then eats it. Ugh!!!
    She started it as a pup around 5 months. We have tried putting pineapple, pumpkin and Thrive D in her food. We have put pepper or chillie on it and leaving it on the ground. She usually leaves it alone then, although she has a go at it. We look for it and discard it when we can, but if we miss one it ends up inside our home or her.
    HELP please!.
    Is there any other remedy for this habit?
    I believe there is some spray but what is it?
    Would really appreciate some help please.
    Moggy.

  2. Jean Cote Administrator

    Hmmm. I have never personally had this problem so I unfortunately I can't be of much help. :dogsad:

    If I come across something, I will let you know.
  3. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Well, in the States I have seen a natural substance called "Potty Mouth" that is specifically for this. I looked for it on the store's website but it wasn't listed, probably because it's not one of their main sellers. I'll try to find it elsewhere. You could google it and see if you can find anything, but most likely you'll have to order it online and have it sent to you. Good luck!
    Edit
    Aha! Found one link. You can find other suppliers by googling "potty mouth for copraphagia." I've never had this problem, so I can't say whether or not it works, but it's worth a shot I would think.
  4. l_l_a New Member

    My dog used to have coprophagia when he was a puppy. It's a pretty upsetting behavior isn't it!! I can totally sympathize. We bought these tablets called "Deter" and put it in his food. They are designed to make his poop taste bad to him. We had to put it in his food consistently every day for a few months, and it did work to get him to leave his poop alone. After a few months of not practising that behavior I guess the habit got broken because he's not tried to eat his poop for over 2 years now.

    the underlying cause could also be nutritional. Just keep talking to your vet and experimenting with your dog's diet. Perhaps your dog is allergic to something in the food she's currently eating and not digesting it properly and thus when she smells her poop to her it smells the same as the original food. you could try adding enzyme supplements to her food to aid in digestion, if this is the case.

    for my dog, we found that the underlying symptom was digestive, the Deter tablets just bought us enough time to figure this out through trial and error, without having to worry about him practicing the bad habit in the meantime.
  5. drgnrdr New Member

    I have used redirection: I got a fav toy or treats and on leash I got the dogs attention as soon as they finish and make it exciting, also if they turn to eat it, (I teach leave it) clap your hands to stop it, and when they look at you get all happy and nice and get them to you. They learn go potty come to MOM and get something great. I also recommend reading this also:
    Bait and Switch
    While you're hanging out with your dog to supervise, you can hurry the process of fading out the feces-eating habit with a simple and pleasant training technique. The tools you'll need are a collar or head halter for the dog, a leash, and small treats your dog values highly.
    If your dog is easily handled, the collar will do. If the dog is extremely determined to eat the poop, extremely fast or strong, have a behavior specialist fit your dog with the correct size head halter, introduce your dog to it gently, and give you one or more lessons on how to use the head halter safely and effectively. It gives you more control over the dog's mouth than a collar, and if your particular dog needs it for this training you'll be glad to have the skill for other training situations, too.
    Take your dog out to potty on leash. As soon as the poop hits the ground and the dog shows interest in it, call the dog to you. Use the leash not to jerk the dog, but simply to keep the dog from being able to reach the feces. Keep the treats out of sight.
    The instant the dog reaches you, praise the dog, whip out a treat and give it. Then back away from the dog, praise and give another treat for coming to you, and repeat that for a total of three to five times. At this point you have really taken the dog's mind off the feces.
    Go on indoors with the dog and come back out without the dog to clean up. Once you have good control and a good rapport with the dog, you can go ahead and clean up while the dog is still outside. As you set this habit more strongly through repetition, you will be able to do the bait-and-switch with the dog on a long line, coming to you at the back door for a treat. Eventually you'll be able to do bait-and-switch without a leash or line on the dog. Keep up the same energy and level of reward, if you want the dog to keep responding!
    Talk about It
    After the dog has been prevented from eating feces for a considerable length of time, the habit tends to fade. That makes supervising the dog and working on this in the positive, bait-and-switch way very worth your while. Start the intervention as soon as you notice the dog eating feces, because the less time a habit has been going on, the more easily it will fade.
    Help your friends and family by talking about this problem. You'll help their dogs in the process, too, because some people try punishment to break the habit. As you know now, that doesn't work, and it's destructive to the dog's trust in people and to the family's relationship with their dog. Let's bring this "dirty little secret" out into the open.
    Date Published: 1/25/2004 11:41:00 AM Author/Trainer: Kathy Diamond Davis
  6. traxxie New Member

    Thank you so much for your response. I have read lots on this topic and tried tabasco, and pineapple. Just this weekend sat for a dog that is on the Deter pills (and not working). I laughed when I read the ingredient label because my dog swallows stuff whole and would never notice the "hot" added.

    I have a rescue dog who I joke about having emotional food issues. She will eat ANYTHING that she can fit in her mouth. Not only does she eat poop, but she'll go in the backyard and eat dirt, potting soil, sticks, leaves, dried-up, rock-hard citrus that falls off the tree, cotton rope toys, tea bags, paper towels, you-name-it. Naturally she taught the puppy to eat poop also. I try to clean the yard at least daily, but I feel like I'm in a race with the dogs to get the poop before they do.

    This re-direction is best idea I've seen yet. I'm going to try it. Thanks.
  7. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Excellent advice, Drgnrdr. Good luck to you; this tends to be difficult habit to break. :)

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