Yep, that falls under "accessability". By preference, dogs eat the
stool of some other species, then that of other dogs, and as a last
resort, their own. More MEAT protein in the diet tends to reduce (or
sometimes eliminate) the behaviour. Soy-based diets encourage it,
evidently due to methionine deficiency (since it can be mitigated by
adding the purified amino acid).
Also, when there are only a couple dogs present, sometimes they never
discover doing it.
Ha, back when I lived in the boonies in Montana, and had an outhouse,
I had a bitch whose most favourite thing in the world was to dig under
the back wall and "clean out" the sump. Yicch!!
If you have more than 5 dogs you hit a behavioural threshold where
one or more of them will ALWAYS exhibit copraphagy. Generally, if
given a choice (but not access to some other species), they consume
from whomever is immediately above them in the social ladder. Some
kennel dogs get so if they see their favourite target squat, they run
over and gobble it before it hits the ground :)
Since I presently have 38 adult Labs (and 3 baby pups), naturally I
see my share of it!
Anyway, it's normal behaviour in dogs, if vastly annoying when they
then insist that you need a wet sloppy stinky kiss :)
Cool! I'll have to remember that. ;-)
I've only had the problem with whippets.... (especially the female) and
I no longer have those. The Shelties don't seem to be interested, but i
feed only Purina kibbles at the moment, and they don't really have
access to the kitty boxes any more...
Ew! I've read about pigs doing that too. :-P
I can imagine. :-)
We have 4 dogs of our own, (2 and 1/2 sheltie (one is a crossbreed) and
a border collie) and I've not seen them consume each others poop. We
police every couple of days, but they will eat from the compost if they
can! I try to prevent that as Willow has gotten really sick a couple of
times from doing that. :-(
I'm also boarding a pair of chow/lab crosses, but they don't mingle with
the other dogs.
No worse that kitty kisses after they lick their butt! :-)
Some breeds need more protein, which tends to increase the problem.
Oh yes, anything with protein in it, pigs will eat (including each
Kennels teach one a great deal about effluvia :)
Accessability, remember! Since they can get at the compost, they don't
feel the need to consume from one another's leavings. And with only 4
dogs, you're below the social threshold point. Some dogs will eat
dirt instead, but you'll notice they have a particular patch of dirt
that they eat from all the time, not just random dirt.
Yeah, my tenant's Golden sometimes gets "toomuchhorseshititis" from
chowing down at the manure pile (even tho it's bone dry and a couple
years old now, and most nearly resembles lumpy lawn clippings). Screws
up the balance of intestinal flora and the dog gets the trots. A
couple days of metronidazole (or pretty much any handy oral
antibiotic, which kind isn't critical) takes care of the problem --
you don't want to kill all the gut bacteria, just reduce the total
load to normal levels. You can order metronidazole as "Fish-Zole" from
wholesale pet supply outfits. I usually use valleyvet.com
On Fri, 04 Jun 2004 01:01:18 GMT, email@example.com (Rez)
Years ago, neighbors then had a black lab that they kept in a dog run
most of the time. She was getting old, overweight, and the owners
were older. They fed and watered her ok, but they only took her out
now and then, and the fellow would toss a retrieval "thingie" (like
that technical term?) that they make for training retrievers... either
canvas or plastic with bumps on it.. about 12 -16 long, a roll with a
loop on the end.. into the canal that ran through their yard, and
she'd go get it and bring it back and the fellow would do that for 10
or 15 minutes, then back into the run she'd go.
The dog was bored, and she would bark at night ..but eventually she'd
stop if we yelled at her once we learned her name, and she got used to
us. BUT.. she was the first dog I'd ever seen that would shit and
turn around and eat it again. <GAG> and ..I guess the last one I'd
seen do so. I've seen plenty of dogs that will clean out the cat pan
and do so with great gusto and glee... happy as could be to find such
stuff even if it had kitty litter on it!! I had to put a child
security gate up that was stretched wide enough to let the cats get
through them, but keep my dogs out.
Anyway, as far as that poor lab, I'd always attributed her disgusting
habit to some sort of mental health issue from being locked up in that
dog run with no contact with people or other dogs except for feeding
and those few minutes of fetch now and then.
It makes me crazy when people get a dog, then lock it up out in a run
and basically ignore it. My sister ended up with a german shorthair
because it and a black lab had been locked in a garage with a rotting
deer carcass and abandoned. The shorthair apparently was gun shy, and
that made the owner angry.. silly that the dog would misbehave after
being locked up all year then taken out and expected to "perform" ..
probably with little or no initial training, but I suspect that he'd
been shot at .... but dogs do end up more than a little "disturbed" by
poor treatment, and that can cause the poop and scoop her own feces in
the case of the lab, just like other dogs who have been abandoned
locked in a garage dog to get panicy .. as the shorthair did when my
sister had to suddenly change her routine when her husband rolled the
truck and broke his neck ..but survived (unfortunately) .so no one was
home for a time at their normal times and Zeke.. the shorthair started
jumping up and tearing down the curtains, and eventually managing to
not only jump over 6 1/2 feet up to a small window, break it and catch
hold to the frame and pull himself out! That was not easy! He tried
the other windows in the house, but they were sliders, and tougher so
He wasn't abandoned, people were there every day, but just not at the
times that they used to be, and the kids were staying elsewhere. The
other dogs started doing other stuff.. one chewed the crotches out of
all the underwear it could find. I realize that they were stressed
seeking the scent of their missing people, and as a consequence, they
had to find new homes for them all, as the schedules weren't going to
be getting better for some time.
So, in my typical long winded style .. I guess I'm just asking if the
poop eating can also be emitional/mental illness on the part of the
dog due to neglect?
I think it's cruel to keep a dog kenneled day in, day out with
little social interaction - whether it's with other dogs or its
human "pack." But that's just my opinion. Dogs appear to adapt
to that type of life, though I think they're "happier" as I said
with more social interaction than just what's necessary to feed
and water and stretch their legs once a day.
As you so rightly point out, dogs need consistency.
Bravo! I'm a volunteer in rescue and have a number of dogs
here - one of which I know for a fact was abused and neglected
for the first 3 years of his life (both from his condition and
from the abuser's spouse, who turned him over to us). He had
scars, he was chronically underfed, I had to cut the chain off
his neck with bolt cutters and treat the cuts because it had been
way too tight.
And you'd never, never know it, except possibly for a little bit
of temporary shyness around men. And that shyness passes in 2 mi
nutes. He's a Good Dog.
Again, bravo! I've been having a discussion in another group
about dogs that are supposedly "stressed" because they're in
shelters, and dogs that are in shelters long-term until they "go
nuts." I keep saying that a shelter may well be better/less
stressful than what the dog knew before; if they've been in there
a while, they may have adjusted; they may have been nuts before
they got there; and if a shelter *drives* dogs nuts to stay there
long-term, they shouldn't be there long-term, it's cruel. IME,
the time that dogs are "stressed" is when they're adjusting to a
New Life. For a dog with a good temperament, that stress appears
to pass in 2-3 days when they come here.
But the other "rescue people" like to feel useful, I guess, and
they disagree. I'd've thought it would be enough to take a
discarded good dog and find it a new home, without assuming that
the nutso dogs are victims of abuse or "shelter stress."
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Hmmmm. I was told decades ago that dogs, as well as other predator
species, do this to absorb the smell of their prey so as not to be so
detectable. Also that is why they will roll in manure, etc.
Perhaps if higher meat diets reduces it, that only provides validation to
what was told to me.
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