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Discussion Starter #1
My dog lives to eat poop. She loves to go to the dog park and enjoys running around with others, but ultimately she's headed for the back 40 where she's scouting for snacks. And I simply can't get there fast enough to stop her. I was thinking that what might work is some sort of remote controlled collar that could deliver a loud and annoying sound if I see her eating.

But I absolutely WILL NOT shock her. She's very sensitive and I suspect a shock would be devastating to her. I saw a couple of collars where the shock mechanism was removable, which sounded great, but one was too expensive and one had no reviews. No thanks. Another one had a feature where you could lock out the shock function so there would be no accidents, but I also heard a recording of the beep it makes, and it's pretty wimpy. Sounds like my oven timer.

And I have to wonder if ALL of these collars with sound will only produce that pleasant beep. I'd really rather something a little more caustic and disturbing.

Is there anything like this out there?
 

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I'd be more inclined to use a muzzle with a stool guard and work on training a solid "leave it" than using any type of training collar.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
"Leave it" works, but only if we're there to say it. We bring her to the park and she has fun running around, but ultimately she heads off to the edge on the far end, well over a hundred yards away, and starts eating. I really don't want to muzzle her in the park when she's there to play.
 

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Have you done any Recall training?

It could be a simple way to recall your dog to keep it closer than 100 yards away and out of your control.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The thing is that I really want her to have the run of the park, to be able to run with the pack, enjoy herself and expend some energy.
 

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If you're reluctant to use a shock collar because your dog is "very sensitive" and you're fearful of negative fallout, then a sonic collar that is loud enough to be "caustic and disturbing" will likely carry the same risk.

A dog park that has any excrement lying around is unkempt and unhygienic, in my opinion. Simply put, I wouldn't take my dog there to begin with.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Show me a dog park that has no excrement whatsoever and I'll show you a dog park that has not yet opened. Just because you can't see any doesn't mean that there isn't any.
 

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Right. I'm just saying it's another valid reason why I wouldn't take a dog there. Just the same as I wouldn't take my dog there if people left poisonous dark chocolate laying around. It's a matter of health, safety and welfare.

Dog parks have WAY too many risks associated with them already. But if you're willing to take the risk, I think you have to accept all that comes along with it. There really isn't a fast or easy solution to your problem. And strapping a training collar on your dog, sonic, shock or otherwise, likely won't provide satisfactory results.

To me, the simple, effective solution is to find alternative means of entertaining your dog.
 

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Show me a dog park that has no excrement whatsoever and I'll show you a dog park that has not yet opened. Just because you can't see any doesn't mean that there isn't any.
And I really hate it when people don't obey the posted rules to clean up after their dogs. Which is one of the reasons mine don't go to the dog park.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
And I really hate it when people don't obey the posted rules to clean up after their dogs. Which is one of the reasons mine don't go to the dog park.
Totally agree. I will say that although some people are simply lazy and irresponsible, I know it's easy to get into a conversation with someone (being that dog people are the best) and not notice when your dog poops. And then there are other people (like my wife) who spends time wandering the area looking for abandoned poops to clean up.
 

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Many people will not police their dog's leavings, because they have no idea how to collect. Most assume to collect with bare hands......gaaaak.

Simple task, Just open the collection bag, stick you hand inside bag, collect the treasure, invert bag back over hand, tie bag with treasure closed, dispose in proper manner. The treasure is never in contact with bare hand.

Some people just need to learn the technique and begin carrying bags in the handy dispensers.
 

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My dog lives to eat poop. She loves to go to the dog park and enjoys running around with others, but ultimately she's headed for the back 40 where she's scouting for snacks. And I simply can't get there fast enough to stop her. I was thinking that what might work is some sort of remote controlled collar that could deliver a loud and annoying sound if I see her eating.

But I absolutely WILL NOT shock her. She's very sensitive and I suspect a shock would be devastating to her. I saw a couple of collars where the shock mechanism was removable, which sounded great, but one was too expensive and one had no reviews. No thanks. Another one had a feature where you could lock out the shock function so there would be no accidents, but I also heard a recording of the beep it makes, and it's pretty wimpy. Sounds like my oven timer.

And I have to wonder if ALL of these collars with sound will only produce that pleasant beep. I'd really rather something a little more caustic and disturbing.

Is there anything like this out there?
All my dogs have been trained to be able to be loose off lead in an urban environment. I use a reliable recall to position my do in a safe place. There are many distraction issues that must be overcome to do this in this type of environment.
First of all, any person taking there dog to a dog park, or any other crowded urban place like a dog-friendly beach, should be able to recall their dog in that particular environment.
This requires a lot of training and builds a great trust and bonding. Once I leave my backyard to grow the recall command for greater distance and distractions, I recall and release hundreds of times so my dog knows that the recall is not a punishment or a restriction.
As the distance grows and it is harder for my dog to hear me, I teach my dog to respond to a dog whistle, this bridges the distance issue but it doesn't fix it in a noisy or windy environment. When I am at the beach with my dog off leash and there are tons of people and a lot of wind, even the dog whistle is not good enough.
At this point I add an e-collar and substitute the beep on the collar for the dog whistle. Now, at this point, my dog will do a recall with my voice, my dog whistle, and the beep on the e-collar. Since the beep on the collar is right next to my dogs ear, she can hear it anywhere. In a crowded environment, like the beach or a dog park, I always follow my dog at a distance, watching her. This what any parent would do with a child to keep her safe. As I see my dog going to a place I don't want her to go to, I beep her with the beep on the collar, she looks back, and I say "Let's go" and go in another direction. After a lot of this type of training, which I do first in a non-distractive environment, my dog expects that when she looks back at me, I will probably be going in another direction. At a great distance, I will introduce an arm signal to show her where to go. Off we go and she still gets to have a good time and does not practice the behavior of eating feces.
Dog training, at it's best, is building a relationship where the dog/owner team has complete trust. The owner part of the team is responsible for everything in a dog's life and needs to act accordingly.
 

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Is she a younger dog? Sometimes younger dogs seem to enjoy eating poop. My dog never ate other dog poop, luckily, but he he used to like to eat rabbit and goose poop...he did grow out of it, but I also made a point to teach him a very good leave it and reward him greatly for leaving the poop alone. Now, at 4.5 he doesn't really care about poop and prefers actual food...

You probably won't like this answer...but the only way to really get her to stop is prevent the behavior entirely either by using a basket-type muzzle or to stop visiting that dog park if you can't reliable tell her to leave it. Continuing with the habit will likely make the habit worse... I wouldn't use a sonic collar on her if she is as sensitive as you say. The loud noise may have unforeseen negative consequences just as you fear the shock will have.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks everyone for the responses, but I'm really not looking for alternative training methods. I'm not new to training dogs and I believe that I know what's best for my dog. When I say that she's sensitive, I don't mean that she immediately goes into a catatonic state at any loud noise, but I think the right noise might interrupt her and associate eating poop with unpleasantness.

Not taking her to the dog park is absolutely out of the question. It's the high point of her day (and ours, tbh). It gives her much needed socialization with other dogs and people. We rescued her from Arkansas a year ago, and until we started taking her to the park, she was very standoffish and had no interest in other dogs. She was like the shy homely girl at the school dance. Now she's playing more and more with others and having a great time.

Since no one suggested anything, I have to wonder if what I'm looking for doesn't exist.
 

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You probably won't like my answer either. Stop going to dog parks. Engage your dog with you and take walks and do training. Dog parks are just a bad idea. Hotbed for disease, worms and dog fights.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Seriously, what do you expect to gain by posting that? I've told you my opinion about the dog park. Do you really think that I'm going to abandon my own 40 years of dog ownership experience as well as the advice of my veterinarian in favor of "3GSD4IPO"?
 

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Do you really think that I'm going to abandon my own 40 years of dog ownership experience as well as the advice of my veterinarian in favor of "3GSD4IPO"?
Your "own 40 years of dog ownership" has not given you sufficient experience to effectively deal with this behaviour issue. That's why you're here asking for advice on questionable products that will only bring further grief.

If your own vet has not been forthright enough to warn you of the actual dangers regarding potential transmission of disease via eating stools of other, unknown dogs while at a public dog park, ... well then, YES. I'd abandon their advice provided it wasn't absolute discouragement from attending.

Keep in mind two things. 1) that virtually all vets really don't know their arse from their elbow when it comes to behaviour issues, and thus are not qualified whatsoever to give advice in that area. They are certainly the last people you'd want to turn to for direction on matters of training. And 2) that "much needed socialization with other dogs and people" is a myth, and putting stock in that myth is often very foolish indeed.
 

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We rescued her from Arkansas a year ago, and until we started taking her to the park, she was very standoffish and had no interest in other dogs. She was like the shy homely girl at the school dance. Now she's playing more and more with others and having a great time.

Since no one suggested anything, I have to wonder if what I'm looking for doesn't exist.
Based on that information, I would most definitely not use any sort of sonic device. If you push that button at the exact wrong moment, such as when a dog walks by, she may associate the DOG rather than the poop with the unpleasantness. This is a very real risk considering she's at a dog park when this occurs....It's just such a slippery slope, and you can so easily mess it all up and slide right back to the bottom of the hill. We, unfortunately, cannot get into the dog's head to that degree and never truly know what exact thing they are associating a punishment like that with.

And you're right, there isn't really a magical solution to this... Obviously, none of us can stop you from doing what you want to do, but at best the sonic collar works, and at worst your dog no longer likes the dog park or dogs because she hears unpleasant noises there. Other options that are less convenient and require additional training and management on your part are almost completely unlikely to have these negative consequences...at worst, it doesn't work, but your dog is not negatively impacted and still enjoys the park.

Again, the only real way to stop this behavior is to prevent it and train an alternate behavior. You can't control your dog in the dog park, so the logical solution is take her out of the dog park and train that alternate behavior where she can't access poop and YOU control the environment. Work one recall and "leave it." Once those are solid, try the dog park again if you feel it is important. In the meantime, maybe arrange play dates with other dogs where there isn't a risk of poop? Not going to the dog park doesn't have to be permanent, but sometimes in order to do what is best for our dogs and shape them into the dogs we want them to be requires us to make inconvenient training and management decisions until we can teach them how we want them to behave.

The other option is going into the dog park before your dog and picking up all the poop.
 
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