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Discussion Starter #1
I have a Mal-Shi who is obsessed with trying to eat his own feces. When we're outside, I call him away quickly so I can pick it up before he gets to it. But when we leave him home (we film him so we can watch what he's doing) we find that he eats his feces almost immediately after going. We feed him very healthy food (Blue Buffalo) and he gets enough to eat, so it's not like he is starving. I have a suspicion he may try to eat it so he doesn't get in trouble (obviously he gets in trouble when he goes #2 in our house). How can we get him to stop this? Or is it really not a big deal? It makes me sick to think about it, but perhaps this is normal? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

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What kind of "trouble" do you mean? A 3-month-old puppy should NEVER be punished or even scolded for potty mistakes. He's just a baby and doesn't have full control of his body yet. So yes, if you are punishing him for potty mistakes (or for anything really), that could be a cause of both the poop eating and the anxiety.
 

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If you can think of a way to stop this most grossest behavior, you can sell your secret for a billion $$$ :) I've tried everything. Everyone I know has tried everything. I dont know how to stop it. Please let me know if you find a way.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Thanks Labmom4! That at least makes me feel a little better that other dogs do it, too. It's gross, but I'm mostly concerned about him getting sick. If this is natural, then I'll just let it be since it makes him happy. But I'm just worried it might hurt him!

Bentley gets a firm "no" when he poops or pees in the house - and that's advice we got from puppy training class. When we are home, he never poops or pees in the house, but goes straight to the door to tell us he has to go. So judging by his good behavior when we're home, we must be getting somewhere - even if we say "no". The issue at hand is whether or not eating his poop is unhealthy for him. If it's natural and not a problem for his system, then I'll let it be and let him do his thing.
 

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I have Shih Tzu x Maltese cross dogs and I think they are very bad for eating their and other dog's feces. Some of them grow out of it and all I have found you can do, is clean up after them before they get the chance to eat it. I know when you are not there, there is little you can do about it. I have read up on all the "cures" for it and haven't found anything that works. Like Labmom says, if you can find a cure, you will make a fortune.

Mine also eat horse manure and cat poop from my barn cat and so far, it hasn't seemed to affect their health except they sometimes come in the house and throw it up.
 

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All I can add is, pick it up as often as possible. Remy outgrew eating poop when he was about 1 yr old. My 6 mth old puppy's doing it now. If I catch her and yell No, she just gobbles it faster :( So gross.
 

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There is no point in even just saying "no" when you get home and find a mess. If you don't catch a dog in the act, he has no idea what you're talking about. All he knows if that you're in a bad mood when you get home. While that probably doesn't have anything to do with the poop eating (it could, but not likely), it certainly could have something to do with the separation anxiety. If you thought that your people were going to be mad when they got home, you'd probably be anxious while they were out, too.

But, no, poop eating is not harmful. Just icky. If he were eating other creatures' poop (and dogs love to do that!), you'd have to worry about parasites and diseases, but obviously he can't catch anything he doesn't already have from his own poop. Many puppies outgrow it, some don't. There are medications you can put in his food to make his poop taste bad, but I'd give him time to grow out of it before trying those. They don't work for all dogs, but if he still does it when he's older it's worth a try.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Thanks, Kyllobernese, for your response! I'll continue to be persistant in cleaning up after him outside. And I guess I'll just let it be when we're not home! He hasn't thrown anything up yet, so I guess it's not bothering his stomach! I appreciate you and Labmom making me feel better - this is my first dog and I've been so worried about him getting sick! I guess I can relax!

Willowy- We actually don't yell at him when we get home and find a mess. We figure he's had enough stress while we're gone so we just bathe him and clean it up. He gets does get a firm "no" when he does it in the house and we're home though. I had no idea they have medications for this. I'll hold off until he is older, like you said, to see if it persists or if he grows out of it. At this point, he puts everything in his mouth that he sees - especially on walks when there are so many things to pick up outside. So I'm guessing he may just lose interest at some point! Thanks for your help!
 
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