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  • Con Slobodchikoff, Ph.D.
    Slobodchikoff is President and CEO of Animal Communications, Ltd., specializing in pet behavior problems and in educating people about the behavior of animals.

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August 16, 2008


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thanks for this article. My dog has obsessively tried to eat her poop all her two years. When she was a puppy she would poop spinning in a circle cause she was trying to eat it before it even hit the ground. I have tried everything but OCD meds, but the only thing that seemed to work is to ALWAYS be there when she goes, and she has slowly and gradually come around. But really, she hasn't, we are just militant about observing her. After almost two years of this training, she hadn't eaten one in a long time, but unfortunately that was only because we never gave her the chance. We recently moved into a bigger house and she can get away, drop one, and eat it much easier now. I get incredibly frustrated, and feel like I am failing as a dog owner. So thank you for this article, I need to work on changing my perspective.


Hello there, I was wondering if I could be given some advice. My dog has recently been behaving oddly. She usually pees and poops in one spot but for the past few months, it seems that she does it wherever she pleases. Which is really unlike her because as soon as she does it, she assumes this position that tells me that she knows she's done something wrong or goes and hides in a corner and makes herself as invisible as possible.
We took her to the vet but he said health-wise, she's absolutely fine. Gave us advice on how to train her to go to one spot which was useless because she knoows that- she's done it fr the past 8 years.
So-o help?

Dog Breed Dictionary

Dog Poo eating became such a problem with my mother in laws dog that the vet prescribed a medication that makes the poo taste terrible.

That fixed the problem in a jiffy!

Randall Johnson

My three dogs rarely show an interest in eating poop, and when they do, I basically look the other way because it’s not obsessive- compulsive or an indication of some kind of nutritional deficiency and I see no reason to make a big issue out of it. However, my male Dalmatian mix, whom I adopted off the street nine months ago, often comes back from a solitary stroll around the neighborhood reeking of a chance encounter with a pile of cow dung. When this happens, I grab his towel, shampoo, and scrub brush and give him a quick bath with the garden hose, which he submits to with visible reluctance. The bath itself usually takes no more than five minutes, after which I give him a vigorous rub-down with the towel, then he normally sits down in the grass and basks in the sun. The incident is forgotten and life goes on until the next ‘close encounter of the poopy kind’. Now, I’ve read several hypotheses that attempt to explain why dogs take great delight in rolling around in foul smelling substances, none of which I found especially convincing. Whatever evolutionary-genetic reason may underlie this behavior, the fact remains that, when given the opportunity, dogs will continue to have a mysterious (to us) fascination with poop and they’re not going to change, so it’s really up to us to change how we react to it. Instead of screaming or shouting or otherwise getting upset, do whatever it takes to get the dog cleaned up with as little stress as possible (for both parties) and move on.

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