How to stop my dog from eating poop?
That’s one of the most common questions I receive from my email subscribers, so I decided to write this post so I have something to share.
Poop Eating is a frustrating habit, not to mention disgusting!
So I’m going to go over the three options that actually work to stop your dog from eating poop!
How to stop a dog from eating poop in the yard
First of all, make sure your dog does not have a health problem that’s causing him to seek “nutrients” from poop. At the end of this post, I mention a supplement that can potentially help, and it’s a good idea to bring up this issue with your dog’s vet.
If you suspect the issue is more of a training issue, here are three options to try:
1. Stop leaving your dog alone in the yard alone. Instead, take him out on a leash or go out with him. Pick up the poop immediately.
3. If nothing else is working, you might consider using an e-collar (shock collar) with a remote if you are comfortable with that idea. That way, you can correct your dog with a “tap, tap” while you watch him from a window. I’m not saying this option is for everyone, but I get so many desperate emails looking for a solution.
One of the above three options should be able to help everyone.
I realize some people are not able or simply refuse to stop leaving their dogs in the yard unattended. That’s why I suggested training your dog with a long lead or an e-collar.
I also realize some people are uncomfortable with shock collars/e-collars, and that’s OK because the option with the long leash can work pretty well.
More details on the above three options:
1. If your dog eats poop in the yard, stop leaving him in the yard unsupervised.
Hey, guess what?
My dog doesn’t eat poop! He’s never had the opportunity because we don’t have a fenced yard. He’s either out on a leash with me or off leash but still with me. Otherwise, he’s indoors.
I realize this option doesn’t make sense to some. You have a nice, fenced yard for your dog and you’re having nice weather so you want to leave him in the yard when you’re not home. I get it. But if he’s eating poop, and you truly want or need to stop the behavior then you might need to temporarily change your routine.
2. Use a long lead to teach your dog to stop eating poop in the yard!
Another option is to put a long lead/leash on your dog and go out in the yard with him.
If he tries to eat poop, prevent him from doing so by stepping or pulling on the leash and say “LEAVE IT.” Then, reward with highly (and I mean highly!!) valued food like real hamburger, hot dogs or bits of steak. See my post: How to Teach Leave It.
This option takes a lot of time, consistency and patience on the owner’s part. You might need to work for several weeks or months before you truly break your dog’s habit.
It won’t happen overnight and not even in a week. Go out DAILY with your dog and practice. In a month or so you might see a difference. Or you might not.
This is why I like to recommend the e-collar approach. It’s not for everyone, but it does work the best and the fastest.
3. Using an e-collar/shock collar to stop your dog from eating poop in the yard.
A lot of dog owners have already considered this option when they reach out to me for help, but it’s almost like they need reassurance that it’s the right choice. If your dog is eating poop and you’ve tried everything else, yes, I recommend the e-collar approach if you are comfortable with the idea.
Here’s the key: You need to find a collar with a remote so you can be standing inside at a window watching your dog and correct him from a distance.
I prefer a collar with multiple settings so you can control the correction level. I recommend the SportDOG brand, and you can most likely put it on the lowest setting. That way the “correction” is more of a “tap, hey, don’t do that.”
Most dogs will only need a vibration-only correction or a very mild static correction. I always recommend testing it on your own wrist first so you know exactly what your dog will experience and you won’t feel guilty.
Shock collars are really not a big deal when used properly. People who are strongly against them seem to mean well, but they don’t understand how shock collars work. Or they’ve never been in a situation where one was needed.
A few tips when using the shock collar:
- Use a strong enough correction to get your dog’s attention. This is better than 5 or 6 little “taps” your dog will learn to ignore.
- If your dog doesn’t seem to notice the correction, try a higher level the next time.
- If you’re out with your dog, offer food rewards when he leaves the poop alone. You can do this immediately after a correction.
- Have your dog wear the e-collar randomly while it’s off so he doesn’t associate the corrections with the collar.
What to try in addition to the above?
Here are some additional tips to stop a dog from eating poop in the yard:
- Keep poop picked up! Doh!
- Feed regular meals at specific times (vs. leaving food out all the time). Your dog will be on a “schedule” & you’ll know when he has to go.
- Take him to a vet to discuss diet change. He may need a higher-quality food or one with higher protein, higher fat, etc. Consider feeding a raw diet.
- Bring in a stool sample to make sure he doesn’t have parasites.
Still more tips!
- Try a supplement such as Solid Gold SEP (Stop Eating Poop) to prevent this habit. It’s not going to magically solve your problem but might help. Pictured below.
- Cover the poop in something unpleasant-tasking to your dog such as wasabi or hot sauce or bitter apple spray. Make sure whatever you use is not going to harm your dog if eaten.
- Use a Pet Corrector which is a product that sprays compressed air at the pet. An option to use in replace of an e-collar.
- Double your dog’s exercise (less pent-up energy equals less boredom)
- Work on obedience training every day. This increases the dog’s overall self-control & makes him more likely to listen to you.
- Give your dog some sort of “job” or mental activity every day. He might be bored!
STILL have questions?
Email me or leave a comment below and my readers will help you brainstorm.
Do you have a POOP EATER?
How do you manage this embarrassing issue?
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