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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
*****Warning, this is a bit gross******

So, I have a rescue chiweenie Herman. He is just past a year and we have had him since he was seven months or so. I only know about his last home, where we rescued him from, prior to the lady we rescued him from had rescued him from somewhere else (long story). I know in his last home that while the environment was not ideal (the lady was a animal/stuff hoarder) that the lady who had him loved him and was at least kind. Before that, circumstances must have been very different. He was a sad, nervous, serious puppy and remains a bit of a "cold fish" with people other than his mommies and a few close friends he sees often. He has made huge progress and at home is a very loving, trusting guy. However, he has a lot of behaviors that I would classify as starvation responses. He rapid gulps his food and when he eats actually sucks in his belly and stops breathing (we make him stop and sit while he eats until he re-inflates himself and we use a slow down bowl, which doesn't help much). He gets so excited when it's time to eat that he actually starts to tremble. It's been over half his life that he has had regular consistent access to food but I think it must have been early on, and he was at some point one very hungry little guy :( Anyway, one of the behaviors that has continued and causes concern is poop eating. Herman eats his own poop as well as our chihuahua's, anytime he can get his paws on it. We do our best to pick up the poop as fast as we can but he will actually do a poop and turn around and eat it immediately. We have tried vitamin supplements, special pills that make the poop taste bad (how can you make poop taste WORSE is what I want to know), asking the vet (who said it's a dominance thing but he is not dominant, and he eats Gertie's poop in addition to his own) and putting a muzzle on him (way too sad). When he burps it's so awful, and sometimes I guess he eats too much and every couple of months he pukes up a turd somewhere in the house :( Herman has joined our forever family because we believed that he needed a home that would be his last now; we could tell he needed a lot of love and consistency and understanding of a little guy who was just so scared and had so many issues. He is doing great in the love department (he will now roll himself over onto his back for belly scratches which he wouldn't do for months) but the poop eating is a real head-scratcher. I have looked online but honestly, we prefer simple, natural, behavioral methods combined with lots of love and patience. If anybody has any ideas, I would LOVE to hear them!! (Herman is the dappled guy in my avatar pic)
 

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I have some poop eaters (poodles) I have tried everything under the sun. I crate the poop eaters at night or they (one in particular) has a hayday if anyone poops on piddle pads while I am asleep. This one eats so much sometimes that she makes herself GREEN with sickness. She will puke and squirt and it smells awful!! I also had a chihuahua for a month that ate her own poop. Pooped and turned around and gobbled it up before I could get it. She went beyond PIG. I have never seen a dog gobble and be such a pig in my entire life and she was not abused. She came from a breeder that free fed. She was 18 mo old when I got her. I gave her back because she started spitting up, I think was MegaE and she needed to be with her original family.
If you or anybody else finds a cure for poop eating Id sure like to know. My vet told me years ago if he had a cure for that he would be a rich man. After all, they are dogs.

pam in TX
 

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easy solution feed pups pineapple or pineapple on food everyday within 4 days tada problem solved
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Wow Moo, pineapple? How does it work? That is so cool and right up our hippie/homeopathic ally!!
 

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As far as the starvation behaviors go.. Have you tried putting wet food into ice cube trays and freezing it? You can feed him the food in cubes so that he has to slow down to crunch through them. If you think he'd just inhale the entire frozen cube, then what about hand-feeding? The more you get him to practice slowing down, the better. In fact, you could actually train him to calm down in exchange for food by only giving him another bite when his stomach has "re-inflated" and he isn't going nuts, but that'd take some serious time and effort. For now, I'd say it's more important that you keep him from choking!

As far as poop eating goes.. This is going to sound gross, but have you ever tried maybe holding a doggy bag right under his butt to grab the poop as it comes out? Haha. It might seem weird, but the less he's allowed to practice poop eating, the less prevalent the behavior will be. Once he learns through habit that 100% of the time he poops there is nothing there to eat, he will stop. However, the problem is complicated by your other chi. You have to make sure that he is never outside while she is going. Maybe you follow her around in the yard and pick them up right away while he is inside the house, making sure your yard stays poop-free all the time, and then let him out when she's done and put her inside. It sounds like a lot of work, but hopefully it would only last as long as his poop-eating behavior does.

While doing all of that, I'd try pineapple. I've heard that when it's mixed in with food (I think you can use pineapple juice on canned food) that it makes the poop taste terrible and acidic.

I've heard of some people "baiting" their dog by actually setting up a situation where they LET the dog eat poop that has been laced with tons of cayenne pepper and pineapple. But that's up to you if you think it would help. The idea is to make one experience so painful and terrible that he never wants to do it again, but not all dogs learn the lesson that way. I think your best bet is to break the chain of behavior as I described above.

Sadly, poop-eating can also be related to dogs that come from hoarding situations where the dog didn't have access to a large enough space. They get used to "cleaning up" their own mess in the only way they know how. Add in being fed too little and having nutritional deficiencies and it's a sure-fire way to get a poop-eating problem.

Speaking of nutrition.. What kind of food is he on? Does he get a multivitamin? Does he eat any other weird objects (grass, rocks, sand, hair, etc.)?
 

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Wow Moo, pineapple? How does it work? That is so cool and right up our hippie/homeopathic ally!!
Dogs love it but it makes their poo taste and smell raunchy to them. Kinda like if you eat citrus fruits your bedroom life will improve too ;p
 

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I feel your pain.
I have one who always eats poo, one that sometimes eats it and one who never eats it.

I have tried pineapple juice, meat tenderizer and the Coprophagia chewable tablets. ZERO difference or change.

My two who do eat it have been with us since tiny pups and were beautifully cared for before and certainly after coming to live with us. They do not eat a low quality food so that can be ruled out as well. They get plenty to eat and also get treats.

I have read and tried many things to no avail.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Moo, that is so cool, I'm going to try it tomorrow!

Kaila, I like the idea of freezing the food! Right now, we stand there with him and make him stop and sit after each bite. It does indeed take serious time and effort :p
I don't think I would do cayenne pepper, but I am for sure trying the pineapple :) I think you are right about not letting him get a chance to eat it.
 

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Some dogs sincerely just like the taste and smell of poop and have no compunction about eating it! The best way to fix the problem for those guys is to break the chain of behavior, but that requires constant supervision or 100% interception/prevention of any poop-eating behavior. If he doesn't poop in a crate, then crate him while you're gone and supervise him whenever he's out so that he doesn't eat it. Pick up poop immediately, even if you have to do it as it's coming out. Whatever will keep them from eating it. The less they eat it, the less common the behavior will be.

Teddy used to eat his own poop a little bit when he was a puppy but he seems to have grown out of the behavior for the most part. I used to tell him to "leave it" whenever he looked like he would go for it, and he'd look guilty and sulk away. I guess my mere disappointment in him was enough to scare him off. :p
 

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Pineapple works for some...not for others. :) Actually...they're less likely to eat their poo if they're utilizing most of what is in their food to begin with. What is he eating now? Most of the time (not always the case though) poo eaters eat poo because it smells/tastes like it does coming out, as it does going in. Meaning some kibbles basically go right through them w/o digesting completely. Using the highest quality food...I'd suggest raw/dehydrated raw like ZiwiPeak or Stella & Chewy's. This may help. But for some dogs it's more habit. You can curb the behavior by catching & correcting it & immediately picking it up. The only time we've had a poo eater is when switching to a food that wasn't digested well by one of our other dogs...Marley would dig in because it came out similar to the way it went in. GROSS. He doesn't do it anymore...even if/when we feed the same food as before (It was with the Honest Kitchen) as she digests it better now that her body is use to it.

There are also some products made specifically for poo eating you may want to check out. I really don't know any specific names as I've never tried any.

As for the starving behavior. All my dogs act as though they're starving so I can't help there. LOL They never have actually starved...they're just dogs that love their food! They're not free fed so they don't ever feel "FULL" as they get a certain amount of food at every meal. A lot of dogs/Chi's are like that though...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I feel your pain.
I have one who always eats poo, one that sometimes eats it and one who never eats it.

I have tried pineapple juice, meat tenderizer and the Coprophagia chewable tablets. ZERO difference or change.

My two who do eat it have been with us since tiny pups and were beautifully cared for before and certainly after coming to live with us. They do not eat a low quality food so that can be ruled out as well. They get plenty to eat and also get treats.

I have read and tried many things to no avail.
Well at the very least now I know I am not alone, ha ha. Maybe it's just part of dog life. One time, Herman puked up a turd on the duvet while we were sleeping.....>shudder<. I was mostly worried it would cause him harm in some way, and also it's just nasty :p
 

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Oh haha...thanks. Not sure we're doing cards this year but if we do I'm sure this pic will find it's way on it. :)
 

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I have been very fortunate to only have had one encounter with a poo eater. We had one when I was a kid and I remember my dad following him around with an air horn and if he even sniffed at the poo he would blast the horn. Two things I remember was he never let the dog see the horn so he didn't know where the noise came from and he choose an air horn cause in our situation that was a noise the dog wasn't likely to come across for any other reason. I don't know if its a good thing or not but it worked I'm not advocating it but I have never been desperate to stop the eating of poo either.
 

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I have three that ate poo. The pineapple does work. Pepper has totally stopped eating it, Billy just carries it around now, but doesn't eat it. *shrug* Only Smoke still eats it if I forget to dose the food with pineapple. My friend's chi mix was stopped from eating poo with it, too.
 

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I agree with the type of food you might be feeding baby used to gulp maxes poop outside when he ate crap food when my mom switched to a way better quality food Tada she didn't eat his crap ever again until he got sick then she started again lol :( but he passed away and mine are on smack premade raw they don't eat their own on this food ninjas never eaten poop and baby doesn't eat her own or ninjas maybe you should try switching to a better quality or different brand of food.
 

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Coprophagia aka pop eating is not uncommon in dogs at all. if you think about it they actually experience this from birth while with their mom. the mother dog does everything to keep the puppies clean once born. they eat the afterbirth. the lick them spotless. they lick their rears to make the pee and poo. and they lick up the pee and poop to keep the puppies area as clean as possible. so it is not unnatural for dogs to do this.

Coprophagia is a behavior often observed in dogs. Hofmeister, Cumming, and Dhein (2001) wrote that this behavior in dogs has not been well-researched and prepared a study.[4] In a preliminary paper, they write that there are various hypotheses for this behavior in canines, although none have been proven:

Dogs are, by nature, scavengers, and this might be within the range of scavenger behavior.
Dogs might want attention from their caretakers.
They might have anxiety or stress.
To clean up in crowded surroundings
They had been punished for having defecated in the past, and attempt to clean up out of fear of being punished again.
They may be trying to prevent the scent from attracting predators.
The texture and temperature of fresh feces approximates that of regurgitated food, which is how mothers in the wild provide solid food to their pups.
Feces (particularly cat feces) contain protein; overfeeding can also increase the quantity of undigested matter in the feces.
The coprophagia may be due to assorted health problems, including:
Pancreatitis
Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency
Intestinal infections
Food allergies, leading to malabsorption
The dogs might be hungry, such as when eating routines are changed, food is withheld, or nutrients are not properly absorbed.
Carnivores may sometimes eat or roll in the feces of their prey to ingest and exude scents that mask their own.

Another hypothesis is that dogs want to investigate the diet of their opponents and get more acquainted with their smell.

Some veterinarians recommend adding pineapple to dog food, as this makes the feces taste excessively bad to dogs. Several companies produce food additives that can also be added to the animal's food to make feces taste bad. Often, these food additives will contain Capsicum Oleoresin, which gives off a repugnant odor, making the fecal matter undesirable to the dog.
now there are a few ways that you can try to stop this but one thing you need to do is try to figure out"why" using the info i gave above. if they dogs area is covered in poop then it could be trying to do your job and cleanup. if you scold the dog for pooping on the floor then it could be because he is trying to hide the evidence so he does not get into trouble. and so on... if you don't find yourself (and i am in no way saying it is your fault) to be the reason for this lets move on to other treatments.

now pineapple is one way to try to prevent it but may notwork with all cases. they also make powders you can put on the food and even chewable tablets that you can give them. but keep in mind you need to treat all dogs. if you just make one dogs poop taste like... well umm poop. then you need to make all dogs poop taste like poop.

but also keep in mind that maybe the reason is food related. if the food is not getting fully digested then he is not really doing anything but eating seconds. grains are something that dogs have a lot of trouble digesting. because of this we feed grain free everything to our dogs. this will also help curb the problem because their bodies can fully digest it. on a plus side they will eat less and poop less than if they were on a grain based food. less poop = less treats.

hope this helps. :)
 

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I would classify as starvation responses. He rapid gulps his food and when he eats actually sucks in his belly and stops breathing (we make him stop and sit while he eats until he re-inflates himself and we use a slow down bowl, which doesn't help much). He gets so excited when it's time to eat that he actually starts to tremble.
I know how you feel all my pugs behave this way (it's typical behaviour in pugs!) I have had them eat so fast they then stop and spin on the spot then sick it all up! OR even worse keel over and stop breathing!

I feed them 4 small meals a day so they can't eat too much at once - I soak their food in water and even put too much water in it so they have to pick the bits out of the water (like a thick soup) Slow down bowls didn't help us either.

As for trembling, my pugs ALL start to shake,run in circles and scream 1/2 hour before EACH meal time!! (one of which is at 5am!!! )
 

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I used to have a cocker spaniel mix who ate any poop she found on our walks (but not her own). When I added calcium to her diet, the poop-eating stopped. Probably not relevant, since he eats his own, but I thought I'd put in my two cents. Lots of suggestions above--hope you find the solution soon!
 
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