Social Question

blueknight73's avatar

Why does my six month old german shepard try to eat his own stool?

Asked by blueknight73 (2706points) February 15th, 2010

i have to watch him close! he started doing this recently and i dont know why

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21 Answers

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

Dogs eat poo.
Try too extinct this behavior now while the dog is young. Consuming its own feces could make your dog sick.

dpworkin's avatar

It’s an atavistic trait. Low dogs in the hierarchy cleaned up the caves. You can Google coprophagia in canines to see what treatment people are advocating, but I have never found much that helped.

Broken_Arrow's avatar

He’s into recycling

whitenoise's avatar

Don’t dogs take after their owners? ;-)
<<<< I do

evil2's avatar

usually out of boredom dogs will eat its own feces, try to stimulate your dog with more activities….and walk him at least once a day..

TheJoker's avatar

Dogs are gross… it’s just what they do.

Cruiser's avatar

He really likes your cooking.

gailcalled's avatar

(To extinct? Eradicate, prevent, put an end to?)

dpworkin's avatar

@gailcalled sometimes “extinction” is used as a term of art by behaviorists.

gailcalled's avatar

—But is there a verb form, yet, or is it ”sauve qui peut?

dpworkin's avatar

I have never seen the verb form, but you never know what a behaviorist would be willing to say.

gailcalled's avatar

@dpworkin What would he say speech?

janbb's avatar

I guess it’s just extinctual behavior?

KhiaKarma's avatar

My dog occassionally does the same thing. Sometimes he just randomly starts to eat his poop but will stop when I snap t him and other times he is more determined and I actually have to chase him around the yard to get him to quit. I have heard that it could be that he is trying to supplement his diet ecause he may be lacking certain nutrients. I don’t know for sure. I would let your vet know and see what they say, especially since it is new behavior.

Merriment's avatar

The current opinion on this is that the animal is attempting to “recover” nutrients that are lacking in their diet. Many times this can be potassium. You can start by offering your dog bites of banana and see if this helps. Ultimately though a trip to the vet to make sure he doesn’t have something more serious causing the deficiency is in order.

I have a friend with a dog that had ulcerative colitis and the first clue of things to come was that the dog began to eat his own feces. With treatment the dog has stopped doing this.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I have been told that it could be anything from a nutritional thing to an instinctual thing.Does this stool have plaid upholstery??If so,it deserves everything it gets!!;)

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@gailcalled I wasn’t going to comment on it; I really wasn’t. But it looks like this is another case for EdVerb. Now we just need a decent noun to verb.

de-scatologize? or descat for short?
unshit? (Or is that too easy to confuse with “I shit you not?”) de-shit? de-poo?
repurpose is already out there, so how about depoopose? depoochpoo? (quite a reach, I’ll grant)
unrecycle? too many prefixes… same with antirecycle, de-re-eat and un-re-eat

I’ll be thinking of this for the rest of the day now.

row4food's avatar

Puppy food is packed with more nutrients than the puppy needs. Not all of these nutrients will be absorbed and are passed, and they come out in the poop. To them, the poop smells like their food since so many of the nutrients are still in there. This is the same reason dogs like to eat cat food/poop. Cat food is very high in protein and dogs love it, but shouldn’t be getting that much protein.

YARNLADY's avatar

I’ve read that you are feeding him the wrong food, and he can’t digest it properly. Ask his veterinarian for some suggestions. Their droppings should be as small as possible when they fully digest their food.

rottenit's avatar

Mine does this from time to time, she will refuse to eat her food and then go outside and eat poop. drives me nuts! I think that when she wasnt getting enough nutrients from her food because of the pancreatic exocrine deficiency is what started this off. You might want to get that checked out its somewhat common in GSD’s.

My vet said that poop is “kind of like cheese” to dogs, it has interesting smells and flavors. You can try some of the food additives that are going to make the poop tast bitter, none of them worked in our case. If you have multiple dogs this can turn into a social behavior between them.

TheJoker's avatar

Makes you wonder just how bad dog food must taste eh?!

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