Sunday, March 8, 2009

Dog Training & Tips

How To Deal With Your Dog Eating Faeces?

Very often we may find our canine friend acquiring an unbecoming behavior that inadvertently may put us into embarrassing and awkward situation, particularly in public areas.
Abhorrent to us or not, the behavior of our dog eating his own faeces is normal and is a common problem faced by many loving pet owners. The questions to ask are why our dog do such thing
What Causes our dog to behave this way?
There are several possible explanations as to why our dogs are behaving this way.
Dogs are pack animals that live in the wild in the past. By eating their own excretion, nature allows them to maximize their food absorption through a secondary stage of food being processed in their bodies thus increasing their chance of survival in the wild.

Another reason for this behavior is the manifestation of their maternal instinct for nest cleaning and licking immobile puppies to cause defecation and urination, and the consequent action of consuming their puppies’ wastes.
A third explanation points to the possibility of dietary deficiency despite owners providing sufficient amount of food to their dog.
Last but not last, it is almost possible that our dog acquired this behavior during his period of boredom (eg when the puppy is kept too long in his kennel while the owner is at work, etc),
What are the possible Cures?

(1) Dietary Change

• Change our dog’s diet to one of the premium dried foods as such food tends to be processed more easily by the dog’s body before being passed out. As a result, his faeces is less appealing.

• In addition, by adding ingredients such as pineapple chunks, to aid his digestion; or sterilized bonemeal, fibre-rich treats (boiled green vegetables, bran, etc), to cause his faeces to be drier and less palatable to him.

(2) Re-modifying His Behavior

• Never rush forward to clear up our dog’s faeces (with spade in hand, etc) before he can eat it up. From his point of view, this looks like you are competing with him and will inevitably cause him to beat you to it by eating his faeces faster than you can reach it.
• Instead, make his toileting action a prelude to something more interesting than eating his own faeces. For example, immediately after your dog has relieved himself in the yard, open the door and use his favorite toy or treats to lure him into the house. When he comes into the house, praise him abundantly and reward him with his favorite treats and toys. While he is enjoying himself, keep him indoor while you clear the yard. After many of such pleasant experiences, your dog will start to look forward to the experience as soon as he relieves himself. Over time, he will be less interested in his own waste.

• In situations where our dog is treating his own faeces
as a source of food input, we can divide his meal into several small
meals a day to satisfy his desire.

• In situations where our dog is also eating wastes from other dogs in the public, we may have to resort to the use of muzzle. In addition, we can also modify his behavior by approaching the faeces with our dog on a leash, retracting it and then throwing a rattle can (a sealed tin can with some pebbles inside) to inhibit our dog’s approach to the faeces. Over time, our dog will learn to avoid the item. However, it is IMPORTANT to make sure that this technique be applied before our dog has the chance of consuming the item.

(3) Use of taste deterrents

• Some people advocate the use of taste deterrents such as tobacco sauce or chilli powder on our dog’s faeces to put him off.

• However, such approach may be ineffective as dogs generally have little sense of taste. Moreover their acute sense of smell will help them to identify which faeces to avoid and which are eatable.

And remember to praise your dog abundantly when he does the right thing!

You Can Do It!

About author:

Kum Chee

A Happy Dog Lover and Owner

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