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Canine Library: General

A Tasteless Habit

No one knows why dogs eat their own excrement.

It is fairly common for dogs to eat their own feces. This is a question constantly asked of every person involved with dogs. There is no proven scientific answer. Theory has it that dogs do this because as puppies they see their mother cleaning up after them in the whelping area. Eating feces is not generally injurious unless harmful parasites are present.

Instead of saying "No," teach your puppy to "Leave it!" This is a positive command that can be applied to everything from socks to roadkill to feces. The only method that is 100-percent successful is to pick up the feces immediately after the dog eliminates. A few weeks may be all it takes to break the habit, but that's not part of the 100-percent guarantee!

Author(s): McLennan, Bardi
Publication: Dog Fancy
Issue Date: May 1996

Canine Library: General