This puppy is the last of a large litter, he was one of the only…

This puppy is the last of a large litter, he was one of the only ones who would keep a clean crate/puppy pen. When the ground froze he discovered the practice of eating poo when he was outside in our fenced in yard. He was neutered a week and a half ago and we thought it would be an opportune time to remedy the poo eating issue since we had to leash walk him. He now refuses to poo outside, we do take him out every 1-2 hours and give a high value treat for pottying outside. He will go in his crate immediately after coming in and will immediately eat it. It almost seems that since I won’t allow him to eat what is in the yard he is just going to make his own snack. I will add that he is a very quick learner, he learned sit and down in an evening. He is very driven by treats and praise. He will urinate outside and looks to me for a treat and praise as he is going. He does not like to be in a messy crate, we know almost the moment it is soiled as he barks/whines and we clean it up. He will only poo in his crate, I do tether housetraining pups to me to eliminate the possibility of accidents (I try to set them up for success) and he has not accidents in the house. He will poo in his crate once I have exited the room where his crate is. I of course can smell the moment he goes, I run in the room and catch him eating it. I have gone as far as letting him out to potty in a pen thinking maybe he does not want to potty with an audience, I watch from a nearby slider but have only “caught” him pooing outside twice in a week and a half, both times I was able to deliver praise and a high value treat as soon as he was done. Lastly his crate is appropriately sized for him, it is a wire folding style crate that is just tall enough for him, he has enough room to lay, stretch out and turn around. This is something I would like to rectify as I know it will be a potential problem in a forever home.

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5 years ago

Your puppy is just being a ……puppy!  Sometimes the art of pet parenting is like the TV show Survivor–Outwit, Outsmart, Outlast.   Be diligent in cleaning up after your puppy poo’s. Do not give him the chance to play with or eat poo. Try placing the puppy on a leash when you take him outside to relieve himself, and do not allow him to inspect his poo. Distract him from by calling him to you, and when he responds appropriately, reward him with a treat and verbal encouragement (go crazy and act like he is the BEST PUPPY ON THE… Read more »

5 years ago

There are products out there to make the poo taste bad and most of them (I believe) have the main ingredient of MSG, which is the same thing as meat tenderizer. Dr. Foster and Smith has a product called Dis-Taste, but I’m sure there are others. If a dose of MSG isn’t harmful, give it a shot!

Brian Downie
5 years ago

Hello Jennifer. My Great Dane did this and then my Golden Retriever starting doing it. Learned behavior? I agree with Dr. Mag’s suggestions. I taught the leave it command and do not leave them unattended when it is ‘potty time.’ I tried to read a lot of remedies for this issue. What I found was mixed reviews on the food additives to deter the poop eating. I read about nutritional deficits and remedies. What I read and think was going on with mine was most dogs like to keep their play and living areas clean. Sometimes when a mother has… Read more »

Brian Downie
5 years ago

” The issue of eliminating in his crate began AFTER I restricted him from eating poo outside.” Maybe he learned it is not ok to poop outside?

PK Dennis
5 years ago

Walking helps the bowels move.  How about taking him on a walk when he comes out of his crate, and after he eats his meals.  The walking will get him eliminating and you will have him on a leash to control his movements while you pick up the poop.  This may work faster/better than turning him out in the yard and waiting, or wandering around the yard while he decides if he is going to poop or not. It may also be so exciting to be out and about that he forgets he wants to poop inside where he can… Read more »