I have this wonderful little fellow Nick
, who is a ~14 month old schnauzer mix of some sort. We had a brief issue with re-housetraining (details here
) after I was away for a few months, but that has been resolved. Now I'm ready to tackle an issue he's had since I got him - poop-eating.
Ever since he was a puppy, Nick has eaten poop. I find he prefers the poop of my other dogs to his own poop, if that matters any. I have 2 other dogs - a female doberman and a male foster doberman, so we are talking LARGE piles of turds that he's munching on. And let me tell you, nothing is more disgusting than having your dog come back in from outside with shit smeared all throughout his beard. The poop-breath and the occasional turd between the teeth are bad enough, but when it gets stuck in that cute facial hair of his, it makes a giant mess. It also makes me pretty resistant to cuddling him or letting him give/receive the doggy kisses that he so enjoys.
I try to keep up on scooping the yard, but with 3 dogs and a very large yard, I just don't get out there daily. And even when I do, I always seem to miss a pile or two, which he has no problem finding. I have tried watching him every single time he goes outside to scold him for chowing on the poop, but he usually responds by bringing me the turd like some bizarre fetch game.
Other relevant facts: I adopted Nick at 14 weeks old from the local SPCA - he had apparently been living in a car with a homeless woman. He had been in foster care for a few weeks when I adopted him, and was basically house trained and crate trained when I got him. He lives inside and gets lots of exercise/play time, both with me and the other dogs. He is neutered and has a clean bill of health. I have tried 2 different foods since switching him to adult food with no effect. His weight is normal, and miraculously, his fecals have always come up negative. He has traditionally been the "omega" dog in my pack; my "alpha" dog, an 11-year old doberman who was Nick's BFF, passed away last month unexpectedly (I doubt this has much to do with it, since he has been eating poop since 14 weeks old). We have 2 indoor cats, and amazingly, he seems uninterested in raiding the kitty box for those nuggets of goodness.
So, is there some reason he loves eating poop? Is there anything I can do to curb this behavior?