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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an 8 month old Jack Russell terror. He is not my first one BUT some of his behavior is just over the top. The latest thing is he eats EVERYTHING; some of it is no problem per se, such as helping himself to vegetables and fruits in the garden. Yes he gets told to get off the raised garden beds if he is caught but he is so quick he usually gets down before you have time to use the commands "leave and down". I am very much in the positive reinforcement camp when it comes to training; along with consistency and if a problem keeps coming up l seek outside advice. The current issue pertains to a particular scavenging issue; the old disgusting one of eating poo. He even eats it when out and is SO quick hes swallowed half of it before the words leave are even out of your mouth; because no matter how often you scan the ground he is walking on he will find something. Despite being in a chair, l manage to keep the yard fairly clean. Cant do it when wet weather occurs but other wise l do. He had turned the backyard into an 18 hole gold course but fixed that, as l often had done with my other JRT's of putting their poo in the holes. Now he is even eating the poo out of those holes.

For a while had a huge issue with recall, so a dog trainer suggested not letting him into the main yard unless he was on a retractable leash and that started to help the problem. With time he was slowly allowed more time into the main yard but not entirely unsupervised. But now he has started eating his and old dogs poo. As l said he is SO quick. I have thought and thought what could be a trigger but cannot find one.

Open to suggestions / advice what can be done. Yes he has loads of toys (reguarly replaced because he destroys them), yes he gets loads of exercise, yes he gets a balance of quiet / down time (yes crate trained), yes he has a balanced and mixed diet including his free for all gardening. He was recently castrated and vet could find no physical reason for his eating poo and could offer no great advice of how to break the habit. My concern is locking him away from the yard again will only make it more exciting to go out there and set off a cycle of temptation and over stimulation that will increase this scavenging and with him being so quick, l doubt having him back on the retractable lead will work. Thanks in advance for ideas. .
 

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From what I've read there are three main reasons (two of them linked).

One, he gets a reaction from you.

Two and three (linked) there is some nutritional reward in it, either from (a) a lack in his own diet or from (b) remaining rich nutrients in the poo.

Some people have had success adding either a daily spoonful of live natural yoghurt to their dog's diet, or some pineapple. Apparently there's something in pineapple that makes the taste bad, or perhaps more accurate to say worse!

Another thought. To us, it's a disgusting thing. It is, no doubt. But to a dog actually it's not unusual or abnormal.

Keep on with ”leave” and ”drop” though. If you need help on teaching these, the two videos below are very good.


 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks; he loves pineapple, so thats an old myth debunked ! As he also loves pumpkin; which is another one people say to use. He is cunning, he is very smart, he listens to the leave command most of the time. Unless someone comes upw ith a novel idea l think I am going to try and switch diets again and see if that has any affect. Thanks for your feedback. Cheers.
 

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Supervising and promptly picking up poop is probably the easiest solution in your own back yard. I would do a good sweep of the yard and regularly pick up new poops (for multiple reasons). If it's a problem outdoors on walks, are you open to using a muzzle? Simple and effective management solution for poop enthusiasts, if you don't feel like putting in the time to train a default leave it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Supervising and promptly picking up poop is probably the easiest solution in your own back yard. I would do a good sweep of the yard and regularly pick up new poops (for multiple reasons). If it's a problem outdoors on walks, are you open to using a muzzle? Simple and effective management solution for poop enthusiasts, if you don't feel like putting in the time to train a default leave it.
Thanks and agree but as l said l get as much as l can if l can as l am in a chair. I certainly cannot do it when its been wet, just too dangerous to be out in the yard in a chair LOL been bogged once, not going there again trying to get the neighbours attention to dig me out; one time l wish dog would have been able to dig on command 🤣
 

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Doesn't that just mean a disgusting poopy muzzle to clean?
Yup, unfortunately, the first few times it does. But they learn pretty quickly that they can't actually get at what they were trying to eat. I have two friends (one pup has a poop affinity, and the other one just likes to pick up discarded food) that use a wide, light, basket type biothane muzzle, closed at the mouth and open at the nostrils. The dog can pant and drink, but not pick up items. It's easy to clean, but you are right, she did have to clean a poopy muzzle a handful of times.

The first friend only uses it on off leash hikes, and the other one on busy city walks because her dog is faaast. Yeah, probably not ideal for quick trips to the back yard.
 
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