It is understood as a coprophagic behavior that which some animals show when ingesting his own feces or that of another exemplary. Apart from resulting highly unpleasant for the person present, this conduct can bring digestive problems to the dog, and the people in contact with him, from skin infections, as consequence of the contact with the feces particles that the exemplary could carry in or around his mouth, to serious pathologic affections.
The origin of this conduct can be determined by several factors, though there exists a controversy with respect to its authenticity as the unchaining cause for canine coprophagy.
We are not going to begin a discussion about the causing factors that could have a clinical origin: lack of minerals in the diet, bad assimilation of fats, etc. We will center in detailing that which could cause this behavior, it has psychological basis, and will differentiate between the ingestion of his own feces and those of other animals.
Ingestion of feces from other animals
If having ingested the feces deposited by other animals we are talking clearly of intentions from subjects that are strongly territorial that try to eliminate any type of markings left by elements considered by him as intruders. You mustn't forget that a dog when evacuating is doing a double function. One is the psychological, and the other, limiting its territory.
The dog has a deeply ingrained territorial sense, and this causes very peculiar behaviors. One of them is to consider common areas as his, motivating not only him to mark with its urine and feces this territory, but also to be them eliminated by other. The ingestion of the same is maybe not the most orthodox method for us, but not for him. Nevertheless it is the fastest as to what measures you must adopt to correct this problem that bothers us not the animal. We can concentrate on to ways to do this. First, the variation of the walking circuit, and secondly, the application of a negative conditioning.
In relation with the first way, it is recommended to vary the route you walk through with the dog every day. Also, the final area of recreation, we will do it with the finality of breaking the custom he has acquired of going to the places he knows he will find territorial markings to ingest. Besides this, when using this new unknown areas, the dog won't have the need to eliminate the territorial markings of other. It won't either need to excrete, meaning it won't be that eager to do so because its territorial sense will be reduced. This is so because the dog doesn't consider the new areas as his property.
As for the negative conditioning, it will be enough with a severe verbal reprimand. A "NO!" would be enough to then leave the area with the dog.
Dogs don't frequently ingest feces when near to its owner, but when far away from him it will. It is because its not conditioned by the nearness of the owner. For these type of cases one should apply a remote conditioning program that doesn't link the owner to it. A good way is the acoustic aversion in which one uses a small fire cracker or a gas horn sound or others.
|Dog Behaviorist Lack of attention from the owners Marking their territory Coprophagy Ingestion of its own feces|