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Rebecca
Rebecca, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 14881
Experience:  Veterinarian for more than 30 years
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We have two Labradors,our problem is when out walking they

Customer Question

We have two Labradors,our problem is when out walking they will eat other dogs faeces they do not attempt to eat each other's. What can we do please. Stan
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Rebecca replied 3 years ago.
Hello,
I am sorry to hear that you are worried about this habit of your Labradors.

My name is Rebecca. I am a veterinarian, and will do my best to help.

I am sorry you did not get help earlier. I am in the US, and just got up and saw your question.

This is a common problem in dogs, usually young ones. It is actually pretty natural for young dogs and puppies to eat feces from other dogs. We really don't know why, but it does not seem to harm them. One theory is that it gives the puppies the intestinal flora (beneficial bacteria, etc.) of other dogs, for a healthy immune system, but that is just a theory.

It is also a way they could pick up parasite eggs, so having a sample of their stool checked microscopically for parasites would be a good idea.

They will probably outgrow this behavior; most dogs do, but some do not.

I would teach them the command Leave It. It surprised me when I took my puppy to obedience class, that rather than Sit, Stay, and Down, the first commands we were taught were Watch Me and Leave It.

It hard in this format to teach you to teach them Leave It. I would consider some lessons with a trainer. The concept, however, is that you have a delicious treat in your hand. At the same time, the trainer throws something else edible on the ground. As the puppy goes for what the trainer threw, you give the command Leave It in a strong voice and hold out the treat you have. The idea is for the dog to be startled when you say Leave It in the strong (loud but not shouting) voice, and then goes for your treat, and connects leaving what is on the ground with getting a reward.

Hard to get the timing just right, best to get some instruction, but most dogs can learn Leave It (and Drop It) in one or two sessions, with some practice at home. Once they have it at home, you take them out, armed with your treats, and get ready to say Leave It when they approach feces, or Drop It if they get some.

Please let me know what else I can answer or help with.

Rebecca
Rebecca and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Rebecca replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for the good rating!

Rebecca