Coprophagia - Poop Eating
Malamutes love their poop. Some love it more than others. If you have a cat, make sure the litter box is inaccessible. While humans find it disgusting, it was a survival trait for Malamtues and those that ate poop in lean times lived. The ones that wouldn't died. Actually poop has a lot of undigested nutrients and dogs that eat it are recycling. (I know, sounds like I'm trying to gloss over something really gross, but it's true!). They've given this wonderful dog hobby a name - Coprophagia. Why do they eat poop? Nobody really knows. Why do Malamutes eat poop? My feeling is they are taught it. Star was never interested until one day Mom Penny took her out into the yard and you could almost hear the conversation:
- Now, dear, when you have puppies one day, you'll have to eat this.
- But it's GROSS...
- Your future puppies are depending on you to keep their whelping box clean, so you might as well practice.
- Do I HAVE to????
- Yes dear.
- It's yukky.
- I know, but you'll acquire a taste for it. Especially in the winter when they become poop-cicles. Actually they're quite tasty, especially when our owner gives us that super high quality food.
- Ok, here goes....yuck....ok I did it. Now what?
- Here have another.
- I could learn to like this...
And that's how it went. Some dogs are just experimenters and find it on their own. The worst is fresh pooped out poop... How do you stop it? It's not easy and your best bet if you have a poop eater is get out there and clean up the yard often. I've tried all the sprays, peppers, food additives and whatnot and they don't do much at all, really. Forbid works for awhile, but they tend to get used to it. Adolf's meat tenderizer is supposed to help...and a few other home remedies like putting pineapple in food. I really can't recommend any of them. They usually don't work. Didn't want to hear that did you?>
Here are some links on the subject of eating feces with various opinions:
Behavior - Coprophagia - feces eating behavior
Dr. P's Dog Training Library - Behav. Probs.
Coprophagia or Eating Feces
Coprophagia (Stool Eating)
Keeping the K9 out of the Kitty Box
Coprophagia in the Canine