BERNER-L Digest 375

Date: Sun, 21 Jul 1996 22:43:36 -0400 From: (Dawn) To: berner-l@prairienet.orgt Subject: Mushrooms/Toadstools Hi Berner-lers; I hate to keep posting with questions, and no funny stories, but hopefully those will come in time. Marlee is now 5.5 months old, and has developed the most charming and sassy personality. She has learned that barking REALLY LOUDLY gets our attention every time - but that's a question for another time. First question: We have mushrooms/toadstools (I don't know the difference - perhaps someone might wish to enlighten me) growing in our backyard. They seem to crop up overnight - usually in the shady parts of the yard, but sometimes in the centre of the lawn, where the sun hits full-tilt in the daytime. I spend the first half hour every morning on "mushroom patrol", picking the crop from the night before, but I know I must miss some. Today I found a field of them by the woodpile. They are abundant after a rainfall, it seems. Although we watch her carefully in the yard, I suspect that Marlee is eating them on occasion. She has a bout of diarrhoea every week or two, but only for one day or night - so I know she has eaten something diagreeable. She is a total pig and eats everything she sees, and it scares the hell out of me. Does anyone know of a dog-safe lawn and garden spray or treatment that prevents the growth of fungus? Question two: Marlee is an occasional poop-eater - as discussed before (don't worry, I'm not trying to open this one up again :)) I have used the product FOR-BID on two occasions, and both times she had diarrhoea while I was feeding it. I am trying to figure out whether the diarrhoea is happening because of the "mushroom-and-everything-else" grazing or from the FOR-BID. Has anyone else found that FOR-BID brings about diarrhoea? The active ingredients are "a purified vegetable protein fraction and sodium glutamate" - doesn't sound too disruptive, but you never know.

Dawn (stop it - leave it - put that down!!!!) and Marlee (Mmmm - good 'shrooms - hope it rains again tonight) Willowdale, Ontario, Canada


BERNER-L Digest 449

Date: Fri, 4 Oct 1996 12:18:51 -0700 From: (Elizabeth G. Walker) To: Subject: Eating Poop

My Samka used to be incorrigible about this. My vet gave me a reason why she might be doing it -- I'll be darned if I can remember what it was. I know there are pills that you can give the dogs which make their excrement taste bad, but my vet had an easier remedy, which worked. For a few days, I went outside and sprinkled Tabasco sauce on any stools sitting there. (I made sure she had plenty of water available for when she finally ate one.)

P.S. I tried to give my son the job of Tabasco Dispenser, but he refused -- he was afraid someone would see him and think he was preparing these snacks for his own consumption! Liz Walker Dublin


BERNER-L Digest 617

Date: Thu, 6 Mar 1997 18:22:51, -0500 From: (MS LOUISE J WETZEL) To:,, Subject: stool eating

-- [ From: Louise J Wetzel * EMC.Ver #2.5.3 ] --

Hi everyone,

I know there are vets on this list and others who use alot of natural remedies for things. I am being driven crazy by my dogs who have just started eating each other's stool.

Sophie my Berner will be seven in September. She is eating Science Diet WD dry and Hi-Tor eno-diet canned. She has been doing great on this food as she has a sensitive stomach and has suffered for a long time from diarrhea and loose stools. She was diagnosed with mild colitis and cured, the vet told me to keep her on this food forever. Her coat is good, she is in fine shape.

The other three dogs, two Papillons and the 1.5 year old Border Collie are eating Nature's Recipe. I also give them all a spoonful of the eno diet in the morning.

They all get brewers yeast and garlic powder in the morning. Nothing else. I used too suplimnet with all sorts of things, but due to monetary restraints I stopped buying all that extra stuff.

Sophie loves to eat the Border Collies stool and the BC loves Sophie's stool. As vigilant as i am I sometimes miss a piece in the yard and they go out and have a snack.

I recently bought Deter at my local pet supply place and that did not stop anyone from eating anything. Only made me turn up my nose at the stool as I shoveled it up morning and night, many, many times a day. I have a doggie door, but i have been keeping it closed more often than not. I clorox the yard every day, we recently had whipsorm problems. There are three other dogs in the house upstairs, they eat pedigree and no one of my dogs seems inclined to eat their stool.

Should I change food, add alfalfa, kelp? Help me please! I hate this!! !!!!! Any suggestions to this distasteful problem would be greatly appreciated. -- Louise in Glendale, Queens NY ******* Bernpap@Prodigy. net ******* 2 Papillons: Travis & Lola, one Berner: Sophie and Devin: the Blue Merle Border Collie devil dog


Date: Thu, 06 Mar 1997 19:48:48 -0800 From: Robin Camken To: Subject: Re: stool eating

Hello Lousie,

Here is an article by Dr Michael Richards, DVM, plus a number of other web site references written by different Vets and a canine behaviouralist, on Coprohagia (eating feces).

I hope this helps answer your questions.


-------------------------------------------------- Veterinary Information for Dog Owners

Dog Behavioral Problems by Michael Richards, DVM



Coprohagia is the technical term for eating feces. This has been studied in dogs by several people with no definitive answer for "why" being found.

Nutritional deficiencies may be present in some dogs, but not very many. This may be boredom related in many dogs. It has some "natural" roots in the fact that dams often eat their pup's stools, apparently as a method of hiding their presence from predators. Dogs will eat the stools of other species, especially cats and rabbits, too. Dogs obviously do not find the taste of feces objectionable or the behavior would be self correcting. So I think of this as a natural behavior that upsets people. Since dogs have to live with people, it is becomes an issue. There is a product sold that is supposed to help with this habit -- Forbid. It doesn't work in all cases (it might not even work in most cases). Another alternative is putting meat tenderizer in the dog's food. This works for some dogs. Walking a dog on a leash and working hard to keep it from turning and eating its stool is helpful. It is sometimes possible to distract the dog by running a short distance after the dog has a bowel movement or by taking a couple of rapid steps then telling the dog to "sit" and giving it a treat. These behaviors may stay on as substitutes to eating the stool. If you can keep the dog from eating stool for a month or so it is sometimes long enough to break the habit. Picking up stool to prevent its ingestion works in dogs that don't quickly eat their own stool but do so when put in the yard alone. "Booby trapping" a sample of stool by cutting it in half lengthwise, and putting some Tobasco type sauce on the inside of the stool, then putting it back together so that the dog is not aware of the hotsauce until it eats the stool can help in some cases. This can be a hard habit to break.--

authored by Michael Richards, DVM and produced by TierCom, Inc. Opinions expressed are those of Dr. Richards.

Copyright (c) 1997 - TierCom, Inc. -------------------------------------------------- Other Web site on the Problem ---------------------------------------- Robin Camken Trenton, ON Canada


BERNER-L Digest 618

Date: Fri, 7 Mar 1997 14:41:07 -0500 (EST) From: To: Subject: RE: Stool Eating


We use to have this problem also. We have found that anise seed - about 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon - sprinkled on the food seems to work. It may not work 100% all of the time, but with our 3 guys (only 2 of the 3 were into this habit) any decrease is great. A co-worker of my husband had the same problem and said that after 3-4 days of anise seed, her dog has stopped. We buy it in bulk packages at the grocery store. Hopefully this will work for you, too.

Lin Lundh Bernell Kennels Illinois



Date: 18 Mar 97 12:44:33 EDT From: Elizabeth L Hyatt

To: berner-l Subject: Dry ice and poop eaters

Dry ice turns into CO2 gas. I suppose if it's in the cargo compartment of a plane, the dogs could suffocate.

As for poop eaters, I heard you can use pepper spray to stop dogs from chewing electrical cords, spray the pepper spray on a rag and rub it on, (do the spraying outside). You could probably spray it on poop.


BERNER-L Digest 650

Date: Sat, 29 Mar 1997 21:06:47 -0500 From: Pecans To: Subject: Coprophagy

Eating stool. Have veterinarian give dog a check-up. Check for internal parasites as something may be leaching matter out of the dog's system. Dog might eat stool to get what diet lacks. Have blood work done to determine if food being properly utilized by dog. Dogs who eat feces are just as likely to eat premium diets as grocery store food. Sometimes the medical problem is not found. Pups watch Mom do it as she cleans their little messes and some pups grab a piece of stool while playing "keep away" from their littermates. Is your dog bored?-Lots of bored dogs do not eat their stools so this probably not the answer in most cases. Does your dog eat cooked foods?-most dogs do so the answer is not here. More to follow in a later post... Lisa Allen Material from a 1988 issue of NORTHEAST CANINE COMPANION


Date: Sat, 29 Mar 1997 20:47:52 -0000 From: "Ruth Reynolds" To: Subject: Coprophagy & enzymes...missing nutrients?

---------- > From: Pecans > To: > Does your dog eat cooked foods?-most dogs do so the answer > is not here. More to follow in a later post...


Not sure if this is a quoted article you reference here or your thought. I think the former is true. In either case, I have found each dog processes its diet via its unique physiological system, so I'd challenge the above quoted generalization. Not all dogs, for instance, perform well on the same commercial dog food. I have found every stool eater I've introduced to Herbal Green (alfalfa, barley, gensing, yucca) to stop seeking stool within a few days. This product also seems to meet the needs of grass grazing dogs as well. My thoughts on this are that these dogs are missing enzymes in their is no wonder when we consider how extruded commercial foods are processed.

Ruth Reynolds

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Date: Tue, 10 Jun 1997 07:33:40 -0400 From: (Rick Koehler) To: Subject: Re: Berner who eats it's own BM's

We have had five Berners, and two of them love to eat feces. I think the meat tenderizer think can work in some instances, but not all. The best way I have found to keep my puppy and her aunt from eating poop is simply to **keep it picked up**. I patrol the yard twice daily (as my wife laughs at me--but she's not the one who cuts the grass used by four healthy Berners!) and watch as I let the dogs out.

To humans, coprophagia (sp?) is a disgusting habit, but it appears to be instinctive in dogs to supplement their diets. I just make the effort to keep the yard picked up every day. I love to get kisses from my dogs, but I know where those Berner mouths have been.

Rick Koehler (with wife Cathy, Berner girls Tessa (12), Danetta (9), Sasha (four), boy pup Trapper (five months) and that same old mean cat!)

Hi! we need help our 3 1/2 month old berner, Blaze, sometimes eats her bm's. >Our vet told us to sprinkle meat tenderizer in her food that is really not >working all that well. Any other suggestions would be helpful.(-: She also >gets excited and bites.


BERNER-L Digest 758

Date: Fri, 13 Jun 1997 11:42:04 +0100 From: Jim Copeland To: Subject: Re: Poop eater responses

Thank you for the suggestions on helping us with our 3 & 1/2 month old puppy > and her tastes for eating poop. This is not an every day thing it's only >when I work and she is outside in her pen. As a rule we do pick up all her > movements as quickly as's just the few times a week that I am > at work in the afternoon after I feed her lunch. > >One of the reasons I ased for help was I was weary of adding meat tenderizer >in her food. I am now trying a spice called ANISE SEED that was recomended >by a berner-l subscriber. Also someone recomended a little licorice...just >so happens that this anise seed has a licorice-like flavor...we'll give it a >try and see what happens. > >Jim is a teacher and I work part time. We can't wait till school is out so >we may head out more in our Motor Home! Right now we travel on weekends >w/Blaze and she loves it as she gets alot (big time) attention where ever we >go. If you'd like you can visit our web page >there you can find out what we do (besides travel) with our Motor Home. > >Want to know if anyone can share how to house break our puppy? She does not >poop in the house or the motor home. When we are traveling she lets us >know she has to go by sitting by the stairs of the Motor Home and barks at >to door...but at home she pees where ever she pleases. We try to get her >out often but sometimes it's just 10 minutes. She seems to be drinking more >water since this heat arrived, could that be part of the problem? > >I look forward to hearing from you and since we joined berner-l the fist >thing I do (after I pour myself a cup of java) is read every word of the >daily log. > >Kathy Copeland

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Subject: coprophagy with puppy , ideas? Date: Thu, 28 Aug 1997 12:39:14 +0100 From: "Kelly Phillips" To: "berner list"

Hello everybody,

I posted on the list about 3 weeks ago with a new puppy problem and got all the help I needed with Buck. I sincerely wish to thank everybody. We have survived 3 weeks and Buck is wonderful. I can even sleep 7 hours in one stretch. Trust me I couldn't be happier. I do love my sleep. If only I could get Buck to enjoy it as much, sigh. :}

On a gloomier note, I am starting to worry about Buck's coprophagy. Big word for poop eating. I know that there is no real rhyme or reason for it, but it started the same day Buck found the litter box. Need I say more? :Also he will do it when he is hungry. Classic example, in the morning I let him out of his crate and we go pee. Back in for food, 20 min. later we go out to poop. Then, he tries to eat it. At first it seemed that he only did it when he was hungry. So I kept food out all day, that and me walking behind him with the shovel. I did that for 2 weeks. Trust me I was vigilant. Next came the Tabasco hot sauce. He learned not to do it in front of me. I quit that and returned to the scoop method. This week I got a powder from the vet called "FOR-BID" it contains purified vegetable protein fraction and sodium glutamate. The vet said to put over the dog's food and it will make the feces taste bad. No guarantee. Good thing because it isn't working.

He eats Pro Plan and doesn't know anything different. He is 11 weeks and eats 3 cups a day. I don't add anything. He is a typical middle of the road Bernese pup in temperament. I am out of ideas. I DO have the time to scoop after him, but that is not a solution. The backyard is 100 feet by 40 feet with lots of trees so our walks are long. Needless to say he doesn't need us following him anymore. One more fact, Buck won't do it everytime, and not old feces.

I would appreciate any ideas. I know it is more upsetting to me than him but I am not sure he will grow out of it.

Thanks in advance, Kelly Phillips in Eugene,Oregon USA ; Buck the confused pup Banzai the puppy wrestling cat Daniel my understanding hubby

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Subject: Poopy eating Puppy !!! Date: Fri, 29 Aug 1997 17:47:08 -0700 From: Ann-Maree To:

Hi Jim and Kathy,

Now you may think that 'us Aussie's' may be a bit 'Outback' or 'She'll be right mate' ... however ... I have a nearly 6mth old young lady ... and I use the word 'lady' loosely given our chosen topic ... she's an absolute darling .. no matter what Andrea has posted about her just recently ... however .. she does tend to eat her own poop (particularly fresh is good)! Very distressing as an owner and as you comment it is more upsetting to us than to the dog.

My boy Oake used to delight in pussy poops .. a real entree as far as he was concerned .. he never ate his own poop though ... he grew out of the pussy poop delight stage. Doing some reading research into one of the BMD UK books it had something about this sort of thing and put my mind somewhat at rest in saying that they are 'getting something' out of the poop that they 'need' ... yeah right!! As Oake grew out of the pussy stage I didn't bother worrying or talking to Vets about it.

Now Vogue thinks the pussy treats are great as well (unless her 'Mum' notices her hanging around the litter tray) .. so when she gives you a big lick on the face at least 100,000 germs and thoughts rush across ...

I made a 'panic' call to Vogue's breeder (the lovely Kim Haddon in Queensland) about this little 'habit' she was developing .. who said she too had experienced this sort of thing with a bitch and she used to heavily reprimand at the time of the 'crime' ... eventually the dog 'grew' out of it ...

I am living in hope that this too will be the case for Vogue. I might add that Vogue has the most voracious appetite I have ever encountered .. she is constantly nose to the ground scrounging for fragments, bugs, morsels dropped by anybody ... you'd think I NEVER fed her ... she's constantly looking for food .. I of course am trying to sensibly monitor her weight gain during her growth period .. so to her I guess she's supplementing ...

As I am fairly friendly with a few Vets around the place .. any I mention Vogue's indelicate ways to don't raise an eyebrow and seem pretty confident that 'this too will pass' ..

For the record, Vogue receives a varied 'natural' diet (raw meaty bones, veg, fruit, grains etc the list is a big one) together with Bonnie as a dry food .. so she gets plenty of different foods and variations ...

Her poop munching ways certainly appear not to have done her any harm thus far and she's one of the biggest 6mth old bitches you want to lay your eyes on!!!

I wish you all well!!!!

Ann-Maree, Oake & Vogue (alis Poop Scooper) Aldate - South Australia


Subject: Re: coprophagy with puppy , ideas? Date: Fri, 29 Aug 1997 08:28:34 -0400 (EDT) From: To:,

I'm afraid my reply won't be of much use to you, but I have an almost 8 year old Rottweiler who is still coprophagic. The only thing we have ever used that put a temporary stop to the habit was to feed her a small amount of black licorice (like Switzer's whips, etc.) after her two meals a day. It works as long as we give it to her, but it has not broken the habit in that she still eats her feces when we stop. So, I guess my answer is to buy licorice by the case! We give her one "whip" after each meal; she weighs about 85 - 90 lbs.

We also tried For-bid, and "NO!" (another food additive), following her around to clean up immediately; watching and telling her No (which only taught her to be sneaky); none of these treatments worked. She has been doing this since she was a puppy; she eats a high quality natural dog food, gets dog vitamins + Ester-C daily, is healthy with a nice shiny coat so I doubt if she is lacking some nutrient (other than she would like to get at least twice as much food as she does).

Try the licorice bit and see how it works for you.

Anne C., Flash (the Berner Boy) and Tyval, (the Rott'n one) TDX, HIC, CGC/TDI NE ILL


Subject: Re: Poopy eating Puppy !!! Date: Fri, 29 Aug 1997 23:57:34 +0930 From: "Andrea Madeley" To: "BMD Mailing List" ,

I have a nearly 6mth old young lady ... > and I use the word 'lady' loosely given our chosen topic ... she's an > absolute darling .. no matter what Andrea has posted about her just > recently ...

*** Lady?? The "Doc Martin Kid" !!!! TeeHeeTeeHee!

however .. she does tend to eat her own poop (particularly > fresh is good)! Very distressing as an owner and as you comment it is > more upsetting to us than to the dog..

*** Well. Now I've heard everything! Vogue? a poop eater? For some strange reason...I have no trouble picturing this at all.... :-))))

Ann-Maree...try some Tabasco on the poop. Just watch out for the back fire! :-) ))

(Rolling around on the floor laughing my head off!)

Andrea Madeley, Aari & The Non-Poop eating but definitely pooping Mishka

Aldinga Beach - South Australia Email: Home Page in working progress,


Subject: Must be a Fine Delicacy Date: Fri, 29 Aug 1997 17:43:52 -0400 (EDT) From: To:

To Kelly et al, I, too, have experienced copraphagy (sp?) in my dogs and yes it is gross, but I have chosen to ignore it. Horses will eat poop, too, and it appears to me (at least in the case of my own dogs) eating poop can be a learned behavior, much like cribbing (chewing on wood) and windsucking is in horses. If one horse in a stable starts cribbing, the others will start to join in. When one of my dog starts eating poop, the rest think it's a good idea and join in, all except my boy, Lucas, who is not a follower. Now, kitty poop, on the other hand, must be a fine delicacy. When I take my dogs out to the barn, the first thing they do, is search for it and savor it! Even, Lucas, I'm sorry to say, can't help himself and refrain from this gourmet delight. One time I was awakened during the night to a dog fight- kitty must have just used the litter box and Lucas and son, Adam, had a tiff over who was going to get the treat. As someone said, the fresher the better! I don't think this behavior is so unnatural. After all, it is very instinctive for a bitch to clean up after her pups in the first few weeks of life (thank goodness for small favors). And I don't think it's an indication of a nutritional inadequacy either. I don't know if anyone has suggested this one, but you can try putting Adolph's Meat Tenderizer on their food, my vet suggested that; although I haven't tried it. What I do is to try and clean up daily after my dogs, and, oh well, if they sneak in a taste now and then, no kisses from Mom (at least for a day). Karen in Parker, Co.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- BERNER-L Digest 1090

Date: Tue, 03 Feb 1998 17:23:29 +0900 From: fude takayoshi To: Subject: Re: strange eating habits


Would like to ask if anyone can explain the cause of the strange eating habits, like Berners eating their own excrements. I never had a problem like this personally with my four Berners, yet, apparently this issue has been greatly concerned and discussed very often by the many members of the Japanese BMD Mailing List. Some of the owners complain that their Berners eat their excrements and even someone else's. Basically young ones tend to display that kind of habit, but some old ones do it also.

Any suggestion as to how to make them stop this weird habit?

Thanks always.

Fude Takayoshi Tokyo


Date: Wed, 4 Feb 1998 10:17:52 +1030 From: "Andrea Madeley" To: "BMD Mailing List" , Subject: Re: strange eating habits

Would like to ask if anyone can explain the cause of the strange eating > habits, like Berners eating their own excrements.

There is nothing to unusual about this ~ dogs do this to gain important nutrients that may be deficient in their diet. I hear about it often in dogs fed commercial preparations.

Poop from other animals (and even their own) is very high in Essential Fatty Acids and various other microbes. Dr. Billinghurst at his seminar quoted "A *Smart* dog eats feces"...unquote.

I would suggest more raw foods rich in Essential Fatty Acids added to the diet (raw chicken meat/fat and pork fat...bones too are good sources) but they must be raw.

Why is what I am typing in this reply unreadable...this is weird! :-)

Andrea Madeley, Aari & Mischka Aldinga Beach - South Australia Email: Home Page STILL under working progress.....


Date: Tue, 3 Feb 1998 21:14:49 -0600 From: "Anita" To: Subject: Re: strange eating habits

Fude asked about the "strange eating habits" of Berners. Well, my crew has certainly developed a flair for it. Actually, it started with my girl and both boys (including el-muttso, who has never eaten his own poop in his previous 15 years) have decided to copy her. . . .

I have tried EVERYTHING. It's particularly hard to clean up right after at night in the winter. Mae has taken to waiting until I turn my back or can't see her to do her thing. . . .

Anyway, I have decided that I'm just looking at this all wrong. So now, I catch her (them) when I can. Otherwise, I figure I should just have a more positive attitude -- i.e., I have trained my dogs to clean up after themselves.

Now, if I could just train them to run the vacuum cleaner. . . .

Anita Schrodt in Wichita KS with Mae, Satchmo, and Othello, world's best yard cleaner-uppers.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- BERNER-L Digest 1096

Date: Sat, 7 Feb 1998 18:10:21 -0500 From: "julie fontaine" To: Subject: Disgusting habit

I need HELP!!!

My berner has a very disgusting habit of eating its stools. I have = tried every product or trick to get him off his habit but nothing = works.... even a very HOT HOT mixture of pimentos ( he thinks it tastes = even better...). I hope someone can help me with this because even my = younger dog is starting to do it.

Thank you,



Date: Sat, 7 Feb 1998 19:35:01 -0800 From: "Ruth Reynolds" To: Subject: Re: Disgusting habit

Julie said:I need HELP!!! My berner has a very disgusting habit of eating its stools. I have tried every product or trick to get him off his habit but nothing works.... even a very HOT HOT mixture of pimentos ( he thinks it tastes even better...). I hope someone can help me with this because even my younger dog is starting to do it.

***It has been my experience with my own dogs and those of others as well that dogs who eat canine feces seem to respond well to introduction of either chelated multi minerals or organic mineral in the form of dehydrated grasses. Depending on the dog's diet and other health factors, one might be better indicated than the other.

We tend to often try to STOP behaviors. Most behaviors have a cause. In the case of stool eating it may be nutritional deficienty. I am as prone as anyone else to find the immediate "fix". In my experience however, "fixing" the problem without underrstanding and addressing the cause of it, rarely brings about permanent changes in undesired behavior.

If you would like to learn more about this approach, please feel free to contact me.

Ruth Reynolds


Date: Sun, 8 Feb 1998 13:04:23 +1030 From: "Andrea Madeley" To: "BMD Mailing List" , "julie fontaine" Subject: Re: Disgusting habit

My berner has a very disgusting habit of eating its stools. I have tried every product or trick to get him off his habit but nothing works.... even a very HOT HOT mixture of pimentos ( he thinks it tastes even better...). I hope someone can help me with this because even my younger dog is starting to do it.


It's only disgusting to us because we're not dogs. This habit is not only normal for dogs but infact quite necessary at times.

If you can get passed the odour and thought of poop - you may also find that there is a lot of essential nutrients packed in that there pile of pooh! The most useful to dogs are the Essential Fatty Acids and other microbes. Often we see this habit form in dogs are going through a phase of deficiencies in these much needed nutrients...enzymes being ripe and very helpful to a dogs system...

And...last but not least - I guess to tastes good!

No kisses though...well..not on the lips OK?

Andrea Madeley, Aari & Mischka Aldinga Beach - South Australia Email: Home Page STILL under working progress.....

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Date: Mon, 02 Mar 1998 13:22:57 -0500 From: Kathy & Jim Copeland To: berner-l Subject: Study on coprophagia, a.k.a. poop-eating Mime-version: 1.0

Someone on another list posted this web site:

Where Erik Hofmeister at Washington State University's vet school is conducting a study on coprophagia, a.k.a. poop-eating. Some interesting data can be found there and Erik would like to hear from people with dogs of all breeds and ages who do and who do not eat their own poop, other dogs' poop, and other animals' poop. He welcomes feedback/comments and if you'd like to be a part of this study you can get him to send you a survey.

Kathy & Jim Copeland -- Clinton, MA Blue Eyed "BLAZE" (BMD) One year old with one blue eye e-mail: -- voice: 1-800-560-8207 Web page: (A picture of *Blaze* is there) Pet Care Products:

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Date: Tue, 3 Mar 1998 23:10:52 -0600 From: "Anita" To: Subject: poop eating and clickers

Different subjects, before anyone gets excited. . . .

On the former, I haven't tried this yet, but have read posts from a guy who finally found something his dog absolutely couldn't stand when he sprinkled it on the stuff -- spearmint (apparently, the pure spearmint breath-freshening spray).

Clickers -- there was a request for info on the clicker mail lists. There are two, clicktrain and click-l. I would recommend that anyone who gets into these get the digest form -- the traffic is really heavy. Clicktrain, even as a digest (albeit a digest that moves with 5-6 posts in each) routinely ships out 4 or more digest a day.

here are signup instructions:

TO SUBSCRIBE TO CLICK-L: send message to:

and in BODY of message put subscribe click-l-digest your e-mail address


and in body of message put: subscribe clicktrain-digest your e-mail address

and about clicking and not having a clicker -- for one thing, the clicker is for training and occasional refreshing, but the goal is to achieve a behavior and "retire" the clicker on that behavior. You can compensate, when caught clicker-less, with a "yes!" or cluck-cluck sound or whatever other positive reinforcement you can come up with. My guys get "good girl" or "good boy" or just "good" with or without the clicker. The clicker is more precise for training, particularly if you tackle something that needs to be reinforced step by step.

I haven't really done anything complicated, but on "go back" (teaching the dog to walk backwards, which is good for their legs, at least I assume it is) Satchmo was really reluctant. I literally had to click him for leaning back, and then step by step. He does it now willingly, with no clicker. (Once he got the hang of it, which took some doing, he decided it was fun.)

Anita Schrodt in Wichita KS etc. etc.

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Date: Wed, 4 Mar 1998 19:28:58 -0800 From: "Kathryn Butterfield-Davis" To: Subject: Re: poop eating

Regarding things to put on dog poop to make it disgusting to a poop snacker--You might try Listerine Mouthwash straight--the old, nasty-tasking yellow formula. I put it in a spray bottle with a little water & squirt it in a dog's mouth every time he barks (ie in crate & has been told "quiet!"). I use this when my dogs are young 10-12wks. It has been the best training against excessive barking & the dogs have fresh breath! I put the sprayer on straight stream & spray from only a foot away so I can hit them in their mouth (not their eyes). After the pup has been 'shot' once or twice, all I have to do is mist it in the air even a couple of feet away. Even the older dogs snort to clear their nostrils of the yucky smell. I'm out of Listrine, or I would try it on my poop eaters tomorrow & tell you personally how it works. It's on my grocery list!

Kathy Windraider Retrievers Flat Coats, Labradors, a spoiled rotten Amer. Eskimo & California a bouncing baby Berner boy

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Date: Thu, 7 May 98 16:22:48 EDT From: (538849100-Dean S. Scott) To: Subject: Re: poop eaters

Someone wrote: Another question... I have tried and tried to get Heidi to stop eating my other dogs Poop. ...I have tried Anise Seed in their food, cayenne pepper on the "steak" itself and meat tenderizer in their food. Does anyone have any suggestions for a really persistant Berner?

Well I tried a new deterrent (or should I say: de terd ain't) "Crushed pineapple" and it worked for us. Put a table spoonful in their food. For some reason they do not like the taste of a fruit cocktail stool.

Dean Scott Kutztown, Pa.

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Date: Sun, 15 Nov 1998 18:57:02 -0500 From: JAMES STORIE ( To: Subject: Disgusting habits

Hello! Wondering if any of you out in Berner land could forward some suggestions in attempts to eliminate the problem of eating feces. Four out of our five dogs engage in this habit!! (two of them regularly). I hate to say it, but it was our Berner boy (age 2) that started it all. We have tried switching foods, thinking something was lacking. As well we have tried recommendations from our vet, etc....nothing seems to really work. Their area (a large fenced in yard) is scooped twice daily so its not easily accessible. Any one out there with this problem??


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From: "Raymond Burgett" ( To: "Berner L" (, ( Subject: Re:Disgusting Habits Date: Sun, 15 Nov 1998 20:55:43 -0800

The eating of feces is not just a dog thing. Horses also do it. I do not know of a cure but will keep a close eye on the L to see if someone has a sure fire cure. We did find one use for the dog feces,drop some of it in the holes they love to dig and they will not touch that hole agin, ( Hey lets dig next to it) It does seem as though they outgrow that disgusting habit.

Eagle Cap Bernese Ray & Pat Burgett Kenai,Talee,Lexi,Bonny,& Geraldine( Mini Dasch)

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Date: Mon, 16 Nov 1998 09:34:04 -0500 From: THOMAS SLIDER ( To: Bernese Mountain Dog Mailing List ( Subject: RE: Disgusting Habits!!!!!!!

I also have this problem of feces-eating by my 3yr old Berner female. Noticed that she does this more often before, during, and after her heat. Cannot break her as of yet. My 10yr old Golden female is just now trying the same habit. Both of my male Berners have not shown any interest in this endeavour....that goodness. I, too, pick up the 'poop' every AM & PM and Golden is my "mine-finder", especially now with all the leaves out there. Did try Deter but would have to give to all dogs and it did cause diarrhea with one of my males. Tried hot pepper, fireplace ashes, cayenne pepper etc but if I do that, I might as well pick it up! Will keep posted for suggestions. Carol, North Carolina


From: Date: Mon, 16 Nov 1998 11:23:23 EST To: Subject: Re: Disgusting Habits!!!!!!!

I posted this privately, but perhaps, seeing how many people have this problem with their pooches, I decided to post to all...

This solution is NOT vet recommended, and I have no guarentees it will work for your dog, but it worked for mine... so I thought I would share...

I read in a book called "101 things your dog wants you to know" that sometimes feeding enzyme-rich foods like grapefruit, pumpkin and papaya because sometimes the dog is lacking in a digestive enzyme that leaves too much of the food nutirents passing through.

I started to feed Maddy two papaya enzyme tablets a day, and the poop-eating stopped. You can get these at any health food store and Maddy LOVES them!

She has not eaten any fecal matter for MONTHS, but I keep them on hand, just in case.

Good luck... Samantha & Madison


Date: Mon, 16 Nov 1998 11:37:12 -0500 From: Chris & Marjorie Cottle ( To: CC: Bernese Mountain Dog Mailing List ( Subject: Re: Disgusting Habits!!!!!!!

My puppy started the poop eating habit after she had a bout of diareha at about 3mos old. Now it has become a habit and also a competition. She'll poop in a circle, eating with one end while pooping at the other to prevent MEfrom getting it first!!!! Finally, now that she is 14 months old I have decided to try to ignore it and lo and behold, most of the time she won't eat it , but let her see me heading toward it and she's there in a flash cleaning up those morsels before I can have the pleasure!!

Marjorie and her self cleaning puppy, Addie( at least if Mom forgets the plastic bag, I can always clean up after myself!)


Date: Mon, 16 Nov 1998 11:41:40 -0500 From: Molly Bass ( To: CC: berner-l ( Subject: Re: Disgusting Habits!!!!!!!

This solution is NOT vet recommended, and I have no guarentees it will work for your dog, but it worked for mine... so I thought I would share...

Any suggestions for horse poop and kitty poop?! I am living on a farm while our house is being built and my guys can't get enough of the stuff - yuk! I've grown up with horses and dogs and we never had this problem with our other dogs or the barn dogs. I am getting sick of kitty poop breath (I can handle the horse poop breath a little better and it goes away faster.)

Molly, Bogen, Bianca, and Raven - Why don't you want kissies mom? Charlottesville, VA


Date: Mon, 16 Nov 1998 12:02:46 -0600 To: From: Ian and Debbie McKinley ( Subject: RE: Disgusting Habits!!!!!!!

Gretchen is 6 so I doubt that she will out grow feces eating. Yes we try to keep the yard picked up but some days life gets ahead of you. And with two other poop machines in the yard with her, well fresh is alwys better , isn't it.

So what it boils down to at our house is this. Gretchen is never left unsupervised in the yard. Usually a casual' Gretchen I'm watching you' is all that is needed to stop her BEFORE she actually tries to grab some. And when she knows you are watching it is very definite that she is looking but trying not to look like she is looking. There are days that she is determined to get some anyway. We have one of those sonic hand held beepers(the blue one from R.C Steele) Gretchen may ignore many things when she wants something bad enough, but one blast on the sonic unit will stop her (and since it makes her a little edgy , she will not try again for a week or more) A good bonus is that often times now we don't actually have to push the button, just picking up the unit and saying her name will get an instant, 'I'm snot doing anything ' response. Sometimes her episode of 'the gulps' can be tied into an opps when one of us was not fast enough and she got ahold of poop within the last two days. At night when she goes out we keep a flashlight trained on her (she gets indignant about it sometimes. Another thing we have to be on the look out when we go on walks for other dogs poop (I feel 'safer' about her getting our dogs poops than someone elses)

We don't beat ouselves up if she gets some, but do go wash her mouth out, and tell her to keep her breath to herself for a while :)

Debbie and Ian McKinley web pages: from Kansas, the sunflower state. "I know foot and paw. But what the heck is gee and haw?"-Debbie McKinley

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Date: Tue, 17 Nov 1998 02:57:17 -0500 From: Marthe Millas =?ISO-8859-1?Q?S=E9n=E9cal?= ( Subject: RE:Discusting Habits!!! To: Berner-L (

Hi all,

Samantha writes: «sometimes the dog is lacking in a digestive enzyme that leaves too much of the food nutirents passing through.» I had a golden retreiver for 13 years, she started fece eating around 10 years of age, it took us a while to notice it because she was not doing it every time. Finaly a check up at the vet found a thyroid problem, and when we told him about the poop eating he said it could be related because of a lack of something or other in her system. The advice he gave us was 1.-Put tobasco sauce on it, usualy the dog will not go back( yuk!) 2.- Supervise the dog when they go out and to pick it up immediatly. She took the thyroid pills and got rid of the habit pretty quick. Has anybody else ever heard of a thyroid problem related to poop eating ? I would try the enzymes , sounds like a good idea, and it is a natural supplement.

Martha , Mishka and Nanook Pincourt, Quebec

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Date: Mon, 16 Nov 98 22:42:05 EST From: (538849100-Dean S. Scott) To: Subject: Re: Disgusting Habits !!!!

Try adding a 1/2 cup of crushed pineapple to your poop eaters food. Someone told us to try pumpkin, but it didn't work. The pineapple did work for us.

Dean Scott

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Date: Mon, 16 Nov 1998 22:29:28 -0600 From: Robin Camken ( To: Subject: Re: Disgusting Habits !!!!

Here are some sites that offer various theories on what causes Coprophagia (poop eating) in canines and suggestions on how to prevent/cure it.


Owner Documentation of Coprophagia in the Canine


Coprophagia(eating feces)

The consensus appears to be that the only guaranteed solution is to pickup immediately after your dog, thereby removing the source of the problem. This seems logical to me and sure beats injecting the feces with hot sauce through a hypodermic needle (this was actually suggested as solution).

Robin ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Robin Camken Winnipeg, MB, Canada E-mail ( Home Page =

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From: "Ruth Reynolds " ( To: "Berner-L" ( Subject: response to Dean re: nutrit. deficiency and feces scrounging Date: Tue, 17 Nov 1998 13:07:39 -0800


It would be my guess that the enzymes in pineapple have put your dogs back on track where their own bodies can resume adequate production of the enzymes they need.

I like it when people can civily disagree.

Thanks for your post.

Ruth Reynolds


Date: Wed, 18 Nov 1998 09:58:35 +1030 From: Ann-Maree ( Subject: Re: Stools & Grass Eating? To: Berner L (

If this BARF diet is as good as everyone says,does it keep the dogs from eating there S H ? T. (

Ray & Pat:

Excellent question! I was wondering the same what is the consensus? Any BARF'ers suffering from stool/grass eating?

*** Hi .. I actually did answer an email on this privately yesterday .. I thought the List would 'groan' if I popped up again so soon on the dreaded BARF ...

To answer this question from my perspective ... my 2 BMD's - male/female - nearly 3yrs/21mths ... respectively.

Oaky the boy .. ate an occasional pussy poop as a pup .. and yes I did avoid those puppy kisses ... however he has never eaten his own or any other's stools .. but hey it's great to sniff others along our walks just to 'identify' who's gone before him.

Vogue .. my greedy little piglet ... whilst still scoffing pussy poops today .... has on 2 occasions when she was quite young (that I'm aware of and she's at work with me all the time) chowed down on her own .... (yes I know gross topic so early in the morning, well for this end of the world anyway). I upped her vegetable matter for the week, more garlic, and 'Missing Link' ... some fruits, grains .....

To date ... she's not bothered with doggie doohs.

As for grass ... both mine will have a graze on our walks even on top of all the veg pulp they get during a week. Sometimes Vogue will vomit straight after (a clean out) ... and then spring along like nothing happened ... Oaky on the other hand has his grass with no such side show .... I've even cropped grass and put thru their meals at times.

Oaky particularly likes to have some grass out of the backyard after his main meal if it contains meat chunks (even with the greens, carrots, capsicum, garlic mashed thru) ..... Oaky has had a fit of 'gulping' too (fly snapping I think you refer to it as) (which scared the hell out of me) .... where he rampantly goes for the grass. He eats his meat too quickly at times which I believe takes in air and brings on this gulping ...

Now when I leave lots of meat on a bone ... we don't have that situation 'cause he has to take longer and rips it rather than eating chunks .... which is better for him ....

If I see this gulping happening I give him a bowl of milk or some straight flaxseed oil in his bowl to lap ....

Vogue is a strong bitch and Oaky is what I'd call a soft dog (gorgeous though .. of course) ... Vogue has never had gulping .. no matter what I feed or don't. In my heart I figure she's the more robust one.

So a tad long-winded but you get the general drift ....

'Thunder from Down Under' Ann-Maree, Oaky & Vogue ALDGATE - SOUTH AUSTRALIA

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Date: Tue, 17 Nov 1998 18:56:11 -0800 To: " Bernese Mountain Dog Mailing List" ( From: Robin Welch ( Subject: Re: Eating Feces

I think they are nutrient seeking when they do this and need a vitamin and mineral supplement. Especially minerals.


From: "Kathryn Butterfield-Davis" ( To: ( Subject: Re: Stools & Grass Eating? Date: Tue, 17 Nov 1998 19:08:38 -0800

Ann-Maree mentioned increasing veggies when her dogs started stool eating & that triggered my memory about what a friend told me.

A long-time Lab breeder told me that putting a couple of tsps. of spinach--a TBSP for Berners in with the dogs' food twice a day (canned works fine) will stop them from eating each others stools. She swears it works. After a couple of weeks, stop the spinach & *usually* the behavior doesn't return.

I was told that the Navajo word for 'dog' means eater of feces! I think there are a number of reasons for coprophagy (sp?). One is that if our dogs were in the wild, the den area would have to be kept clean so as not to draw predators. One of my pups would clean up after her brothers & sisters when they were on newspaper in the kitchen, but once they went outside & also went to their homes, she quit & never did it again. Another reason that I've observed is a kind of honoring of the top dog in the pack. I had a Lab, Polly, that all the other dogs groomed as she layed around (Cleopatra?). The dogs who would eat feces would only eat hers.

The third reason is that the feces probably still has the smell of 'food' to some dogs.

Whatever the reason, YECH!!! Where's that spinach???!!

Kathy Windraider Retrievers Flat Coats, Labradors, a BIG, bouncing Berner boy & California a spoiled rotten Amer. Eskimo


Date: Tue, 17 Nov 1998 21:14:31 -0600 From: Robin Camken ( To: Bernese Mountain Dog Mailing List ( Subject: Re: Eating Feces

From WHY DOES MY DOG EAT FECES? By Theresa A. Fuess, Ph.D. University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine

In the past it was believed that feces eating, also known as coprophagia, was caused by either poor diet or poor health. However, this theory is not supported by current research. "Behavioral research has discounted the idea that it is a dietary deficiency or a pancreatic enzyme deficiency," says Dr. Jo Ann Eurell, a veterinarian and animal behavior specialist at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. "Dogs are historically scavengers, and this is believedto be a scavenger behavior".


Robin Camken Winnipeg, MB, Canada E-mail ( Home Page =

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From: "Doug Smith" ( To: "berner-l" ( Subject: re:grass/stooll eating Date: Wed, 18 Nov 1998 11:51:46 -0500

Our senior vet at the clinic where we take our animals has an interesting theory about grass eating. He feels that is an evolutionary trait of ancient dogs. He feels that those dogs who ate grass tended to survive better. a Therefore these were the ones who passed along there genes by being the ones who were healthiest and bred the most. He explains that as those of us who have grass eaters have seen that the grass is not digested. It instead travels through the gut and leaves the dog as a mass of material with many edges exposed. His theory is that the rough edges of the grass clump scraped worms from the intestinal walls causing them to be expelled leaving a healthier dog. He also says not to worry about the animals eating grass unless you are using any type of lawn treatment. Our 3 dogs and the cat all graze on grass and it seems to do them no harm ( sometimes we wonder if they don't have sheep genes hidden in them).

Blessed with 3 big old goofy dogs

Doug Smith Enfield,NH

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Date: Wed, 18 Nov 1998 08:20:49 +0000 From: Jenise Klos ( To: CC: Bernese Mountain Dog Mailing List ( Subject: Re: Eating Feces

Then what would explain that my dog will only eat frozen "poopsicles?" He never touched the stuff all summer and I thought he had outgrown this disgusting habit. We are now deep into winter and I see him digging for the oldest, most frozen pieces he can find that I missed when cleaning the yard. I have not changed his diet. Jenise Klos, North Pole, Alaska

Robin Welch wrote:

I think they are nutrient seeking when they do this and need a vitamin and mineral supplement. Especially minerals.

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From: "Raymond Burgett" ( To: "Berner L" ( Subject: Stool eating Date: Mon, 22 Feb 1999 21:48:45 -0800

Over the 14 years we have raised the Mountain Dogs and others before them we have tried every thing one could think of to stop this disgusting habit. The best thing that works is to clean the yard a minimum of two times a day.When we have more than 3 dogs here which is most of the time we pick up 3 times a day. Soooooooo when the cannot find any of their own they head for the horse manure pile.

Eagle Cap Bernese Ray & Pat Burgett Kenai,Lexi,Bonny,& Geraldine( Mini Dasch) & Guest from Kielerstar Kennels -- N.E.Oregon Eli & Allegra

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Date: Tue, 23 Feb 1999 23:04:58 -0800 From: Sara Anne Furrer ( To: "" ( Subject: stool eating

we all know that the dog habit of stool eating is gross, but they are dogs and they eat a lot of wierd things when they can but I've never heard whether or not it can be dangerous or unhealthy. Any knowledge out there on this? Sara & Blackjack "if its a deer and you're not looking...."


From: "Andrea Madeley" ( To: (, "Bernese Mountain Dog Mailing List" ( Subject: Re: stool eating Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 15:34:35 +1030

I don't know why I feel this way but I think horse manure is not as discusting (sp?) as dog poop! Actually, I think if I was a dog I'd nibble some myself. (sick, eh??)

Horse manure is very good food for a dog. If they want some, don't deny it.

If dogs eat their own faeces it could well be highlighting a deficiency - OR - a yummy habit formed due to boredom...OR the dog is just plain hungry and not satisfied on it's current diet.

Either way - it's disgusting to humans....not dogs.

Andrea Madeley, Aari & Mischka Aldinga Beach - South Australia Email:


From: "Andrea Madeley" ( To: "BERNER-L" (, ( Subject: Re: stool eating Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 08:31:30 +1030

dogs and they eat a lot of wierd things when they can but I've never heard whether or not it can be dangerous or unhealthy. Any knowledge out there on this?

For a dog it's a food source high in many, many nutrients - the fatty acids, enzymes, vitamins and minerals etc. may well be something a dog on a commercial diet is looking for.

Andrea Madeley, Aari & Mischka Aldinga Beach - South Australia Email:

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From: Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 08:40:42 EST To: Cc: Subject: Re: stool eating

In a message dated 2/24/99 4:44:53 PM Pacific Standard Time, writes:

(( or a dog it's a food source high in many, many nutrients - the fatty acids, enzymes, vitamins and minerals etc. may well be something a dog on a commercial diet is looking for. ))

Or else perhaps it is just tasty! MMMMmmmmmmm.....yuck!

Vilma Akron, OH


From: Bruce Dennis ( To: "Berner Mailing List (E-mail)" ( Subject: Re: Stool Eating Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 16:44:28 -0800

I received a catalog called "Doctors Foster and Smith", and one product claims to stop stool eating. It is called Dis-Taste and it is supposedly contains vegetable extracts that make a dog's stool unpalatable to even the most habitual stool eater. I don't know if it works - sounds interesting. Their website is This product is only for dogs, unfortunately my dog only enjoys that of the cat. Maybe someone else out there has tried this products.

Bruce Dennis

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From: "Louise Wetzel" To: "Bernese Mountain Dog Mailing List" Subject: poop eating Date: Sat, 10 Jul 1999 08:38:19 -0700

Hi folks,

Sophie is going to be 9 in September and she still eats poop. Not her own anymore, just the Border Collie's. I have tried everything and nothing works, except cleaning up after her right away. Out of sight, out of mind. I never let her out without checking the yard first for landmines, of course occasionally I am not as vigilant as I could be and she gets to scarf up a treat.

It might have something to do with the fact that she is on a very bland food, Science Diet WD, for her sensitive stomach and colitis. Perhaps she is looking for more proteins in her diet. Too bad, rather have that, ppop eating, than shooting diarrhea and vomiting.

Louise in Glendale, Queens, NY a Bernese, a Border Collie and two Papillons


From: "Kim Coleman" To: "Bernese Mountain Dog Mailing List" Subject: RE: poop eating Date: Sat, 10 Jul 1999 07:16:16 -0400

Often times a pup will go through a poop eating stage that they will grow out of. I don't worry too much here. But my 3 yr old Boxer never grew out of this and it became apparent that his poop as well as grass eating habits were a bit neurotic.

With the advice from the Berner-L, I began him on "Dynamite's Herbal Green", a teaspoon or two daily and this behavior ceased, completely. I don't think Max is too crazy about the flavor being added to his kibble but he stills scarf it all down rather than let Callihan clean his bowl.

Max is still neurotic but I believe the AKC standard allows for it in the Boxer breed standard!

Kim Coleman Left Coast, USA "I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it"

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Date: Mon, 06 Dec 1999 20:08:30 -0500 From: Marthe Millas Senecal Subject: Re: poo snacks To: Graeme McRanor

Hi there, We have an excellent article on coprophagia on the BMDCQ website, check it out. Hope this helps. Martha

Québec, Canada Club Québécois du Bouvier Bernois (CQBB) Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Quebec(BMDCQ)

-----Message d'origine----- De : Graeme McRanor À : Date : 5 décembre, 1999 23:52 Objet : poo snacks

Occassionally my 14 month old Berner will stumble upon another dog's feces and decides that he needs a snack. I've read before that this may be due to an enzyme he is lacking etc. He only does it every so often but I am constantly monitoring him on question, I read on the list a while back about adding something into his food to stop this behavior, but I don't remember what it was and I can't find the old posting. Any ideas???

Graeme McRanor RDTV, Ryerson Polytechnic University Toronto, Canada

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Subject: eating poop Date: Tue, 26 Dec 2000 09:46:40 -0700 From: "Leonard Bergstein" To: "Bernese Mountain Dog"

Help! Our 4 month old BMD Annie seems to be snacking on poop! We have three dogs, and pick up 2-3 times a day, however we occasionally don't find anything. The other day I observed Annie eating the waste, and tried to correct her, but she seems to be doing this whenever she has the chance. Any suggestions or advice? Our other berner Cosmo never did anything like that. Len, Cosmo, K.C. & Annie


Subject: Re: eating poop Date: Tue, 26 Dec 2000 10:08:29 -0800 From: "Ruth Reynolds" To: CC: "Berner-L"

Help! Our 4 month old BMD Annie seems to be snacking on poop!

***Hi Len,

**Many people who find themselve in your shoes want simply for this behavior to stop. I don't know for sure what specifically will stop YOUR dog's stool eating behavior but I can share what my experience has been with other dogs who did this.

***I suspect that your Annie is simply RECYCLING!!!! Stool eating behavior, or coprophagy, is an indication to me that my own dogs have not gotten all the "goodie" from their food on the first round through the digestive system. Why would that be? Why would they not utilize the nutrients in the food presented? There are a number of reasons including that some sources of a particular nutrient may not be so easily digested by a particular animal. In a specific animal's diet, if the main source of a specific amino acid is not highly useable by THAT particular dog, the step in the digestion and absorption process facilitated by that amino acid will be lacking in its efficiency. This can result in a significant portion of the nutrients in a diet being excreted rather than absorbed into the bloodstream where they feed the body. The dog eats its digested food again in an attempt to retrieve the digestive enzymes it is missing.

So....what can you do to discern if THIS is why your dog is eating dog feces? Many recommend supplementing the diet with digestive enzymes. If you choose to do this, go very slow as you add them so as not to cause a gastric disturbance and subsequent intestinal inflammation which may result in diarrhea. The suggestions of adding pineapple (bromelain), Adolf Meat Tenderizer (numerous enzymes used to tenderize meat) or products marketed specifically for dogs with multiple digestive enzymes, have all been made here in the past and probably all have worked to some extent for many dogs.

What I like to use is more enzymes in the form of "green vegetation" which seems also to be what many dogs who eat feces also crave as they also seek grass to eat. I use a product from Dynamite Marketing called Herbal Green. I have found it to be very mild in effects, easy for the dogs to accept in their food if they indeed need it, and overall a good choice for this application. If you'd like more info about my and others' experiences using Herbal Green for this purpose, write me privately.

Good luck reclaiming that kissable face. :-)

Ruth Reynolds


Subject: RE: eating poop Date: Tue, 26 Dec 2000 10:21:50 -0600 From: "Anita Schrodt" To: "Berner-L"

Well, you can let the poop-eating drive you crazy or you can do what I finally did - look at the bright side. She cleans up after herself .

Seriously, all three of my Berners do this off and on. The two older ones had basically stopped and then along came pup, and pup did it. So the other two joined in. It's sort of a vicious circle. I've seen it come and I've seen it go. My older girl gets into it in the fall, almost like clockwork. She'll stop around February. But if one does it, they all do it. It was my older female Berner who first introduced me to this habit, and that started when I was feeding her whole raw, unjuiced carrots, which came right back out and of course, just begged to be eaten again.

Earlire this year, even my wee old dog, who had never eaten poop in his 18 years on this earth, followed the Berners' cue.

I tried EVERYTHING. All the chemical additives, pineapple, "leave it", running around behind the dogs with my baggies, even XXX-rated hot sauce (yum yum was their reaction). Running right behind them with baggies was the only sure-fire cure - and that's not even a cure, it's just maintenance.

It's been my observation that some dogs do it, doesn't matter if they're on kibble or Barf, if they're skinny or fat, what supplements they get or whatever. The more bored my guys are (we've been kinda housebound by the weather, so they're pretty bored right now ) the worse they get. On the other hand, they can spend three hours of aggressive bone-chewing and go right outside and start poop-hunting. And of course, there's absolutely nothing as much fun as treasure-hunting for poopsicles in the snow!

For my own sanity, I finally decided it's a dog thing. After all, first thing they see their mothers do is clean up after the pups. It may even be a Berner thing (I never had the problem with other dogs) - but I certainly have seen other breeds do it.

As long as they keep their stinky breath away from me and drink some water when they come back inside. . .

Anita Schrodt With snacking Berners in Iowa


Subject: re: poop eating Date: Tue, 26 Dec 2000 11:00:31 -0700 From: "Joyce Rogers" To:

Hello all,

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and are looking forward to an even better New Year!!

With all the discussion of "poop eating" I thought I might share my 2cents. When I had a concern about this behaviour I asked my vet about it. She gave me some tablets to add to the dog's food which made the poop taste horrible and the next time the dog ate the poop was the last time the dog ate it. I really don't know the name of the stuff (and I can't find out because it's boxing day and our vet office is closed) but it certainly cured the habbit. It also helped when the our puppy discovered the tasty brown nibblies in the cat litter box, I added it to the cat's food (under the vet's guidance), the puppy got into the litter box again, and again for the last time. It's just an additive to the food and makes the poop taste so bad that (almost 100% of the time) they don't want to eat it anymore. I don't know if poop eating is "normal" or if it is something they "need to do" once in a while, I just know that as close as we are to our dogs with their being up with us on the couch and sometimes the bed and "in our faces" I'd rather not be in the face of a poop-eating puppy. All the rest of the "stuff" they are into is bad enough - but if I can use something for a quick fix that isn't going to harm them - so that they don't have "poop breath" - I'll take it ! ! ! Anyway, I don't know if you can get this additive from the vets in the US (which I would think you could), but I got it from my vet here in Canada. Hope this may help. If I can get the name of it from our vet in the next couple of days I'll pass it along if anyone is interested. Take care,

Kindest Regards, JOYCE Berner Baby KIRBY (I've finally out-grown Bella by at least 2 inches !!!), Big Sis BELLA (Lab/ChowX- wow, the furball is bigger than me) Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada


BERNER-L Digest 2891

Subject: Re: Eating Poop Date: Wed, 27 Dec 2000 04:18:42 -0800 (PST) From: Mandy Brecht To: Bernese Mountain Dog Mailing List

"When I had a concern about this behaviour I asked my vet about it. She gave me some tablets to add to the dog's food which made the poop taste horrible and the next time the dog ate the poop was the last time the dog ate it. "

I agree.. I recently had this problem with Sasha.. our vet told ud to by the pills from Pet Smart.. she tried to eat poop after we started giveing her the pills and she definately did not like the taste.. she now sniffs it, but then turns away!!! YEA!!! I forgot that name (it is at home) but any good pet store should be able to help.. or your vet.

Mandy Columbia, MD


Subject: re: poop eating, but a different kind Date: Wed, 27 Dec 2000 08:32:44 -0800 From: "Matt & Julia Richert" To: Bernese Mountain Dog Mailing List

Our Berner, Lily, and our mini schnauzer, Max, are poop connoisseurs. It drives us crazy!!! They would never deign to eat their own excrement, or even each other's, but there is nothing more delightful to them than elk or deer droppings.

We are at our wit's end with this! Every time we let them out, they will make a mad dash around the yard, noses to the ground and whomever finds the "goodies" first will bark to alert the other. They then proceed to chow down, and will continue even if I'm screaming "NO!! Leave it!!!" and running toward them with arms-awavin'. The know "leave it" and are reliable with in all circumstances except this one. They'll even drop the nasty mystery carcasses they frequently find on the beach when told to, but

Does anyone have any suggestions about how to curb this? They are both on Innova, supplemented with Missing Link, and receive raw bones and veggies a couple times a week. The vet has cleared them both as in perfect health. We play and work A LOT; Max is learning agility and Lily is working toward therapy certification -- so I really don't think they're bored. I've gotten to the point that I only take them out on their leashes to go potty, so they can't dash for the poo. But during the day, they are in

Any suggestions would be welcomed!

Julia, exasperated mom Lily & Max, pooches with the stinkiest breath in town


Subject: Re: Eating Poop Date: Wed, 27 Dec 2000 14:03:49 -0500 From: "Melissa Zebley, DVM" To:

Two brand names for this product are Forbid and Deter. The forbid is a powder (though it may also come in tablet form), while I believe the Deter is a tablet. I think Deter is what Petsmart carries. There are probably other similar products available as well. Most only take one or two treatments to work. But you do have to treat the pet who is producint the "delicacy", not the one eating it, unless that happens to be one and the same.