Eating poop is normal for collies. They usually grow out of it by the time they are around one year old. Fortunately, it’s easy to prevent your collie from eating poop by keeping their living quarters clean, supervising them on walks and with simple training techniques.
Why does my collie eat poop?
There are a few reasons why your collie might be devouring dung. Lets explore a few of these below.
1: Wolf Ancestry
Collies often eat poop because of their wolf ancestry where poop would be consumed if it were in the den area. Consuming the poop would protect the pack members from intestinal parasites present in poop.
Your collie may also be devouring dung as all dogs evolved as scavengers before they became domesticated.
This means that your collie is substituting their diet with poop and its likely because of their survival instinct of eating what is available when it is available as they don’t know when their next meal will come.
In times of scarcity, dung is a delicacy.
3: Recently had a litter
If your female collie has recently had a litter of puppies they will often eat their puppies poop to keep their living quarters clean and free from poop.
Collie puppies may copy their mother and indulge in poop eating out of curiosity but they should grow out of this habit in a few months.
4: Diet Deficiency
If your collie is not receiving all the nutrients they require from other food sources they may begin to eat poop as an attempt to supplement their diet.
This may also be the case if your collie is suffering from parasites which leaves you collie getting less nutrition from their food.
5: Stress or Boredom
Collies need to keep their minds busy and if your collie is home alone all day they will find ways to entertain themselves. This could be eating their own poop or indeed any other poop in reach!
Being under stimulated can be stress inducing for your collie and they may eat poop to try and comfort themselves.
6: Attention Seeking
Collies require a lot of attention and are known for being needy. If your collie is feeling neglected they may seek out poop as they know this will trigger a reaction from their owners.
After all, any attention (even getting into trouble) is better than no attention from a collies point of view.
Is it normal for collies to eat poop?
It is normal for collies to eat poop and although grotesque, this behavior is nothing to worry about. Greedy dogs are more likely to be poop eaters and female dogs are more likely to eat poop than males.
Interestingly, collies who eat poop prefer fresh feces (less than 2 days old) and will opt for a harder, well formed stool over a soft or water excrete. Frozen poop is a particularly attractive morsel and its well known as a ‘poopsicle’.
However, collies consuming poop which is not their own can be dangerous for them because it could have toxins and parasites which your collie will ingest.
How to stop your collie from eating poop
Now we have reviewed the reasons for your collies poop eating, lets look at how to prevent this obscene behavior. Below are a few ideas how to prevent your collie from picking up that poop!
1: Clean up so there is no poop for them to eat
Keeping the areas where your collie has access to free from feces is a simple and effective way to stop them eating poop. Supervise your dog outdoors and if they poop in the yard clean it up as soon as possible.
If your collie shares a household with a feline friend, make sure the cats litter tray is cleaned regularly to prevent your collie from dining on their dung.
2: Play with them so they aren’t bored enough to eat poop
Collies who are eating poop for attention will benefit from extra play time. Playing with your collies allows them to feel included within the pack and boosts their mental wellbeing.
Keeping your collie mentally stimulated and physically active should curb any attention seeking poop eating as they will be content and occupied on other more exciting things.
3: Provide Nutritious meals so they don’t eat poop out of hunger
Collies who eat poop may be suffering from a nutrient deficiency so its always best to provide your collie with the high quality of food you can afford.
You may even want to add supplements to their diet in order to compensate for the deficiency after consultation with a vet.
4: Train your collie not to eat poop
Teach your dog ‘come’ or ‘leave’ as a command and this will teach your dog to run to you when called as opposed to hunting out a potential poop snack.
Be sure to praise them and provide a high value treat when your dog comes to you and this will stop them lunging for that tasty turd on the ground!
Remember, practice makes perfect and collies pick things up pretty fast so it won’t take long for them to get into the habit of running to you for a treat rather than treating themselves to a poop picnic.
Why does my collie roll in poop?
Rolling in poop is pretty disgusting but its harmless and stems from your collies wild side inherited from their wolf ancestors.
It is an evolutionary behavior from wolves who would roll in the feces of other animals to mask their own scent in order to get closer to potential prey.
Collies will roll in just about anything from fox feces to dead carcasses of other animals. It would appear the smellier, the better and they relish in getting that stink all over their fur!
Your collie may simply get a kick out of rolling in the most pungent poo! Any collie owner who has looked at their pets face after rubbing themselves in something disgusting knows that it was great fun and provided their pooch with immeasurable pleasure.