An abrupt change of subject

I was on the phone with a friend the other day when she asked how everything was going with Coco. This is the same friend who waxes my eyebrows, and I think I’d been in her house the previous week moaning about being up all night because Coco would not stop making a noise that sounded like she was throwing up. But was she throwing up? She was not, and in fact she was just fascinated that she could produce such a noise. This may be the first time you’ve ever heard this, and I want you to listen to me because I don’t think you’re going to find literature on this anywhere, but all dogs come with a personality defect that I like to call BEING A TOTAL SHIT, and it compels them to do something at least once a day that pushes you until you have mumbled an obscenity under your breath. And not just any obscenity. Dammit or hell will not do, no. You will not get away with a GRRRR! You have to utter something so nasty that the syllables of the word scar your gums as they leave your mouth. Only then will your dog commence being cute.

Things with Coco are fine, I suppose. She sleeps through the night and has total control over her bladder. She’s a good dog in many ways, and we see the potential in her to be a great dog. But she’s still a bit of bad dog in many ways — will not stay on command, will not stop barking at everything on a walk, refuses to fix Mama a hot dog — and I would be able to overlook these things if she would just stop eating poop. I CANNOT GET OVER THIS. Because it’s not just her own poop, it’s Chuck’s poop, it’s the poop from other dogs she finds on walks, it’s deer poop left on the trail when we hike. Yes, yes, I know all the things you’re supposed to do to get her to stop doing this, like feeding her more nutritious food and adding something to her food that makes her poop less appealing, Internet, we have tried it all. IT ISN’T WORKING. My dog enjoys eating poop that has been made less appealing than normal poop.

Where do you go from here? Is there something we can sprinkle on her food that makes her poop less appealing than poop that has already been made less appealing? What could possibly be less appealing than already less appealing poop?

This is me muttering an obscenity under my breath.

I think my love for Coco is being hindered by this one character flaw. Yes, I love her, but the fullness of my love cannot be realized until I can snuggle with her without the knowledge that my face is being licked by a tongue that has just helped digest poop that is less appealing than normal poop. And it was during this phone call with my friend that I remembered dating a guy in Los Angeles who was very refined and had a great sense of humor, and we got along in every way except for the fact that he talked like a muppet during sex. I dreaded having intercourse with him because in the middle of it all he’d put his mouth in my ear and start talking like he’d just taken a hit of helium. And I was supposed to lie there and not laugh? Not grimace? Not go, dude, that is just WEIRD. Because I totally felt like I was screwing Elmo.

Dreading having sex with your boyfriend is a bit of a deal breaker.

Did this metaphor make the acid in your stomach churn? Yeah, sorry about that, but this is how I feel about my shit-eating dog. She has to stop, otherwise our relationship with be marred by the dread I feel when she runs up to give me kisses. And the only dread I should feel when she’s headed toward me is the usual, god, I hope that dog hasn’t been drinking from the toilet again.

Yes, somehow toilet drinking is less repulsive. I call this SELECTIVE DENIAL.

  • Jill S.

    My Aussie/Border Collie ate poop until she was two years old. Her poop. Cat poop. Bear poop from the trails. Any and all poop.


    But just before my breaking point, at her second bday, she stopped. Just stopped.

    So there is hope. If you don’t kill her before she turns two. :)

  • Sarabande

    I have no advice to offer, but my god, these are the best comments I’ve ever read. Who knew there was so much to learn about shit-eating dogs?

    It’s a good thing Coco has you for an owner and not me. I would probably freak out and spray an entire bottle of Lysol into her mouth if she tried that…

  • Heather S


    We have a Golden that eats poop like nobody’s business. Pineapple in everyone’s food keeps her from eating poop out of the backyard. Random poop…good luck with that one!

  • Uma

    I read somewhere that you can sprinkle something on the poop that will induce vomit. Apomorphone it’s called. The need too vomit isn’t really pleasant. But then again – it’s Coco we’re talking about here!

  • Sarah

    I have a Jack Russell who is addicted to poop, and my mom said the only way to break her from it is TO TAKE IT OUT OF HER MOUTH, so that she knows you are serious. Therefore, she is still eating poop every chance she can get, cause there is no way I could do that without throwing up.

  • Jennifer

    I’m no help with this. I’ve never had a poop eating dog. Last dog I had dug tiny holes in the yard which she would poop into and then cover it up cat style. That was awesome. I am afraid of getting another dog because there is no way I could find that level of awesome again.
    My cats use the toilet. mostly. One pees in the sink and will only poop in the toilet if I am there to help. He holds it while I’m at work.

  • Mental P Mama

    This is one of your best posts. Ever. I still get a kick out of seeing pictures of her with the trailing leash…I have no idea what to do about the poop business. We have a case of it, too. And she likes to roll in it before she eats it. Cute.

  • Jezebella

    One word: muzzle.

  • BA

    My Dad is a Vet and he always tells his clients to sprinkle meat tenderizor on their food. I guess in your case since she is “fine dining” on Chuck’s gourmet excriment, too, you might want to sprinkle it on his food. If this doesn’t work, you can email me and I’ll ask him about any other options. He’s been in the biz awhile, he’s got a lot of tricks up his sleeves.

  • Phaedrous

    I just returned from a walk with the Wonder Dawg where she not only ate poop (only when I wasn’t looking), but also tried to molest a well ripened carp (would that be “carpe carp?”).

  • Julie

    Someone may have already suggested this, I don’t have the energy to read all of the comments, but have you tried filling a tin can with change and shaking it to startle the hell out of her every time you catch her eating poop?

    The dog I grew up with did this – she ate out of the cat box. I’m very sorry to say that she did it until the month she died, at the ripe old age of 15. It was gross. But she never gave kisses, anyway, she was not that kind of dog. So we weren’t too concerned about it.

  • Shannon O

    I’m sure someone has already mentioned this, seeing that I didn’t read all of your 500 and some odd comments; but, I heard a dog expert on NPR say that they sell some sort of spray that is extrememly bitter. He suggested carrying it with you while on walks with your dog and spraying any and all poop you see. He also said you’ll have to go through your backyard and try to spray any and all there as well. Apparently this bitter spray is really really nasty (ya, nastier than poop itself!), and it has a high success rate of breaking dogs of the habit.

    good luck!

  • Becky

    I can only imagine what Leta must think of this.

    Yeah I got nothing for you but a pat on the back and a “good luck with that…”

  • SusannahS

    My puppy Chloe thinks the cats’ litterbox is for snackage. It’s horrible to see her stealing litter-covered poop; thank the goddesses that I use a natural litter.
    Someone suggested that I mix garlic powder in the cats’ food, but they won’t eat it when I do that. :(

    Off-Topic, but did you see/hear that the Duggar family in Arkansas is about to welcome their 18th (natural born) child???

  • Amy

    One time, when my little brother was 3 and I was 6, our dog pooped on one of his toy cars. I told him it was chocolate and he could eat it if he wanted to. Not long after that happened, our mother was washing my hair at the kitchen sink when he walked in with dog poop all over his mouth. “What are you eating?” she asked. “Chocat,” he said. “Chocolate?? Who gave you chocolate??” she said. Then she leaned down and wiped some off his face, realized what it actually was, and started screaming.

    I really don’t know how my brother survived his childhood, quite frankly, because I did a lot of things like that to him. Though it did come back to haunt me–it kind of warped him, and now I often have to listen to his grossest stories or watch him do the grossest things ever. Although, to date, nothing has topped the Dog Poop Incident.

    I don’t know what any of this has to do with your Coco problem, sorry. It’s just that’s the story that immediately popped into my head when I read this. And I wish I could help you with Coco’s poop fetish, but sadly you are out of luck because I only have a cat. And those come with their own sets of issues and cats aren’t really good at being trained, so you’re kind of SOL if they start acting up on you…at least Coco’s not a feline. Though it sounds to me like she may have some feline tendencies…try spraying her with water when she eats the poop and then giving her catnip when she controls herself.

    Cats also make people say a lot of cuss words. I bet that’s a kid/animal thing.


  • martin

    my dog ate my fiance’s used woman product last night. so it could be worse.

  • jennstar


    May I suggest a raw foods diet too? I recommend it because it’s better for the dogs and…less poop! (well of what’s left behind in the yard for Coco to eat).

    I found that my Rhodesian’s demeanor shifted when the food was changed. He wasn’t a poop eater, however, he changed in the way of his acceptance of eating healthier treats. He’ll take a hot dog sure, but he loves fruits and veggies now too.

    Samson loves Nature’s Variety and Primal Pet Foods, and of course there are other brands to choose from, those two seem to be best.

    Coco is maturing into a beautiful dog. I know, I know, looks can be deceiving, but that’s a sweet face with a bit of a larger learning curve. If it makes you feel any better, we’re dealing with Rhodesian with a prey drive…not fun.

    Be well,

  • JD

    This is, without a doubt, the greatest embodiment of what a Dooce Post should be. Good job, hilarious.

  • Sheri Bheri

    Sorry, but I’ve heard that some dogs DON’T outgrow it and can’t be broken of it. A friend of mine, who’s dog was a registered hospital-visiting dog, who was very well trained, could NOT break his dog of this habit. He tried the tobasco sauce on the poop thing, and says that the dog just said “Yummy Mexican food!”


  • muskrat

    i love my campbell’s; poop is good food.

  • Lindsay

    Okie, story time…Its a nice fall day and I’m taking a walk with my girlfriend and her dog, Winnie. The yards are full of freshly fallen red and orange leaves. All of a sudden Winnie is rolling around in the leaves and we are like, thats so cute, look at her so happy, rolling in the leaves.

    Upon closer inspection, she is not at all rolling in the LEAVES, but is actually rolling in the poop UNDER the leaves. And she loves this. She seeks out the poop, eats it AND rolls in it.

    So Dooce, let me say this – at least coco just EATS the poop.

  • Amy

    I love the internet because of gross stories about poop eating and weird sex.

  • Daisy

    Ok. When I read your post I still thought a dog would be an option for a pet. Now that I’ve read three hundred comments WHO ALL HAVE DOGS THAT DO IT TOO, I am so sticking with cats.

  • Elizabeth

    My dog likes poop so much she can’t wait for it to hit the ground (apparently it’s really icky if it has dirt on it). She eats it as it comes out of my other dog’s butthole. mmmmmm. Does wonders for her breath. The more I yell at her the faster she chews.

    Let’s not even talk about the cat poop. Like Tootsie Rolls soaked in gravy.

  • Poop and Cheerios

    Try Telling yourself it’s a doggie treat…..My dog used to eat shit out of the cat’s litter box….we called it KITTY ALMOND CRUNCH.

  • Reagan

    my puppy has this horrible habit, too.
    reading the comments has been really cathartic for me to know that my dog isn’t the grossest dog in the world. although, two weeks ago, she vomited poo on my bed. i cried while laughing.

  • Kira

    If it’s any consolation, our dog loves to not only eat poop but also roll around in it, smother herself with the fine scent of poop (any kind will do). But her all-time favorite is poopsicles. Yes, I said POOPSICLES. Frozen poop, crunchy and delicious, apparently. And let me tell you, it’s a LONG winter in Montreal!

  • KMM

    Oh my gosh, you never have to pick up doggy dookie! I would rather be dealing with a dog that eats dookie than one that shreds and eats my $50 shirts!!!!! My puppy is now seven months old and eats EVERYTHING!!!!

  • Alyson

    Ah. Poop. My dog eats it, but only in the winter. Apparently he likes it frozen. We like to call it poopsicles. (So, just so you realize, he poops or some other dog poops and then lets it sit there until frozen solid and then tries to run into the house with it or sneak it on a walk.) My parents old dog used to eat it fresh, my brother used to say, don’t worry about cleaning it up, he’ll get around to it. Ick.

    None of the internet tips work on frozen poop, either. And, in the winter it’s the worst because who wants to go scavenging in the yard to pick up the poop before it becomes a poopsicle? Not I.

    Two things: 1) pick it up immediately if you can 2)shock collar, we have one, we don’t really use it for the poop, more for the barking. It has a page feature that just makes the collar vibrate and then an adjustable ‘shock o meter’ funny thing is, the pager will stop him cold, actually shock him, nothing. So, we vibrate the dogs neck and it works well. Or Cesar, I bet he’d come to you!!!

    And, I think cat poop has a lot more protein in it than dog poop, hence why it’s more attractive to dogs. As does other poop. This one’s also a fan of goose poop. Yum.

  • rhea

    yes toilet water is much much better at least it gets refreshed every so often….

  • Tanya

    Ugh. My dog is addicted to cat poop, but I don’t have a cat, so it’s only an issue on walks. If he ate his own poop, I think I’d have to start feeding him intraveneously.

  • Jodi

    Our dog used to love poop when he was a puppy. He knew he wasn’t supposed to eat it and he looked guilty every time–but he couldn’t stop himself. It was THAT good. He just kind of stopped eventually, around the same time he stopped digging up plants in the yard, so maybe around age two.

    Now, though? He occasionally rolls around in his own urine. And, wow, that’s a stinky dog.

  • Stacy

    Our vet told us to use meat tenderizer, and it seemed to have worked. Now he only sniffs the piles that he and his sister leave behind. Good luck, I know what you are dealing with.

  • Mothering Two

    Oh my gawd, this made me laugh so hard. My sweet pug, Camus, also LOVES to eat poop, or as we like to refer to them, Chocolate Truffles or Chocolate Turtles. Whenever I see dirt on his little squished nose, I know what’s up. If I see him bent over for longer than two seconds, I know what he found. I hope the secret to getting him to stop is found in your comment section because I really love kissing his nose and don’t think I could ever stop.

  • loveMaegan

    OMG the poop eating is INFURIATING…and I’m not sure why. Who cares I would try to say…no big deal. OMG…I COULD NOT DO IT. I tried everything…EVERYTHING. He never stopped. Ever. He would poop in the house and eat it up before I got home and think that I wouldn’t know – then LICK ME IN THE MOUTH WHEN I WALKED IN THE DOOR. Oh man. How I miss him though. :)

  • -=B=-

    Here’s what you do: Duct tape the dogs mouth shut whenever she isn’t eating. There’s no way she can eat poop then. I suppose she could resort to more drastic measures though, like snorting it, or mainlining it…

  • meg

    My dad’s dog did this. He got a spray bottle, added a bit of cayenne peper,put it on “stream” and hit the dog in the face with it each time she went for poop. It took a few weeks, but it worked.

  • Charlotte

    I have two French Brittanies (different breeders, but it’s still a small breed) and the older one is an inveterate poop eater — We fed him that stuff to make his own poop taste bad and broke him of eating dog shit, but at seven, he knows evry deposit of catshit on the way to the dog park and back. The younger one, not interested. The older one — there has been cursing on morning dog walks. Wish I had a cure —

  • CJ

    HA HA HA HA AAAAH HA HA HA, Elmooooo, (wipes tear) HA HA HA HA….

  • Angie

    The question is, does she eat cat poop like my dog?? Apparently my dog thinks that cat poop is far better tasting than dog poop. Doesn’t my dog know that she is fraternizing with the enemy when she is eating the cat poop??

  • Katherine

    All I can give you is that she will likely grow out of it. Loki used to do this constantly, but he did stop.

    And I totally get your feelings…when Loki has done that in the past he gets what i call the “Silkwood” treatment. Scrubbed inside and out.

    Good luck!

  • Jackie

    Maybe she’ll grow out of it. My 6-year old Rottie loves to smell poop, but she doesn’t eat it, and when she comes across other doggie’s poops on her walks, she will sniff, then waddle over it and pee a little bit, JUST to let the other poop-loving dogs out there that SHE WAS HERE. And she really does waddle when she pees or poops for that matter.

    But it does bother me that there is dog poop on the ground out there – we’re supposed to pick it up when it’s on public property. But picking up a trail of poop from one’s waddling dog is kind of challenging and really annoying.

  • Random And Odd

    There is a clear cut answer to this question; The Poop Patch or Poop Gum.
    Doggy Hypnosis?
    Maybe if he smoked he would have less of desire to eat shit. I know smoking helped me with that problem…Oh no, that helped me stop dating.

    I am no use to you.

  • Dana

    There’s more to pooh than just shit ya know. It makes me wonder if worms can be transferred from their mouths.

    I wouldn’t put cayenne or anything hot on the poop because he would ingest it before the heat hit him and then he’d just get sick, or think: “Damn! That dog must’ave been eating Mexican!”

    Another horrible trait is eating their own puke. When my dog vomits, I have to be ready to grab him and run to another location.

  • Mick

    I had a beagle that would eat the cat’s poop right out of the litterbox. Seriously. Poop AND litter?

    On the upside it really cut down on the amount of time we had to spend cleaning out the litterbox.

  • Erica Hennings

    This is the VERY reason why I get sick when my daughter lets the dogs lick her in the face. GROSS! Do you know what dogs can do? Do you? Do ya? They eat poop and can lick their own privates!

  • Shelly D

    My damn dogs (three of them) all eat poop and it totally grosses me out. Nothing we have tried works, so this past weekend we moved and our yard is smaller. I am going to try and be vigiliant about picking it up after them, but we will see how long that lasts! It wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t want to come and lick you after! :(
    Feel for you but have no advice!

  • TobyO

    More worthless suggestions: Simply beat Coco to the poop and spray Dave’s Insanity Sauce on it. Pavlov would approve.

  • mistressjm

    My parents’ dog does this, and has for almost 6 years now. They, too, tried it all. None of it worked. Their vet has broken her dogs (4 rottweilers) of this habit by using a shock collar. The only reasonn my parents haven’t done this is the concern that shocking their epileptic dog with a heart disorder might just kill her.

    Good luck!

    On a poop-related note, our lab mix prefers to roll in deer poop. It is apparently the equivalent to a fine fragrance.

  • Anonymous

    David Sedaris wrote a hilarious story about his brother’s dogs and their poop eating habits. I believe it is in Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim. Which if you don’t have, you should have.