Whole Dog Journal's Blog April 20, 2015

The Grossest Thing a Dog Has Ever Done in my Presence

Posted at 03:52PM - Comments: (23)

You are on notice: Read no further if you are squeamish.

My stepson and daughter-in-law have a son, who will be three years old in May. Their whole family moved to my town a year ago, so I’ve been spending a lot of time in my new role as Nana.

When my own son was about the same age as my grandson, my mother accomplished the lion’s share of his potty-training over the course of a single weekend, using M&Ms as rewards for “going in the potty.” So I feel a certain amount of responsibility to “pay it forward” to my stepson and his wife, to help in the potty training of their toddler son, who is exasperating everyone with his inconsistent interest in “going in the potty.”

Because they have to get to work at a set time, and I work at home, I have been spending the past few mornings with the toddler, so he’s neither being rushed to perform, so to speak, nor making them late for work by “going” exactly as they are all marching out the door for daycare and work. I declared that I would spend every morning this week with him so I could be ready to “catch him in the act” of pooping, or, preferably, announcing that he has to poop or is about to poop, so I can rush him to a potty and have him “go” there. (Pee-pee has not been a problem. This is all about #2.) Then I could take him to daycare.

Yesterday morning, he was playing in the backyard of my house, wearing shoes and a shirt and nothing else. We were on potty-watch. Suddenly, with NO WARNING WHATSOEVER, he stood still and started to poop. I swooped in, exclaiming, “Liam! You have to tell Nana when you have to poop! Let’s get to the potty!” I carried him – fast but at arm’s length, like an inexperienced TV uncle – about 20 strides into the house, and put him on the toilet. He finished pooping there, and yay! We started celebrating. “Yay Liam! You went poo poo in the potty! That’s so good! Let’s wash our hands and get some M&Ms!” He was happy and proud, and so was I. This is the first time anyone has managed to get him onto a toilet seat at poop time. So we only got the last half of the poop; we can improve!

We cleaned up, washed our hands, and still celebrating, trotted out of the bathroom and into the kitchen, where I grabbed the bribery bag of candy and gave him a small handful. Then I went outside with a plastic bag, to clean up what Liam left out there.

But it wasn’t there.

Tito the Chihuahua WAS, however. Standing in the spot where the warm poop had so recently been, licking his lips. AAAACCCKKKK! I screamed. Liam, thinking we still celebrating, screamed happily, too. AAACCCCKKK!

I know that some dogs eat poop. And though I don’t want to think about it in graphic terms, I know that my own dogs have eaten deer poop, horse poop, and the like. I’ve never SEEN them eat cat poop, it might happen, but I have no evidence of this and so I am happy to imagine it doesn’t. And I’ve never owned a dog that ate dog poop, though I feel for people whose dogs do this. This, though – oh my. I have to admit: It has changed the way I feel about Tito. Time may heal this wound, obscure the memory somewhat, but for right now, I could not be more grossed out by my own dog.

Tell me your dogs have done worse, and you’ve gotten past it?





Comments (23)

Thank you for this article..."But it was't there." Yes, I know the feeling. While I was gone driving carpool for my older child my 7 year old child needed to give a stool sample for testing-he was home with my husband, who was upstairs. My son called me and said mommy I went in the hat! (The container to catch the poop). I said oh thats great! I'll come get it and put it in the containers the doctor gave us.
But it wasn't there. One of my two dogs had eaten it. Oh. My. Word. Thanks for the post-I laughed so hard when I read your story. Very similar! Omg I am disgusted! They dont eat their own-but my son's was irresistible?!

Posted by: Chcatherine | April 25, 2016 6:43 PM    Report this comment

I've had several dogs that are/were poop eaters - cat poop, their own poop or other dogs poop and one who follows the cat around the backyard waiting for it to poop. I've talked to the vet who tells me this is just something that some dogs do and the cause is unknown but doesn't appear to be a sign of nutritional imbalance. "Dogs do gross stuff", he told me. No kidding. I've got one dog who eats her own and any other dogs poop and will drink her own urine. Another dog that eats cat poop if I don't keep the litter box out of her reach. I've had other dogs that will eat only one dogs poop, not the others. Picky poop eaters apparently. Who knows what goes through their minds. I wonder how much has to do with instinct - trying to hide evidence of their existence to keep themselves safe from predators? Maybe their mommies didn't care for them right when they were little? Maybe they were starving at one point and had to eat poop to survive and now it's a habit they can't shake? Or maybe they're just stupid.... (that's probably it, but I'd like to find a kinder excuse for them). Gotta love those stinky-breathed little loves, huh?

Posted by: Mary T. | June 4, 2015 4:06 AM    Report this comment

I've had them all. One use to fish in the toilet for son's poop. My two now... the one with long hair will roll in anything smelly the other one is the poop eater.
My friends dog once ate a skunk, it had to live outdoors for the next three days!

Posted by: WendyLD | May 4, 2015 6:30 PM    Report this comment

Actually poop contains bacteria that's good for dogs' digestive system. I feed my dogs a raw meats and cooked veg diet. They eat raw green leaves and fruit. The favourite meat is that mixed with green tripe which stinks to high heaven of poop. BUT it is what many show dogs are given to reach peak condition. It is amazingly good food for dogs and stinks of poop, so make the connection.....

Posted by: TCT | April 23, 2015 7:35 AM    Report this comment

At the dog park the other day, my friend's dog was sniffing around another dog , when the other dog lifted his leg to pee. My friend's dog drank the pee as if it were coming from a water fountain. It was hilarious, but disgusting.

Posted by: Allie's Mom | April 22, 2015 8:05 AM    Report this comment

My dog Roxie is a German Shepherd and when she was young I took her to the vet because she would eat dog poop. My vet told me this is something that German Shepherds just did and to not be concerned. You can buy medicine to put on their food, but I would have to feed it to every other animal we had and this was not possible.

Posted by: Roxiesmom | April 21, 2015 9:31 PM    Report this comment

One of my dogs will rush to my grandaughters potty, not for the poop but to drink the pee!!!

Posted by: c4kidsrmine | April 21, 2015 8:34 PM    Report this comment

The worst thing my dog ever did was to roll in a dead and rotting seal carcass! I couldn't put her back in the car to get home from the beach, so she had to ride in the trunk.
p.s. I potty trained my twin sons using M&Ms. I just left the bowl out on the counter because they would tattle on each other if they cheated. Potty training was 100% complete in a weeks time!

Posted by: SharonK | April 21, 2015 7:36 PM    Report this comment

How can you
Love a dog who eats poo,
Then kisses you
And throws up in your shoe?
If it were true
That love is blind
I wouldn't mind
But I do.
- Jessie Morgan

Posted by: Jessie | April 21, 2015 2:20 PM    Report this comment

My two German Shepherds (8 & 4) eat both horse and chicken manure on a daily basis. They like to follow the chickens, waiting for the treat to come out. My previous GSD did the same. He lived to 14. Never have had any health issues from it. Any dogs visiting my farm also enjoy the all you can eat buffet. My dogs are on a balanced raw diet, not lacking in any nutrients. If I remember correctly I believe an article in WDJ quoted Juliette de Bairacli Levy as saying that eating some manure (not human, though) was good for dogs.

Posted by: Ilsa | April 21, 2015 1:26 PM    Report this comment

My dog can beat that. How about rolling in human excrement!!! How do I know it is human poop - no animal crap smells like human poop.

I once almost left him tied up at the end of a a trail being so disgusted with him. I gagged all the way home in the car. Thankfully I had a dog blanket in the car that I tied around him like a cape.

People - if you need to take a sh** in the woods - bury the damn stuff!

Posted by: mintyd | April 21, 2015 1:01 PM    Report this comment

My Rottie used to eat deer poop all the time. We lived in the country and did not have a fence, so we had deer poop all over the yard. He used to get giardia from it and diarrhea from that. I took him to the vet at first and had him treated for the giardia, but he continued to eat the poop and get giardia. Eventually I became uncomfortable giving him medicine so much of the time and he apparently developed some kind of immunity to the giardia, so it became a non-issue, but I would still be wary of my dog eating deer poop.
Years later I had a retriever who liked to eat horse manure when she could get it, but I kept an eye on her and the horses were behind fences, so it only happened once and didn't make her sick.

Posted by: Kitty Rumpus | April 21, 2015 12:21 PM    Report this comment

I've seen this off and on in my long (79) life. Dogs eating dog poop--none of my dogs ever did, but I know it happens. Cat poop? I've just had to keep the litter box up high where only the cat could reach it. I have read that in some 3rd world countries where sanitation was very primitive that toddlers walked around with only a shirt (if that) and the dogs "cleaned up" after them. It's disgusting to us where we have such sanitized and safe disposal of our own waste, but in other places it's just about the only way to go. Anyway, don't blame the dog--it's natural for them. And BTW, when we see nursing dogs clean up the poop of their helpless pups, do we find that so disgusting?

Posted by: maisie | April 21, 2015 11:07 AM    Report this comment

Oh yes coprophagia.....I have a Golden who came to me as a foster when she was 2 years old. Her previous people had gotten her as an 8 week old puppy and Daisy spent the next 2 years in a laundry room (I suspect she ate poop and they were freaked out). We adopted her because she was/is a little odd. We cook for our dogs and they have a fabulous varied diet and she is not missing any nutrients. Coprophagia can be an ocd kind of behavior. Another tasty treat that all of my dogs and foster dogs have discovered are intestines....twice in the past 5 years....a hawk or heron has dropped somebody's intestines in our fenced back yards and it is a general free for all with everyone grabbing a mouthful....ughhh. I do brush everyone's teeth every night and I go through a lot of toothbrushes. I have gotten over it....and I am meticulous about keeping the yard free of temptation.

Posted by: Olivia | April 21, 2015 10:42 AM    Report this comment

Ewwww!!! I know most dogs will eat poop if given the chance, it's normal (for them). I had a foster dog that was a particularly aggressive poop eater, I would stand out with the dogs, ready to shoo him away while I picked it up. This foster was a very smart dog that caught on to things very quickly, he knew I was racing to get the poop before he did, so he just grabbed it from one of my dogs as it was coming out, before it hit the ground. Ughghgh, I almost lost my breakfast...

Posted by: Vikki | April 21, 2015 10:27 AM    Report this comment

One of my dogs delighted in rubbing her head in any poop. It got her the dreaded bath, but she did it until the day before she died.

Posted by: helenpatricia | April 21, 2015 10:27 AM    Report this comment

The reason inside dogs tolerate inside cats? "because they leave tootsie rolls in the litter box." (and one of my dogs will eat the other's poop. ACK!)

Posted by: margefromTN | April 21, 2015 10:18 AM    Report this comment

Yep, I've got a story :-D

1. Doberman puppy, about 5 months old, poops.
2. Doberman puppy eats said poop.
3. Doberman puppy vomits up eaten poop.
4. Doberman puppy decides there's still some good stuff in their, and eats the poopy vomit.

This was 30 years ago, and it STILL makes me gag -- aarrgghh!!! :-O

Posted by: DancesWithWords | April 21, 2015 9:51 AM    Report this comment

I have a weimaraner and a shih tzu. After I get back from walking the shih tzu, the Weim will lick the shih tzu's nether regions. Both also find kitty poo irresistible. The Weim has eaten all kinds of poo, come to think of it.

Posted by: hareynolds | April 21, 2015 9:45 AM    Report this comment

They eat feces to attempt to acquire nutrients missing from their diets. You can help fix this, by addressing the nutrient issue. Eating feces of herbivores is something I will allow, though. It contains beneficial bacteria, needed by the dog (to help you accept the idea, think of how rabbits eat some of their feces - it is a specific type - they have two - from which they are able to gain further nutrients). Dogs also enjoy the smelly cuttings of horse and pony hoofs (hooves?). Again, harmless.

Posted by: Tamara Heikalo | April 21, 2015 9:40 AM    Report this comment

My grandson is in training too. He went poo in his potty chair and off we went to get his m&m's and when I came back to empty the potty, there was my French Bulldog licking his lips and the poo was gone!!! Gross!! No more kisses!! And he does eat the cat poop too, I've caught him in the act!!

Posted by: Wolfmom | April 21, 2015 9:27 AM    Report this comment

You are a brave woman for sharing this episode Nancy!
Love and happy memories will soon override this trauma...
I can recall it happening...but rarely...and obviously as we all know, poop should be cleaned up asap, but you literally had your hands full of Liam!
I guess if I thought about it further, I would only wonder how long the bacteria might survive in your pup's mouth before I would be inclined to kiss again in that area.
Yes, I am a kisser...but then my pup doesn't get into mischief or live as free a life as some. I know where her mouth has been LOL.
Hope the good work with Liam keeps up...and remember.....
poop happens!

Posted by: robin r | April 21, 2015 9:27 AM    Report this comment

While walking we happened into a homeless camp. My heart dog found and ate human feces. At least you know and love Liam.

Posted by: Furrykids | April 21, 2015 8:59 AM    Report this comment

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