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How do I get my dog to stop eating rabbit poop?

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

  
Twinkie

My little pink- lawn dart
 
 
Barked: Fri Dec 25, '09 5:21pm PST 
I live in a rural area where it's impossible to stop rabbits from getting in the yard. My girl is eating the rabbit poops they leave behind. I'm not quite sure how to stop her. She is supervised every second she's out there because she's still potty training, but then goes over for a snack.
Any ideas?
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Kato

Birds!
 
 
Barked: Fri Dec 25, '09 6:26pm PST 
Just thought I'd let you know that you're not alone in that boat. Kato eats poop from every animal except domestic dogs. So I too am a bit curious as to how to stop it. He has a leave it command, but that won't stop him from trying.
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Fritz

Fritz, cats are- fun when they- run
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 26, '09 7:10am PST 
Nothing much you can do about it. Keep a sharp eye out for tape worms, one can get infected by eating rabbit poo. Auda has had tapes about four times now from the rabbit poop in the yard.
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Twinkie

My little pink- lawn dart
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 27, '09 8:23am PST 
I knew it! Someone said a dog couldn't get worms eating rabbit poop.
I spent yesterday morning with a shop vac and my leaf blower trying to rid the yard of rabbit poop. I did get quite a bit. My husband is going to but very small net wire type border around the fence to see if we can keep the rabbits out.

I also tried to find out if there was an enzyme that would make rabbit poop break down faster but everything I found said it was so good for the lawn that people are buying it. They can have mine!
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Gracie - In Loving- Memory

Service with a- Smile! : )
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 27, '09 11:00am PST 
Eating rabbit poop is way too self rewarding. It's a game of look on the ground til you find yummy treats. Even worse, it is randomly reinforceing so is harder to make stop.

To train your dog not to eat the poop you would have to go out with your dog ever time he goes out, and click and treat (a treat that means more to your dog than the yummy rabbit poop)for every time you see rabbit poop. You will click and treat for your dog looking at but not eating the poop. You would then click and treat for your dog not looking at the poop. You would then click and treat for you going away a ways while your dog ignores rabbit poop and so on. With a lot of work, you might get your dog to leave the rabbit poop alone, but you would need to work on this regularly, well past the time that the poop holds no interest for your dog.

An easier solution is to get some rabbit repellent at a garden store. if your yard isn't too large, run chicken wire around the edges. bury the bottom 5 inches of the chicken wire into the ground. The fence will keep rabbits out of your vegetable garden and out of your yard.
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Leah, CGC

All the Beauty- with none of the- Brains
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 27, '09 12:56pm PST 
A good "leave it" command works well too! When we lived with my MIL her yard was ripe with the stuff and several generations of dogs had passed on the information about what a delicacy it can be. We inforced constant vigilance and leave it with a click and treat which helped curb this behavior...however during the hours of tethered time while I was gardening (and hence not paying close attention) it was truly a free for all in the yard! Oh well I suppose if it did not taste so great it would be less of a problem!
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