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

Answered by Stephen Mosley

To get your dog to stop eating bird poop, there are several strategies you can try. It’s important to note that this behavior is common in dogs and can be difficult to completely eradicate, but with consistency and patience, you can make progress.

1. Supervision and redirection: Whenever you take your dog outside, keep a close eye on them and be ready to intervene if they show interest in bird droppings. Use a firm command such as “leave it” or “drop it” and immediately redirect their attention to a toy or treat. Reward them when they respond appropriately.

2. Increase mental and physical stimulation: Dogs often engage in inappropriate behaviors when they are bored or lack mental and physical exercise. Ensure your dog is getting enough daily exercise through walks, playtime, and interactive toys. Provide puzzle toys or treat-dispensing toys to keep their minds occupied.

3. Train a solid “leave it” command: Teaching your dog a reliable “leave it” command can be invaluable in preventing them from eating bird poop or any other undesirable item. Start by offering a treat in a closed fist and saying “leave it.” When your dog stops trying to get the treat, praise and reward them with a different treat from your other hand. Gradually increase the difficulty by using items that are more tempting, like a piece of food on the ground.

4. Use deterrents: There are commercial products available that you can spray on bird droppings to make them unappetizing to dogs. These products usually have a strong smell or taste that dogs find unpleasant. However, keep in mind that this method may not be effective for all dogs, and it requires you to have control over the environment where your dog is walking.

5. Improve their diet: Sometimes, dogs may eat poop due to nutritional deficiencies. Ensure your dog is on a balanced and nutritious diet that meets their specific needs. Consult with your veterinarian to determine if any dietary adjustments are necessary.

6. Keep the environment clean: Regularly clean up bird droppings in your yard or any other areas where your dog has access. By removing the temptation, you reduce the likelihood of your dog engaging in the behavior.

7. Consider professional help: If your dog’s poop-eating behavior persists despite your efforts, it may be beneficial to consult with a professional dog trainer or animal behaviorist. They can assess the situation, provide personalized advice, and develop a training plan tailored to your dog’s specific needs.

Remember, consistency is key when trying to modify your dog’s behavior. Be patient and persistent, and don’t get discouraged if progress is slow. With time and effort, you can help your dog overcome their poop-eating habit.