An Unfortunate Affliction, or Daphne’s Dirty Little Secret

Sitting in the capacity of senior member of this motley little pack, I am in a position to observe and comment about our behaviors and foibles. And so, dear reader, lest I offend any of you more sensitive sorts, let me warn now that what I am about to reveal will definitely be off-putting. I am not exploring this region of dog behavior because I wish to shock or horrify, but rather to inform and educate. While this particular “indulgence” is one with which I have had no familiarity, it is something I now fully recognize but abhor.

Daphne, Grandma and Grandpa’s French bulldog puppy, is an aficionado of coprophagia…the eating of feces. Yes, dear heart, it has a name…a medical name because it is in fact a medical condition. No longer must this repulsive habit be unspoken or, at best, whispered about among only the closest of friends. It must be openly discussed and examined. Vets disagree about the reasons for such a predilection and there are as many “cures” as there are reasons. Grandma has added Adolph’s meat tenderizer to our food, mixed pumpkin in all of our bowls, sprayed all of the stools with Sour Apple but with no success. We are now going to have pineapple added to our diet because supposedly that produces a highly unpalatable taste to our waste. I am not holding my breath on this either. Several theories suggest a vitamin deficiency as the cause, but after our vet thoroughly checked Daphne out, that was quickly eliminated. It is a highly unlikely cause for most dogs today since we are fed such perfectly balanced and nutritious diets. Another theory posited is that it is an acquired or learned behavior. Since neither Daphne’s mother nor littermates have that habit, then we can assume that theory is false.

So, poor beleaguered Grandma and Grandpa rush about frantically, with their state of the art “pooper scooper,” through poison ivy and brambles, trying to capture whatever any of the four of us deposit before Daphne can do “clean up in aisle four.”

When Daphne was in puppy class and one of the puppies decided the middle of the floor was as good a place as any to relieve himself, Grandma made a startling discovery. She, as a joke, told the owner that rather than clean it up she could turn Daphne loose. Almost every owner confessed their puppy liked that particular delicacy too, but they had been too ashamed and embarrassed to share this information. Grandma was dumbfounded learning this. Even the trainer said some of his own dogs enjoyed that activity.

As it stands now, Daphne no longer enjoys what she makes, but certainly seeks out Cecile’s, Lizzie’s, and mine. Grandma is covered in poison ivy, and Grandpa looks like Lucy in the candy factory episode of “I Love Lucy,” trying to capture the poops of three pugs, all squatting in different directions of the yard simultaneously, before Daphne “beats him to the punch,” so to speak.

We would welcome any and all comments on this one, folks, but for now kisses from Daphne are avoided.

Respectfully submitted,

Mason

You didn't think I would show anything tasteless, did you? Just yours truly totally at peace on the deck.

Sunday morning, in Grandpa's lap, reading the Times...perfect!

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17 Comments

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17 responses to “An Unfortunate Affliction, or Daphne’s Dirty Little Secret

  1. Sherye

    There is a “It’s me or the dog” episode where Victoria tackles this affliction as it concerns multiple pugs… I don’t remember what steps she takes, or if she was successful, but might be worth a lookup.

    • Thanks…I did try to locate it but so far no luck. I will pursue it further though.

      • Aarin

        in that episode she combined the leave it technique with little flags. first she taught the dogs to stay away from the flags. then she put the flags next to poo. but she made sure the owners knew that the best way to prevent poo eating is to pick it up as soon as they go. i think you are doing everything right but it may be time to change the potty routine. i know mason dear that you are set in your ways but instead of you and the gang roaming the wilds to do your business, if your grandma or grandpa were to walk you instead then they wouldn’t have to wade through poison anything to collect your leavings

  2. Many of my clients have had good luck with the pineappple solution, and also with SEP (made by solid gold).

    It is one thing when us pups have an affinity for ‘kitty box crunchies’ but when it is is our own kind….I don’t know, just not my thing, I guess.

    Wish you and Grandma the best working with Daphne and hope everyone recovers from their poison ivy soon.

    ~Wilbur

    • Yes, I quite agree since I, myself, have a fondness for “kitty crullers” but there is a vast difference in my mind. We are trying pineapple tonight. Thanks for your good wishes, Wilbur.

  3. Roxy, Blue and Bono

    Euuuwwww…sorry, someone had to say it! 😉

    …blowing kisses your way 😉

    Your pug fans,
    Roxy, Blue and Bono

  4. Lexie, Chloe & Coco's Mommy

    Ah yes, the “clean up on Aisle 4” problem. We remember it well! (and by “well”, I mean “not fondly at all”!) Our first beloved pug, Pugsly, did this her whole life. We tried various things, none of which worked. Although it was a while ago, and I never heard of the pineapple idea, so I’ll be anxious to hear if that works! Even though Pugsly is no longer with us, here lies our problem…besides her undying devotion, one thing Pugsly left for her dear Lexie was her love of “recycling”, so to speak. So in years since, every once in a while, Lexie would partake in this delicacy, whether it be her own or Coco’s or Chloe’s…she doesn’t discriminate. All she asked is that it be “fresh”. ‘Nuff said. Anyway, since we started adding pumpkin to their diet last year, we haven’t noticed her doing this. And it’s been months! So I’m hoping the pumpkin was the key.
    I still watch her like a hawk though…old habits die hard!
    Anyway, good luck, Mason. I hope your Grandma’s poison ivy clears up soon (that stuff is the WORST!), and Grandpa manages to stay on top of the poop scooping duties! Keep us posted!

  5. sue

    Mason one of my pugs Abby which I adopted 3 years ago does this and have tried different things which dont work with her I also adopted a pug last June and now he has the habbit I try to pick it up as fast as they go but having eight dogs I always seem to miss one but leave it to Abby and Ollie to find it I have not tried pineapple or pumpkin but think I will try that next and I have to tell you I love the picture of you sitting on grandpas lap you are one very handsome puggy Sue and the furry gang

    • Yes, Sue, this is a nasty habit and it tends to dominate our lives here on Cape Cod. If the pineapple works, I will share the good news. Good luck with yours…Mason
      And thanks for the compliment, but you should have seen me in my youth…

  6. Katherine Beauchamp

    Dear Mason,

    Adding pineapple to a dogs diet also helps to breakdown hairballs in ones stomach that can lead to intestinal blockages. After a long stay in emergency care, the Doc told my Mom to give it to me for that reason.

    Truly yours,
    Mickey O’Malley the Barnstable Boston Terrier

  7. Marci

    Nothing works, sad to say, other than picking it up. Tried it all. Deter helped a little at first, but they got used to it and it was no longer a deter-ent….

    Poop was food and is food to a dog. You are fighting a battle that you will not win. Gross to us people yes, but even pugs have the dog genes… 🙂

    Out of my 3 pugs 2 will eat the tasty snack and one will not. The one who won’t apparently has the most coveted poo by the other too. They will also snack on my English Matiff’s poo (not pretty and HUGE), but luckily he is not a fan of pug poo or his own, thank goodness.

    • Thank you for your encouraging words! I think Grandma and Grandpa are pretty much resigned to what you are saying, but then hope springs eternal with each “new” solution that someone suggests. They are vigilant about retrieval but it is exhausting and worrisome…there is always the one that gets away (mine are the chief offenders).
      Mason

  8. Richard,Micah John

    Mason, Our frenchie Paris Marie had this bad habit as a puppy. Mama and Daddee were in a wild frenzy. We discovered the only thing that worked was scooping. Paris Marie is now 3 and has stopped for the most part. Mason, you have many more Frenchie traits to look forward to in the future. Yours Truly, Micah John and Ezra George.

  9. OMG – I am in love, total love, with this crew! Just happened upon your blog and cannot stop reading your eloquent and comical entries.

    Off to finish this post but just had to thank you for adding a huge smile and hearty laugh to my day.

    Hugs to those little devils from Vayla, Joey, Tucker, Max and their Mom 🙂

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