Dachshunds are fiends when it comes to eating poop. They love it. But, if you’ve had enough of the stomach-churning sight and smell on their chops, it’s time to find out what’s going on and how to stop it happening.
Why is my dachshund eating poop? Dachshunds eat poop because they’re:
- Attention seeking
- Not potty trained yet
- Scared of getting told off
- Scared of being left alone
- Curious puppies
- Cleaning up their ‘den’
- Love the taste
So, what can you do about it? Read on to find out.
The reasons why dachshunds eat poop
Dachshunds aren’t unique in their appetite for poo. It’s a universal doggy delicacy. Believe it or not, they think it tastes nice. It’s called Coprophagia. They’ll eat everything from dog poo to cow, horse, fox, bird and cat poo. Of course, it’s a disgusting habit that can be bad for their health. Not to mention gross for us too! So, why is it happening?
Your dachshund is bored
Is your dachshund getting enough exercise? If he’s bored or has too much pent up energy, he might eat poop just for something to sniff out and do.
Your dachshund is attention seeking
Dachshunds are smart. He may totally get that poop eating isn’t OK and is just doing it to get you running around after him. Basically, turning it into a fun game where he gets your undivided attention. The best thing you can do is ignore him or he’ll just keep doing it. You should also add more playtime into his day. If he needs more attention, make sure he gets it in more positive ways.
Your dachshund isn’t potty trained yet
Your sausage dog pup may still be getting used to potty training. If he doesn’t get that he’s not allowed to poo indoors, he probably doesn’t get that he shouldn’t eat his poo either.
Your dachshund is scared of being told off
Your dachshund might be scared of getting told off for pooing indoors. Instead of learning to go outside, he might eat his poo to try and hide the evidence. He’s much more likely to do this if he’s been shouted at for pooing indoors in the past (which you should never do!).
Your dachshund is scared of being left alone
Dogs deal with separation anxiety in all sorts of ways. Some chew your shoes; others poop and eat it. This is his way of coping with the stress of being alone.
Your dachshund is still exploring his world
If your dachshund is just a pup, he might be eating his poo because he’s curious about his new surroundings. He’ll nibble all sorts of things and explore them with his mouth (just like babies do) while he works out what’s what.
Your dachshund is ‘cleaning up’
When your dachshund was still in the litter, his mum would have eaten his poop to keep the space clean. Some puppies copy their mums and eat their own poo to clean up!
Your dachshund is hungry
Is your sausage getting all the nutrition he needs from his diet? Could he be hungry because he isn’t fed enough food? Poop is actually very nutrient-rich and dachshunds have been known to eat it when they’re hungry or deficient in certain vitamins or minerals.
Your dachshund is unwell
If your dachshund has suddenly started eating poo, there might be an underlying medical cause. Eating poo has been linked with everything from worms and parasites (which need to be treated regularly) and enzyme deficiency to diabetes and malabsorption. Have you noticed any vomiting, diarrhea or weight loss? Or is he more lethargic or thirsty than normal? If you notice anything unusual or are at all concerned, take him to the vet just to be sure.
Your dachshund simply loves the taste
As gross as it sounds, some dachshunds just enjoy munching on poop. They simply LOVE the taste! They do it because it’s fun and they want to. They’re happy to hoover up any poop on the ground and carry on like nothing ever happened! 💩🙈
How do I stop my dachshund eating poop?
This is how you stop your dachshund eating poop:
- Boost exercise and playtime
- Don’t shout at your dachshund for pooing indoors
- Work on toilet training
- Supervise your dachshund when outside
- Crate your dachshund when you’re not in the room
- Add pineapple to your dachshund’s food
- Keep the house clean
- Keep the garden clear of poop
- Train your dachshund to ‘leave it‘
- Get your dachshund good at recall
- Distract your dachshund
- Keep your dachshund on a lead
- Help your dachshund relax when on his own
- Give your dachshund time
- Check your dachshund’s weight and diet
- Take your dachshund to the vet
This is what you need to do:
Boost exercise and playtime
To stop your dachshund getting bored, why not try out a new game? You could set up little hunting games for him to play, like hiding his favourite treats around the house or garden so he has to sniff them out. Another idea would be to mix up his walking route, or visit a new place with new smells. If you’re struggling to give him the right amount of exercise a day, you could ask friends or family to help you out or get a dog walker or sitter to keep him entertained.
Don’t shout at your dachshund for pooing indoors
The worst thing you can do is shout at your dachshund for pooing indoors. This can seriously mess up his toilet training (plus it can lead to aggression issues). And he’ll feel like he has to eat his poo to hide it from you. Be calm and stick to a routine – say ‘No’, pick him up, pop him outdoors and reward him if he poos.
Work on toilet training
You’ll probably notice your dachshund stops eating poo as he gets better at pooing outdoors. Potty training is a good starting point to combat his poo-eating habit. Basically, you need to watch him closely and, when he looks like he needs to go, take him outside. When he poos, give him a reward. Get him into a routine and take him out regularly so he knows what time he goes out. You can use a crate to help with potty training too. Read our toilet training boot camp article for tips!
Supervise your dachshund when outside
Your dachshund may still try to eat poo when he’s outside. The best thing you can do is stay with him. He’s less likely to eat poo if you’re around.
Crate your dachshund when you’re not in the room
While you’re potty training your dachshund, just pop him in his crate if you need to leave the room. Dachshunds love a snuggle den and generally don’t poo where they eat and sleep. As long as the crate is the right size and you don’t leave him alone too long, it should stay a poo free zone.
Add pineapple to your dachshund’s food
Some people say, if you add a small amount of fresh pineapple juice to your dachshund’s food or feed him pineapple chunks as a treat, it makes his poo unappetising and stops him eating it. Obviously, this only works if he’s eating his own poop! If he’s eating another animal’s poop then you need to use some of the other suggestions listed here. We haven’t seen any medical support for this, but lots of people have said it’s worked for their dogs. Even if this hack doesn’t work for you, dachshunds love pineapple, so at least he’ll get a tasty treat!
Keep the house clean
To stop your dachshund pup copying its mum’s ‘clean den’ habits, you should scrub the floors with special pet cleaner after any accidents.
Keep the garden clear of poop
Pick up any poop from the garden. Don’t leave it out there festering on the lawn. It’ll attract other animals and flies, and will smell gross when the weather warms up.
Train your dachshund to ‘leave it’
One of the best commands you can teach your poo-munching dachshund is ‘leave it’! Conquer this and you’ll have much more control over what he snaffles when you’re out on your walk.
Get your dachshund good at recall
Your dachshund needs to know what his name is and to run back to you if you call it – even if there’s a pile of poo nearby that needs investigating!
Distract your dachshund
Sometimes it’s hard to get your dachshund’s attention, especially when he’s outdoors, but you can distract him with toys and food. Get a ball, kick it around the garden and watch him come running.
Keep your dachshund on a lead
It’s a good idea to keep your dachshund on a lead while he’s on his walk, even if it’s just while he’s learning to leave poo alone. If he needs a run around, let him off in the garden (if you have one) or get an extendable lead.
Help your dachshund relax when on his own
Some dachshunds get separation anxiety and don’t like being left alone. To make things easier for him, you should do some training to show him it’s ok when you leave the house. It does take time and he may still eat his poo to begin with, but you’ll really notice the difference when he calms down and understands you’ll always come back home.
Give your dachshund time
If your dachshund is a pup or an older dog that wasn’t properly trained, it’ll take him a while to learn he shouldn’t eat poop. Be patient with him, get into a routine and keep things positive. Over time, he’ll probably just grow out of the habit.
Check your dachshund’s weight and diet
If you’ve noticed your dachshund has lost weight or you think he’s underweight, you may need to re-evaluate his diet. He might be eating poo because he’s hungry or not getting the right food and nutrition. Speak to your vet to see what food is best for your dog and how much he should eat each day.
Take your dachshund to the vet
If your dachshund is unwell or seems out of sorts, you should take him to the vet – even if it’s just to put your mind at ease. If your dachshund is obsessively or compulsively eating poop, you must visit a vet to check for any psychological, medical or nutritional health issues.
Now you understand the reasons behind his undesirable poo habit, you can work out what to do to help him. It may take him a while to learn the ropes, so give him loads of fuss when he gets it right. Dachshunds love to please and love to kiss, so it’s in both your interests to get this stinky habit under control!