I got this off of About.com.....I hope it is helpful....
A dog with a physical problem that causes excessive hunger, pain, or other sensations.
A dog who is not getting enough to eat or is going too long between meals.
A dog with intestinal parasites or other condition that creates blood or other fecal changes .
Some dogs develop a mental connection that they will be punished if their humans find them in the same room with feces.
The number-one thing you can do to help overcome feces eating is to keep your dog's area clean of feces. This means housetraining, and supervising the dog whenever the dog is in the designated relief area.
.....and I found this alternative response at another site you might want to try: (there's lots of them out there)
Thanks Jacqui - I've read just about every site out there and tried many, many different approaches. It's gotten to the point where if I'm not supervising them every second, they'll find a way to sneak it! Today after they ate lunch we went out in the yard, and as I was cleaning up one dog's pile of poo another dog was sneaking bites of their own while my back was turned!! I'm beginning to wonder if this is some type of incurable mental disorder!! I'll just have to keep searching for an answer and continue to block all face kisses!!
there are supplements you can buy to put in their food that decreases their desire to enjoy the morsels. Check with your vet. I've heard that a meat tendererizer placed in their food does the trick as well.
I also have this problem with one of my two shih tzus. The younger one (1 1/2 years old) went for about 6 months without doing this and has recently started up again. DISGUSTING I know. I did read that certain breeds are more prone to this and I also read somewhere that it can be due to some sort of nutritional value missing from their diet. I am going to try the stuff they sell at Pet's Mart to see if this works. I do know that the only way i have found to keep my dog from doing this is to watch her at all times when she is outside and make sure she turns away as soon as she has done her business and reward her for that. May I ask what breed of dog you have and how old?
(thanks for bringing up the "digusting" issue - it has had me boggled as well!
COPROPHAGIA is a behavior often observed in dogs. Hofmeister, Cumming, and Dhein (2001) wrote that this behavior in dogs has not been well-researched, and they are currently preparing a study. In a preliminary paper, they write that there are various hypotheses for this behavior in canines, although none have been proven:
1. To obtain attention from their caretakers.
2. From anxiety, stress, or upon being punished for bad behaviors.
3. They had been punished for having defecated in the past, and attempt to clean up out of fear of being punished again.
4. From boredom[dubious – discuss].
5. In an attempt to clean up in crowded conditions.
6. Mimicry of behavior observed when their caretakers pick up feces (allelomimetic behavior). This is highly improbable because the behavior has also been observed in environments where caretakers never picked up the dog's (or other's) feces.
7. Because puppies taste everything and discover that feces are edible and, perhaps, tasty, especially when fed a high fat content diet.
8. Because dogs are, by nature, scavengers, and this is within the range of scavenger behavior.
9. To prevent the scent from attracting predators, especially mother dogs eating their offspring's feces.
10. Because the texture and temperature of fresh feces approximates that of regurgitated food, which is how canine mothers in the wild would provide solid food to their pups
11. Because of the protein content of the feces (particularly cat feces), or over-feeding, leading to large concentrations of undigested matter in the feces.
12. Due to assorted health problems, including:
- Intestinal infections
- Food allergies, leading to mal-absorption
13. Because they are hungry, such as when eating routines are changed, food is withheld, or nutrients are not properly absorbed.
14. Carnivores may sometimes eat or roll in the feces of their prey to ingest and exude scents which mask their own.
LOL! That question is not off topic and all, and it shows up regularly on this forum. As other members have noted, nobody is 100% about why some dogs eat poo - their own, another dog's, or a wild animal's waste. Some dogs just seem to... like the taste! :-)
My dog Maggie is undeniably attracted to cat poo. Her little eyes go spinning out of her head when she gets a whiff of some on our walks. I'm just glad I recognize the signs now and redirect her before she gobbles it down. (Why people don't keep their cats indoors where they belong is another question. Grrrr!)
Since your dogs eat one another's poo, and their own, I wonder if they might do better on a different food? I've even heard that a bit of meat tenderizer sprinkled in can help make poo unnatractive, but I've never tried it. In the meantime, just keep your scooper going as fast as you can. :-)