Category Archives: Behavior

Discussion on different issues that are based on behavior.

Poop eating (coprophagia)

Some veterinary nutritionists have suggested that dogs eat stool to replenish enzymes so that they are better prepared to digest their food. There is also evidence that dogs that aren’t getting enough of certain nutrients will resort to eating poop. A lack of vitamin B is often said to be a cause of coprophagia.

In the wild, during lean times, a dog would eat it’s own feces to extract any traces of nutrients left.   A mother dog is hardwired to keep the nest clean.  She licks her puppies to encourage them to eliminate, then licks them to dispose of any sign and smell to avoid predators finding the nest.  A submissive member of the pack may eat the feces of the dominant member.  A dog harshly scolded for inappropriate elimination may try to clean the evidence.  Dogs may eat poop out of boredom.  Fresh cat poop is so stinky most dogs find it irresistible!

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“Killing” their Squeaky toys

It is generally accepted that small rough coated dogs existed in Europe in the middle ages and these little dogs which were generally kept as ratters and stable dogs, This is  the stock from which the Brussels Griffons developed .

They were feisty little terrier types with a high prey drive.  Many modern day griffs still retain many or all of these traits.  To many the squeak from a toy resembles the cry from a mouse or other small prey.  Hunt on!

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Jealousy & Possessiveness

The jealous dog sees other people or pets as a rival for your attention and love. He tries to force himself in between you and someone else or another pet. He may challenge a spouse when they try to snuggle next to you on the couch or in bed. A jealous dog may attack another pet that gets too close to you. He’ll try to push another pet away so he can get your attention. He’s afraid of losing your love and attention. (quoted from Linda Cole)

Unfortunately, as with other non-accepted behavior, we have taught them it’s ok to act like that.  We even unwittingly reward their actions with attention, even if it is negative attention!    As long as there is a reinforcement for the behavior (sometimes the payoff is that he is allowed to do the behavior), the dog will continue the behavior. Removing the reward is the first step toward changing the behavior.

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