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Hi there - my son has a basset/springer cross (Springbat!) which we look after at least 50% of the time. Barbara is a very loving, energetic, sociable, boisterous dog, but she does have a terrible habit of eating poo that we have found almost impossible to stop - not her own, but other dogs'. On a walk, she spends the whole time with her nose to the ground, trying to find and eat it. As a last resort, I've bought a citronella collar and have been using it for the last few days. In one way, it works incredibly well - one puff and she drops the poo and runs back to me - but I'm worried it's making her rather anxious. She sticks very close to me on a walk now and seems quite fearful. In some ways our walks are much better (and she was eating so much poo that her stomach was often upset) but I don't want to give her a complex. Has anyone else used these collars? What do you think? Any advice greatly appreciated!
 

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I've never used anything like that even if we have had the occasional hound who will get into pooh, if he can. You just have to be one step ahead - you could use a muzzle when out, temporarily?

Much as there are BYBs producing so-called Springbats here in the UK, please don't call her that - she's a mix. One breeder, who incidentally used to breed Bassets, not very successfully, turned to producing these mixes. They look appealing as puppies, but they are still only what they are - mix-breds, regardless of hanging a made up name on them.
 

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Sorry, but how you train a Basset is usually WAY different to how you train a breed like the Jackie. To be honest, if I did that with my Basset(s), offering the treat and then closing my hand on the treat when it reached for the treat rather than waiting to be given it, eventually they'd just walk away ..... 'forget it - I really can't be bothered'! Watching that vid. I can't help thinking there is an element of teasing going on. Not something I'd do with mine. Each to their own however and for sure, what might work with one hound, may well not with another.
 

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Mine learn very quickly not to grab for the treat, but that if they sit politely they will get it.
 

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What is happening here is the aversive you are using (the collar) is too aversive for the dog. You are causing the dog fear and anxiety, it could be due to incorrect/inconsistant use resulting in the dog not knowing why it's being punished (imagine if you kept getting punished and didn't know why), or the dog is soft and can't handle punishment and is shutting down. Either way continued use of this method will cause psychological harm, the dog is not tolerating it well and it will only get worse.

I only use force free training on Hank and this sounds like an issue that can easily be remedied without aversives. Start by putting a low value treat (one he doesn't like to much) under your foot and saying "leave it". When he stops paying attention to it, reward with a different, higher value treat. Repeat this at different distances until you can have the treat at some distance. It's important to, until you can trust him, be close enough to cover the treat in case he goes for it.

After he can leave a treat farther away from you than he'd be on walks, move to higher value treats (you may have to repeat the process). Once he's leaving higher value treats, you can start to apply his training to poop.

Take him on a leash and find a pile, sounds gross, but just do it. Bring along his most FAVORITE food in the world. Do the same training, allow him close, tell him to leave it. If he does, make a big fuss and give him the treat, if he doesn't, restrict the leash so he can't get to the poop. You will do basically the same training here as with the treats, start out by being close, then place yourself farther away (still be able to restrict him on the leash). Work him up to the distance you will have him off leash, then repeat the process except off leash. After that he should be ready.

I'd recommend, until this is complete, keeping a muzzle on him so he can't eat more poop.

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I'd recommend, until this is complete, keeping a muzzle on him so he can't eat more poop.
Occasionally I wish there was a TU/TD option on this website. If there was, I'd be giving you a TU for this last sentence alone. Some dogs have to learn about consequences for actions, unwanted or wanted. And until they do, avoid or prevent!! I'd be preventing this for sure because heaven knows what's in the droppings of other animals!! Some Bassets are notorious for doing this (and although most of my dog-experiences comes from Bassets, my Whippet will do this, with hers and Frankies stools, never any other animals). I first experienced this, again only 'in house stools', with my pregnant foundation bitch. And that had me thinking of the idea there's something missing in the diet. However, over the years, I've had some who would do this, and others never. In fact so fastidious about this was one of my girls, that she'd not 'pooh' her pups. Peeing fine, but anything else was totally beneath Madam with the result I had to do this and it wasn't that successful, until nature took over. That litter spent a lot of the time constipated, poor dears.

ps I really don't like to have to muzzle a Basset (it sends the wrong message to others to see one wearing one) - keeping the hound on a lead with eyes ahead would, for me, work better.
 

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Whenever we are on walks or outside, all of the dogs stay on leash. It's safer for them, safer for us. And a very annoyed when people who have off-leash dogs what their dogs run up to ours because mine gets scared. That usually keeps them from sniffing some poop. I know Bowser's actually had a dog cold before, and it was attributed just sniffing dog poop. Awesome nastiness comes with the smell the fresh stuff, and heavens for eating it. I bet up reasons before, and many times bitches will eat poop because they have the puppy thing going on but when a male dog eats it I just have no idea. I know that some people thought it was malnutrition, or that you're missing something, but the truth is? Apes and gorillas eat their poop too. A lot of times it's just a type of regurgitation thing. They had it the first time and it tasted good must be good the second time. I've heard a lot about some of that stuff that makes poop undesirable, what do you feed it to your dogs. But as for poop out on the streets? You just really have to have your dog on a harness and Leash and keep them away from it! Good luck!
 

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A lot of dog food containing a high % of fillers (which isn't sufficiently broken down or digested by a dog) will pass through the system & out in faeces. Whether it's the smell, but often can attract the eating of it 2nd time around.
One of the most important commands a dog should learn but is often forgotten or just not thought about, is 'Leave it'. Sure it's not always going to be heeded, but if taught without a strong arm response but with reward & consistency I've found that in time our dogs will look to us first.
 
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