So, your corgi is eating poop. And it’s absolutely disgusting.
You’re scared of the dog passing germs to you.
You can’t kiss your corgi.
Your corgi’s breath is repulsive.
Shouldn’t your corgi know to not eat his (or others’) poop? Why is he doing this nasty behavior anyway?
In this article, we’ll cover:
- Why corgis and dogs eat poop
- How common the behavior is
- Whether or not corgi puppies grow out of it
- Why your corgi may be eating his own feces out of nowhere
- How to stop your corgi from eating poop
- When to see the vet, and what to ask
Sound good? Let’s get your corgi’s poop-eating behavior curbed.
Okay, so let’s get one thing out of the way first.
Corgis will eat poop. It’s not specific to this breed as many dogs will do it by instinct.
There are a lot of theories floating on the web for why they do this, but there’s no scientific proof anywhere that explains this behavior.
The act of eating poop is called coprophagia and it’s quite common in dogs, especially puppies. It’s a nicer way to label “my dog eats his or others’ poop and enjoys it.”
Many people just believe that it’s an instinctive habit and many dogs do it.
Some corgis will eat their own poop. Some will eat other animal poop. And some will eat all poop. Gross.
Why does my corgi eat poop?
The general belief is that when the puppy’s mother has a litter, she’ll eat the poop of her young to hide the scent from predators.
In nature, the puppies are sheltered in a den safe from the outside world, and poop that lies around can attract wandering threats.
So the parent eats the poop to hide the smell. Thus, eliminating the threat (or at least lowering the chance of a predator sniffing them out).
And the puppy will pick up on this behavior– therefore continuing to eat poop well into puppyhood.
But to us humans, this is a behavior that’s just plain nasty.
Your corgi may be eating droppings from:
- Other dogs’ poop
- Horse poop
- Coyote poop
- Rabbit poop
- Cat poop
- Bird poop
- Goose poop
- And of course, his own poop
Whatever the case, there’s no way that you’ll want to give him puppy kisses after he laps up one of those!
There’s also an argument that consuming feces helps dogs get some nutrients they need if they’re deficient in them.
An enzyme, vitamin, and nutrient deficiency are all common when the pup is still young. Parasites and malabsorption can also trigger a corgi to consume his poop.
You should have your vet examine your dog’s stool every visit when you go to the vet for his booster shots. This is during the first 16 weeks of your dog’s life and a stool exam can rule out common problems the dog may be suffering from.
After that, take your corgi for a stool exam every 6 months to continue monitoring.
Dogs that eat the poop of other animals like horse droppings, rabbit poop, or even cat poop may be low in enzymes and vitamins.
Vitamin B is very rich in rabbit poop and dogs may eat up those pellets packed full of vitamins. But to us, that’s just gross.
Whether the poop is dry, moist, fresh, stale, old, crusted, your dog may gobble the feces up like a delicacy!
Some dogs will also eat poop due to stress and anxiety.
Many times, new corgi owners will punish their dog for going poop in the home by scolding them with negative reinforcement.
So the dog learns to either go when the owner’s not looking or eat their own poop to hide it from them.
Corgis that are starved may also eat poop to recycle nutrients. This may be present in kennels and shelters.
Puppy mills also have a reputation for breeding dogs that develop coprophagia because of the poor conditions they’re raised in.
Often, the puppies are competing for food at a communal source and the smaller pups are left out.
So they eat their own feces to get the nutrients they need.
This is another reason why you should never support puppy mills and only buy from reputable breeders or corgi adoption centers.
Lastly, the act could be learned from other dogs.
When your corgi witnesses another dog eating his poop, your corgi may reciprocate the behavior.
Dogs are social creatures, especially corgis, and will learn from one another over time.
So if your corgi never ate poop but then suddenly started, he may have picked it up from another dog. They often follow the alpha dog and will pick up behaviors rapidly.
Do corgis grow out of eating poop?
This depends on the reason behind the behavior.
It’s very common for puppies to consume their own feces for some time throughout puppyhood.
But for dogs that suddenly start eating poop or adult corgis, this could be some other reasons such as nutrient deficiency, anxiety, stress, behavioral problems, fear, or even an acquired behavior from another dog.
After all, dogs are pack animals. Puppies will often grow out of the behavior ONLY if the underlying problem is corrected.
You shouldn’t depend on your corgi to “learn” himself out of it and stop the behavior on his own.
Often, it doesn’t just go away and stop by itself. You need to be proactive and do something to fix the behavior. This is easier when the puppy is still young during the corgi’s socialization period.
Be proactive, not reactive.
Can my corgi get sick from eating poop?
Similar to humans not eating human feces, you don’t want your corgi to eat poop either.
Whether the poop is his own poop or the poop of another animal, the droppings are one of the most disease-ridden, bacterial-laden, and virus harboring things you can ingest.
This is why you need to discourage the behavior quickly.
You corgi may suffer health effects from regular consumption:
- Parasites and worms
- Bad breath
- Dental hygiene problems
There’s also the possibility that your corgi can transfer bacteria and viruses to you when he licks you, salivates, or sneezes. Pretty nasty.
This makes it critical that you monitor what your corgi is sniffing when you take him out on walks, especially in nature trails.
There can be a huge variety of different animals in the area leaving behind their “presents” for your corgi to scout out- horses, cats, coyotes, wildcats, and more.
How to stop corgis from eating poop
There are many different techniques you can use, but here are some easy ones that you can start with right away.
You need to assess the situation and see what’s going on.
Clean it up
Right after your corgi does his business, clean up the feces.
Don’t let it sit until the end of the day or else that provides the stimulus for him to consume.
Use a doggy bag or broom and get rid of it ASAP.
Although this doesn’t necessarily FIX the problem, it does eliminate the possibility of him gobbling up last night’s dinner- for the second time!
MSG is supposedly bitter to dogs and will have them reject their own feces. It’s reported to be harmless to dogs but will metabolize during digestion so that the dog’s poop will taste bitter.
You can try adding a small amount to your dog’s next meal and see if it works. Don’t overdo it.
MSG can be bought at the grocery store as a meat tenderizer.
Some products are pure MSG and you can find these on the shelves (Accent, Durkee, Monosodium glutamate).
Be sure to consult with your vet first before adding any to your dog’s diet.
Sensitive corgis may have reactions to MSG as it does alter the taste of the food and may have other effects.
Avoid the stimuli
When you take your corgi out and about, always watch out for what he eats.
Whether you live on a farm or you’re going to a national park, stay on trail and scout ahead for droppings.
Tighten the leash (you should be practicing loose leash walking anyway) for dogs that are untrained to walk on a short leash.
And avoid the mess. You’ll often see that your corgi will sniff it a few times before eating the poop.
This is your chance to avoid him eating it and steer him clear.
Redirect your corgi
You can train your corgi using positive reinforcement to stop eating poop in general. If your dog gives you a small window of opportunity, use it to train him to stop eating it.
Just like teaching “leave it” or “drop it” you can apply the same techniques to avoiding poop. In fact, “leave it” may work in this case if your corgi has already been trained that command.
But if not, then train him the command and you can use it for all sorts of messes on the ground you come across.
The problem with training him to just avoid his poop is that the command may not work when he comes across horse poop, cat poop, bird poop, or even other dogs’ poop.
But if you train him to use the “leave it “command, this works across everything from poop to nails to sticks and stones.
Why make more work on yourself when you can teach one command for everything?:
Here’s a video teaching the basics of the command. Learn it:
It’s a valuable tool to have and can see your dog a visit to the vet.
Pineapple supposedly stops dogs from consuming their feces.
The scent of pineapple draws them away after it comes out the other end and you only need a few small chunks. This has mixed reports online and I can’t confirm whether or not this works.
However, it’s worth a try if you’re looking for a quick fix.
Assess the diet
Some corgis will consume poop because they’re not getting enough nutrients from their regular diet.
You’ll want to only feed a high-quality, complete dog food.
Whether you use wet or dry food, make sure that you’re buying the best quality food you can afford.
You can also supplement with digestive enzymes to help your dog get the dietary compounds he needs and also consider adding meal probiotics to your dog’s feedings.
You’ll need to consult and ask your vet about adding or changing supplements to your dog’s diet before making any changes.
Get a fecal exam
You can get a fecal done at your vet for a relatively cheap price- it’s not as expensive as you think.
They’ll collect a stool sample and send it in to a lab for analysis.
You’ll get the result soon after and your professional can tell you about the stool quality and if they notice any problems.
When your dog has problems like coprophagia, getting the stool checked out is a must, especially if your corgi practices the behavior all of a sudden.
The turnaround may be even faster if it’s a full-service animal hospital.
Ensure that your corgi receives sufficient exercise
Your corgi may be bored out of his mind and getting lazy. This can lead to negative, unwanted behaviors such as coprophagia.
Regular exercise on a schedule will keep your dog mentally and physically stimulated when you mix in some training and logic games with your corgi.
Also, exercise helps your corgi’s digestion and makes for regular bowel movements.
Not only does it help keep your dog healthy physically and mentally, but the act of exercising also allows for a happy corgi through bonding with the owner.
Plus, happy dogs that are busy will have a lower chance of developing bad behaviors like barking, biting, and possibly eating poop.
Relocate litter boxes
For those that have a corgi with a cat, you’ll need to relocate the litter box to somewhere that the dog can’t reach.
This will stop your corgi from consuming the cat’s feces.
Use an OTC medication
There are dozens of OTC medications that are made to help stop your dog from eating poop.
The drugs are usually fine powders that are used to dust your dog’s stool and naturally deters your dog from eating it.
Others are medications that are to be consumed with your dog’s meal and make your dog’s poop not as appealing to him. You’ll need to ask your vet before adding any medication to your dog’s lifestyle.
What to ask the vet
You should always take your dog to the vet as soon as you notice the behavior.
The longer you let him continually eat his droppings, the more reinforced the behavior becomes.
This applies to both behaviors where your dog eats his own feces or the feces of other unknown animals.
Here are some things you should document and provide to your vet:
- When you first noticed the behavior
- The food you’re feeding your dog
- Any supplements or medications you’re providing for your dog
- How much food you’re giving your corgi
Here are some questions you should ask yourself and talk about with your vet:
- Does your dog only eat his poop?
- Does your corgi eat the poop of other animals?
- Were there any recent changes in diet?
- Were there any lifestyle changes recently?
- Does your corgi get enough exercise? Has the regimen changed?
- Has your corgi been stressed, fearful, or anxious lately?
- Did you notice any other behavioral changes?
Your vet may ask you additional questions and will recommend a treatment plan to stop the coprophagia. A corgi puppy eating his own poop is usually not a behavioral problem.
Keep everything documented so you can report your findings to your vet, and don’t rush things.
It’ll take time to stop if the behavior is ingrained into your corgi’s behavior and it may take some trial and error to find the exact root cause of the coprophagia.
Here are some resources you may find useful:
- My one year old corgi eats poop at the dog park. How do I stop this disgusting habit? – Reddit
- Pembroke Welsh Corgi Puppies eating poop – Reddit
- Corgi Puppy Eating Poop – MyCorgi.com
Did you stop your corgi’s coprophagia?
The behavior is disgusting, but nothing that you can’t control and manage.
With proper process and some patience, you can get to the bottom of the behavior and find out what’s causing it.
Consult your vet for advice first. Then offer some of the remedies you plan to try to see what your vet has to say about it.
After you get approval, see if it works to stop the behavior. There can only be so many causes, but once you find it, fix it, and eliminate it, then you’ll be good to go with those puppy kisses once again!
If you have any comments or questions, drop me a line below. And if you found this page useful, please let me know also!
Thanks for reading.
Roy has owned 14 dog breeds, with corgis being his absolute favorite. He’s a self proclaimed “corgi whisperer,” whatever that means. He enjoys hiking, videogames, binging on shows, and writing (that’s why he’s here).