My three-month-old German Shepherd is active and energetic. He is mostly confined to our apartment and routinely taken out to the terrace for a short walk. We hope to take him out soon for walks. Our main worry is that whenever he poops, he tends to eat it. We struggle to distract him and keep him from doing this. Kindly advise us what to do. There is also this habit on jumping on us and nipping at us. We push him away but he bounces right back. How can we correct him?
If you look for this problem on the net, you will find a million answers ranging from fear of predators to lack of nutrition from various trustable sources like vets and other behaviourists. In the wild, the dogs and other wild animals tend to cover their tracks and avoid any kinds of scents and trails that could lead predators to their location. In order to do this, one of the tactics that fearful animals use is to eat up their own poop immediately.
Other than this, pups generally tend to eat whatever is there in front of them and smells – not necessarily good as this is how they learn about the environment. The sense of taste and smell is very critical for the pups and they try to use it to the maximum during their formative years. This is why you find them damaging furniture and personal belongings for exploration. Poop is one strong smelling stimulant that entices pups.
Nipping is a behaviour problem that needs professional help. It is important to identify what is inducing the dog to do this kind of action. If it is fear, it could be a problem due to lack of socialisation or lack of structure or leadership in the home. If it is a lack of nutrition, consult a vet as well.
A few general tips that you can follow.
Get a vet to test him for any nutritional deficiencies that you can add that to his food
Set rules around the house for the dog so that there are clear allowances and restrictions
Ensure that the dog is not the one making decisions.
Have control on the walks to stop him from wandering off.
Definitely train him for basic obedience so that this issue can be addressed specific to his needs.
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