Eating his own poop right after he makes it
Can you help me?
I've raised and bred chihuahuas all my life. I've never had any issues with them. I've recently moved in with my boyfriend, and he got me a pitbull puppy for our one-year anniversary.
Besides the fact that my puppy is a male, I didn't have any problems but his stubborness. Recently he's gotten bald spots, and the vet has checked him for demon mites, and upon a second inspection she is HOPING he has ringworm. She gave us the medication because she can't figure out what's wrong.
Anyway, since he started his medication he runs off down the street, and doesn't listen AT ALL. He also started pooping and then eating it. He eats really fast, and I've been trying to make him eat slowly by giving his food to him a little at a time. I was told that eating his food to fast doesn't let him properly digest it, so it will still smell good to him on the way out. I don't know
What a nice looking pup you have, gorgeous color and expression!
I'm sorry to hear you're having problems with him. The skin condition could well be demodectic mange, Pitbulls, Staffordshire Bull Terriers and other similar breeds seem to have a predisposition to this. However, it can be treated fairly easily with baths or 'dips' and is diagnosed by taking a skin scraping to look for mites. It may be that the sample your vet took didn't show any mites, but that they are there all the same. They don't always show up in every sample. If the current medication doesn't cure the problem, I would suggest taking him back and asking her to repeat the test so that he can get the right treatment asap. I had a Staffy pup with this condition, and after a series of 'dips' all her hair grew back and she never suffered from it again.
The poop-eating thing is a pretty common puppy habit I'm afraid. As it's a new behavior to your pup it may have something to do with the medication he's taking.
Eating too fast is unlikely to be a cause of this, but it certainly isn't good for him. As well as feeding him a little at a time, you can try using a very wide, shallow dish to feed him (even a baking try works) and spread his food out in a thin layer. It's more difficult for him to guzzle it down that way. You can also buy special bowls with raised, rounded 'prongs' in the bottom that he has to eat around and therefore it slows him down. A few large (cleaned) rocks from your yard will have the same effect, just make sure they're too big for him to put in his mouth and watch that he doesn't try to eat them or he could damage his teeth.
You will find tips on dealing with this poop-eating behavior on my Why Does My Dog Eat Poop? page. On that page you'll also find a recommendation for a product you can add to his food which will make it taste nasty to him and discourage this habit.
As for his running off and stubborness, that's normal puppy behavior too, he's growing every day and will constantly be testing his limits. It's important to set down 'ground rules' and begin some basic puppy training at home. As soon as he's had all his vaccinations I'd recommend enrolling him in a Puppy/Basic Obedience Class at a local Dog Obedience School. This will help him learn to respect and obey you, will help you to communicate better and understand him, and give him a valuable socialization experience.
Pitbulls are great dogs, very loving, loyal and smart. They are not people-aggressive dogs (unless they've been badly bred and badly treated), but they do have a natural tendency to be wary of other dogs and as they mature they may become dog-aggressive. Early and continued socialization can go a long way towards heading off/controlling this when it appears.
Always use positive, loving and reward-based training methods. Puppies don't respond well to negative or punitive training, and if a pup/dog has a tendency towards being stubborn, harsh training methods will simply cause him to fight against you and resist the lessons.
I wish you the best of luck with this little guy, he's a cutie and I'm sure he's going to turn out great.