After a spectacular celebration of the Centenary of the Fédération Cynologique Internationale, those of us who sit on the General Committee of the FCI set ourselves the task of carrying on with our work for another hundred years of services dedicated to dog lovers all over the world in an atmosphere of companionship and with a team working on targets which have been set with the aim of getting straight to grips with the challenges of the future.

One of the great challenges we face, in all Sections of the FCI, Europe, the Americas and the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, relates to laws which set out to restrict dog ownership and declare many of our current breeds to be dangerous. I am aware that all of the Sections of the FCI are engaged in legal battles either to prevent these laws being passed or to repeal those which are already in force.

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Rafael de Santiago
FCI Vice-President

Question to the Vet
William Bredal

My dog has an embarrassing problem. He tries to eat the stools of other animals, in particular horses, and sometimes he succeeds – much to my dismay. I am feeding him a quality brand of dog food. Is he trying to compensate for some dietary imbalance?

Coprophagy (stool eating) is relatively common in dogs. Contrary to popular belief, dogs that coprophagise are not attempting to balance a deficient diet, nor do they have gastrointestinal disease. The dog’s evolutionary history provides a reasonable explanation for this behaviour. Eating faeces is a common type of scavenging behaviour observed in wild canids. It is also observed in female dogs and wild canid females that are caring for puppies. It has been theorised that this behavior may continue after puppies are weaned, or that it can be socially facilitated between dogs within the same household. Behaviourists indicate that stool eating may in some cases be an attention seeking behaviour and if this is the case it is recommended to ignore the behaviour when it happens - if possible. The best way to prevent stool eating is to limit access to fecal matter by monitoring walks, restricting the dog’s access to the faeces of other animals including wild animals, and keep the yard free from faeces.

William Bredal, BSc DVM, Veterinary Technical Manager Eukanuba, provided this answer.