View Full Version : Help!! I have Termites aka Oliver and Bentley!!!

20th September 2007, 10:19 PM
They are eating wood---wood chips, sticks, bark...anything wood they can find when I take them outside. I try to keep an eye on it and take it away, but lately you would think they are termites the way they are gobbling it down as soon as we get outside!! Its like a game to them. It's awful---then they are pooping out wood. Oliver even cried a bit when pooping today because there was wood in it and it must have hurt. That cannot be good...any ideas??? Its getting very frustrating. Rosalita hasnt picked up that habit yet, thank goodness, but now they have even tauht the naighbors dog to eat wood, too!!

I have a huge field in back of my condo where I take them out--there really is no way to avoid sticks, etc...the whole side of it is muclh.

21st September 2007, 12:04 AM
That's a real problem, all right. That's not something you want them to eat because it could cause more serious problems -- blockages, perforations -- and also cocoa mulch can actually be very dangerous so you want to be sure it isn't cocoa mulch (same risks as eating dark chocolate).

A couple of things you probably need to do -- train them to understand 'leave it' and 'drop it'; and try to walk them at least away from the mulch as that is potentially the worst -- small and easy to eat. I walk my dogs on pavement and actually it is much easier to clean up after dogs on pavement than on something like mulch or grass so maybe consider switching to walks totally away from the sticks (this is what I would do -- breaking the habit by total avidance is one of the best ways to do this). The third thing is -- and you will not like this -- you probaby need to be taking them out separately so you can control their activities. You will absolutely not be able to train each dog to 'leave it' and then be able to get them ALL to respond when walking them as a group without a lot of time and training. It is very important to train each reliably individually anyway but I'm sure you've seen how behaviour changes when you get them in a group. Also Rosalita almost certainly IS going to learn all these bad habits if you continue to take them all out together as this is exactly what happens when you get a pack mentality -- puppies also will learn very quickly to copy the older dogs.

This is one of the difficulties of multiple dog households -- and the only way to address it is in ways that are generally pretty inconvenient to the people who own the multiple dogs. I don't think people realise how much more complex it all gets to do some pretty basic things, like walks, as if you have even a single dog with a bad habit they can all quickly pick it up.

If it makes you feel any better I have a lot of challenges in similar ways as I have to walk my group several times a day to relieve themselves. It took a good while for them all to pay attention to commands like 'wait'. I also use Sense-ible front-fastening harnesses on the boys as it is much easier to control them. However Lily is quite a reactive dog and barky and she starts all of them barking regularly at other dogs, which is a real pain -- just one way in which walking all three together can sometimes be difficult for me.

I also suggest these books, esepcially the McConnell one, one mnaging mutliple dog households: