View Full Version : Dog eats EVERYTHING,

6th March 2013, 01:28 PM
Hi all,

we have a 9 month old cavalier, and when I take him on walks to the local field, it's a leisure centre and the rugby players leave tape all over the floor, and plastic over the floor.

wilson our dog picks everything up! He is too clever, and never comes back to me with this in his mouth unless I have a treat. I then give him a treat, so he then runs off and picks more stuff up! Today is was part of a plastic bottle.

will he grow out of eating and picking up everything he sees?, it's very frustrating for me at times.

what behaviour or expressions should I show towards him at this point? I understand chasing him will make him think its a game, but likewise ignoring him will just mean he potters off on his own with it in his mouth.

i love having him off the lead so he can have a proper run out.

on another note. Retrieving a tennis ball. He chases it and runs over it but never brings anything back to me. Any advice?

thanks for your help


6th March 2013, 02:08 PM
A 9 month old is at a very mouthy stage and will be far more inclined to pick up things than he will when a bit older (though some dogs are always mouthy and swallowers and must be constantly watched).

Have you done a good, positive (rewards) method obedience class with him? (not one that requires you to jerk the dog's neck with so-called 'corrections' :( ). Obedience is excellent for all young dogs as it allows them to socialise with people and dgs and importantly, helps them learnt o focus on you despite other distractions. He is at a critical age for this type of structured training in a group environment which is far more productive than lone training (generally done at home or alone in a field which fails to teach response with distractions, the most common real life situation in which one wants a response). Look for an APDT or CCPDT certified class.

A good class will teach 'drop it' and 'leave it'. Both of those are what would be useful to you. Right now you seem to be teaching him to retirieve these items sometimes, while he's not making the connection with the ball. :)

Regarding the ball -- you teach retrieve just as you are with the plastic items. Encourage him to bring a ball back from a short distance by offring a reward and prasie each time. It takes dogs a while to get 'fetch'.

There's also great advice for all types of dog training and behaviour issues at www.dogstardaily.com. Be sure to download the book After You Get Your Puppy in the free downloads section! :)

6th March 2013, 02:25 PM
Lady just turned 1 year old and she is the same way. As Karlin suggested though, I taught her "leave it" and now she will drop whatever she has in her mouth on command. She is still really sneaky though and anything she's not supposed to have she'll try to eat it - like taking plastic wrappers out of the garbage. I hope they grow out of it at some point :rolleyes:

For fetch Lady knows its only with one of her toys, and she knows it called her "toy". I say "Go get your toy" and she will happily run off to find it, ready to wrestle with it or play fetch. If you teach Wilson the word "ball" you could distract him that way if he has something he's not supposed to and then he'll know what object he's supposed to retrieve.

6th March 2013, 02:44 PM
I think he might be learning that if he picks junk up you'll trade him an awesome treat in exchange.

I agree that you should get some formal training. "Leave it", and "give" will be important for you.

7th March 2013, 05:42 AM
"Leave it" (aka in our house "Not yours") has been the only thing that works with Rose. She's almost 3, and is just now starting to outgrow nomming everything she can find :*gh: ... Having another dog in the house has helped, too (someone to play with when the people aren't available).

Super Princess
8th March 2013, 04:10 AM
maggies 5 months and in this stage.
anything shes 'not supposed to eat' goes in her mouth.

i picked her up from my grandpas yesterday.he wasnt home but my mum was..and she said 'oh she is going to need to go pee' so she walked us to the door..and i let maggie on the grass.
(shes on her leash) turn around..and shes got some grass clippings in her mouth..s.he looks up at me and muches with a smile on her face knowing shes not supposed to..my mum goes "is she eating grass?" im like "yeah and you should see hte look shes giving me right now"

shes very much into paper if she can find it..cat poop if i forget to put hte gate up or close the bathroom door,

8th March 2013, 08:52 AM
Maddie outgrew it, probably because we made a special toy more exciting than any rubbish. Walks in the park were about us and play (we used to hide the toy and send her to find it, even at a young age) and we had a second toy to bring her back to us.
Pippin, sad to say, at 6 1/2 yrs old still picks up all the rubbish he can find. He is partial to plastic bottle tops. We always know when he's got something because he trots along with his tail up, wagging hard, and his whole body language is of a little boy that's very pleased with himself. He knows "leave" but is sneaky at picking things up, he also knows "give" for which he gets a reward.
Rosie also likes to pick things up (think she's copying uncle Pippin) but I've taught her "drop" for which she gets a reward. The drop can be at a distance, then I call her away from the item for the reward so no retrieving of rubbish. We then do heelwork back to the rubbish which I pick up (so she doesn't go back and get it herself) and deposit in a bin when I find one.

Good luck with it, but I agree, general obedience training does help so worth looking in to.

8th March 2013, 12:24 PM
It was pretty important to get Fletcher's "leave it" command down quickly. I have 3 kids in my house ages 5, 14 and 16. Before I even brought Fletcher home we instilled new house rules about not leaving your stuff where a puppy can get it but as you can image it doesn't go as planned 100% of the time. IF I see him getting near something he can't have and give him a quick "leave it" we have no problems HOWEVER if he happens to pick up something and I say "drop it" he just gives me one of those cat who ate the canary looks like "who me????" When that happens I give him the "come" command then take whatever from him. If he's really quick about grabbing something of high value he runs to his crate. Then I offer a trade with a treat. I learned that the hard way, he stole a homemade super chocolate ice cream sandwich once and ran to his crate I reached in to take it from him and he bit me!!!! My fault tho.

I wouldn't say Fletcher has outgrown this habit. I'm still hoping tho, he just turned 1. I do think I have gotten better about managing it. Just yesterday Mr. Monster (my 5 year old son) brought a whole bin of action figures out into the living room and spread them all over floor....after one "leave it" from me and a few from the kid Fletcher did not bother one "MAN"

If you have never taken a class they are fun and it may help.