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eating things off the ground
  • starrystarry
    Posts: 187
    Is it just toki or does anyone else's dog eat things off the ground while on walks
    toki eats gum that people spit into the bushes, everything else he is good about

    first of all it is very hard to see gum especially when wrapped in leaves and sticks so its hard for me to distinguish if toki is smelling the ground or picking up a piece of gum
    second people should not spit gum onto the ground, throw it away

    I managed to stop him and pull the gum out of his mouth about 1/4 of the time but the rest of it he gets
    Anyone have/had these problems (maybe with other items on the ground)? Any suggestions on stopping
  • My dog goes after Gum/cigarettes/leaves/wrappers. everything. Most of the time I catch him and tell him to drop it and sometimes he'll listen. Other times I have to pry his mouth open. He's getting smarter though. When he has something in his mouth he turns his face and chews so that I can't see. When I pick him up he stops chewing the starts again when he turns.
  • I'm convinced Rascal is trying to clean up the whole neighborhood one random piece of trash at a time.

    His penchant for trash made for a comical vet visit when the poor vet tech sheepishly asked if he had a blue toy after examining his fecal sample. While fighting laughter, I explained that he had picked up what I initially thought was a stick but was actually a navy blue crayon off the ground on one of our walks the previous day. The poor dog had a blue butt for two days. Good thing crayons are non-toxic though.
  • We have to watch ours like hawks. They both like to try to get stuff of the ground they're not supposed to have
  • Yes, this is a constant problem on walks. Now that we've had our first blizzard of the season in the Twin Cities, it's harder for him to find anything to chew or eat, but that doesn't stop him from digging around looking for whatever he can find.

    It's extremely disgusting when I've had to pry poo from his mouth. I don't know what it is recently, but he's been very into finding poo and sometimes big's so disgusting! He lets it sit in his mouth so it melts...ugh!!! What's the deal with this anyway? Good luck to you!
  • hanaluluhanalulu
    Posts: 195
    Evie also tries to eat everything....leaves, gum, cigarette butts, snow, a baby snake once (it was dead and flattened on the pavement), worms....basically you name it, she wants to eat it!

    And she's just as bad, if not worse inside the house. Luckily, she hasn't been a poo eater!
  • KitaKita
    Posts: 44
    Dunno what Kita picked up the other day, I didn't want to look too closely before dragging her off.
    She dug up what I thought was a molehill, then noticed something whitish and sticky looking. Either poo or a giant grub. EEEW!

    We did our walk, then returning, all she would do was pull, pull, pull 'cos she obviously wanted to get back to it... I distracted her as we neared it and she stopped dead a couple of yard past it and whined. She KNEW roughly where it was (which I thought was clever!) but there was NO way I was going to investigate again. Can't bear grubs *shudder*
  • Puppies will put everything in the mouth to investigate...much like kids. Usually it dissipates with age as they figure out what is what. Teaching a leave it command is good with trading with treats, helpful for those dogs who don't outgrow garbage gut activities. Pick your battles though.... Grubs are way better than other stuff. There are a few that have a liking for slugs too.....yuck!

    Sometimes it is good to show them what's what, if they go for the nasty stuff crouch and hold out something better such as cheese bite etc, or pretend you are eating a snack which you have in your pocket. Your interest in your own items often are of more interest than random items. Dogs (like bears) often learn from what they observe parents or other dogs eating. I've noticed with the Shibas they do have a memory for where an item is located or where it was last caught/dug up etc.

    Post edited by StaticNfuzz at 2009-12-10 15:45:57
  • My puppy shiba is eating leaves, grass and snails! :( Sometimes she just wants to go out in the garden just to do that so i can't distinguish if she needs to go do her doodles. Hopefully this stops.. Oh and she's her own poop eater! I just gave her some pineapple I heard that she will avoid eating her poop when she smells that. Also heard that I should put some hot sauce on her poop lol... I might just try that.
    Post edited by Hachi0406 at 2010-08-24 08:20:29
  • velvetkatvelvetkat
    Posts: 497
    LOL hot sauce on poop! My pup tries to eat the cat poop.. maybe I should try that! Bear used to try to eat anything and everything. The best command to train first is Drop it! Good luck with that. Bear knows when Im mad he will drop it immediately. If I dont look that mad or upset(to him) he will play with the item in his mouth and I end up negotiating with him to trade for a treat.
  • CrimsonO2CrimsonO2
    Posts: 1165
    I agree with SnF that "Leave it." is the best command to teach a scavenging Shiba (or a reactive one). You already know what stuff they want to eat that you don't want them to. So, as soon as you see yourself approaching it, call out the "Leave it" to break them them from tracking it down.

  • lockshi3lockshi3
    Posts: 628
    My guy likes to try to eat leaves, fur, hair, etc. It's always fun when it comes out the other end later on and then I have to help him because it gets stuck sigh. I am hoping with age that he stops eating all this garbage!!
  • My Quakey has gotten to be a real pain on walks because he loves to pick up tiny twigs and eat them. He also picks up acorns and eats those. He has been doing this for a couple of months. I have tried telling him "leave it" but he's so stubborn and then I tell him "drop it" and sometimes he does but not always. Sometimes he's an angel and does not pick up anything on a walk and the next walk he's going crazy picking up and eating things. I watch him like a hawk but he is very fast. I tell him "AGH" when I see him go for something and tell him "Bad Bowser" when he actually starts chewing but he doesn't seem to care that I am not calling him by his name. I praise him and give him treats when he walks calmly without picking up objects.

    I have tried taking a favorite toy that he can hold on to but he was not interested in holding on to the toy. I have also tried finding a larger size stick and giving it to him and sometimes that works.

    I get worried that he will get sick. Maybe I'm over worrying about this.
  • Mochi920Mochi920
    Posts: 357
    @antoinette I have this problem too except mine has finally learned to actually listen when I say drop it...unless it's food. She will drop leaves, hair, tissue, plastic if I tell her drop it (which she used to not do at all). However, when it comes to food, she just ignores me and gobbles it up and the worst part is, I can't take it out her mouth or she will snap at me lol

    I worry a lot too especially when it's like chicken bones or old bread :-< Whenever she goes out to work with me, which is every Friday and sometimes Wednesday, she very often finds a dried up old chicken bone on her walks.
    I know cooked chicken bones are notorious for being dangerous for dogs as they will splinter. So far, she hasn't had an issue with the ones she picked up off the ground (thank goodness). She's ate about 3 pieces so far since we starting walking her, which was just 2 or 3 months ago.

    I don't think it's a huge thing to worry about. I know we can't help but worry but most times, they are ok.
    If you do notice him acting lethargic after eating something, that's when it should be very concerning.
  • She will drop leaves, hair, tissue, plastic if I tell her drop it (which she used to not do at all).

    @Mochi920-I guess we have made some progress because he now will drop leaves. hair, tissue, and plastic just like yours will. I just have to continue harping on the twigs and acorns until he drops those too. Thanks for your response.
  • I am going to try feeding him a favorite treat before we go out for our walk this afternoon because I notice it happens on afternoon walks more often and I thought he may be hungry because I feed him after our walk. I will give him a chewy treat prior to our walk and hope that it helps.
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 776
    Antoinettte and Mochi: Gosh, it seems a common thing with Shiba pups XD Ours is a little vacuum. We are working on leave it, and so far, he hasn't gone after anything dangerous. Luckily, Japan keeps their streets mostly clean, but we still have to watch out for things like cigarette butts and the like.

    Have either of you heard of PICA? It seems to be a disorder in dogs where they eat everything. I'm still looking into it, too, but only a vet or pro can determine if a dog has this.
  • Mochi920Mochi920
    Posts: 357
    @antoinette I actually took some raw bits of beef as a training treat on my walk today and she went crazy over them. She immediately followed my commands no matter where we were and I only had to repeat a command twice, once.
    I think a very high reward trick is very useful to take along...along with a little bit of her favorite food.

    @anjyil there's actually a disorder for that? That's so weird haha I think every dog picks up something on the road and would only leave it or drop it if told to do so.

    Funny fact while typing this: I'm currently outside with Mochi in our backyard typing this while sitting and a few seconds ago she literally jumped over my hands and knocked my phone out of my hands. Couldn't help but laugh even though my phone got covered in a bit of dirt.
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 776
    I think you are right, Mochi--a cross of hawk-watching, high value rewards, and patience is key. Sadly, my husband has only two of those. He is lacking in the most important one haha.

    Yeah, it is specifically for dogs that can not be trained out of it. It really is a problem for them, much like compulsive licking or any other ones I heard of. There is a number of them. I don't know all the details, so I am still looking into it. I can't even remember what PICA stands for. It is good to know about those kinds of disorders. Mental illnesses are not just the domain of humans :)

    haha that is funny! actually, we were working with Coal outside on some fetch and basic commands, and he took a treat and about a second later, coughed and it come right back out. He really needs to work on chewing his food!
  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1269
    @anjyil it is completely normal for a puppy to explore the world by tasting everything. Shibas are normally quite clever as adults and know what is edible or not.

    @antoinette it seems like he is bored. I would try and bring lots of treats and do fun activities with them to keep the focus off the acorns at least because I think they can be dangerous.

    I sometimes make a treaty-tree on walks. I let Juni sit and then I put (soft) treats on branches and around the trunk of a tree and then she gets to search and eat.

    She will go to the same tree days after just to see if more treats have grown, haha.

    Or I just throw a treat here and there on the ground to have her run up and down searching. In between she might have to do something like sit or give eye contact.
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 776
    @Juni I know that is what puppies do, but it is something I ran across and thought I would share. It is a rare disorder, but it kind of sticks in the back of my mind.

    I like the puppy tree idea. I may have to try that when I can start walking him again.
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8585
    @Anjyil - Pica does not stand for anything, it is not an acronym.

    My youngest, Nola (now 8, almost 9) has pica due to a brain tumour (there are a couple of threads on here about her early journey with this). It is frustrating for me and dangerous for her, but luckily she has a stomach of steel and either passes or vomits what she eats back up. We have been extremely lucky that there has been no major damage or blockages (yet).

    The best solution, but one that I have been hesitant (yet) to try for many reasons, is a basket muzzle.
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • Mochi920Mochi920
    Posts: 357
    @juni I really find the treat tree a fantastic idea. I'm kind of excited to try that out now lol I have to put the treats on the branches or hide it when my puppy isn't looking because once she sees I have food, she watches me to no end :))
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 776
    @Sunyata. That is so sad. I am really sorry to hear about that. I totally understand your hesitation for the basket muzzle. I think more people need to be at least aware of this illness so that they don't assume the worst when they see an owner using such devices. The stigma behind muzzles of any kind is heavy. I know that isn't the only reason, though. I will have to read up on this journey. What is the title and/or category?
  • Thanks for the suggestions @Anjyil , @Mochi920, @Juni, and @Sunyata.

    @Sunyata, I am sorry that your Nola has pica and I completely understand your hesitation to use the basket muzzle.

    @Juni-I like the idea of a treat tree but I do not know it will work since I live in an urban area and we have lots of trees but also many dogs that could get to the treats. However, your idea of interesting activities. Maybe throwing treats ahead as we're walking and saying "find it" would help.

    @Mochi920-I will try taking some tiny bits of cheese as treats with me this afternoon.

    Also I bought him a new chew toy for Valentine's day and I plan to take it on our walk this afternoon. He seemed to really like it yesterday.

    If you guys think of anything else please let me know! I appreciate the help.

  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1269
    @mochi and @antoinette I actually sit Juni just out of reach of the tree or bush, I think it is even more motivating when she sees me hide the treats so she can anticipate what will happen.
    So hopefully you can let your dogs get to the treats before another dog come along.

    I sometimes do a track for Juni when I drag an old nylon stocking (or similar) with a burger in it (yes it looks stupid so I try to go somewhere less populated). Also it is easier for the dog to find the scent in longer grass, moss, blueberry bushes than hard surface like tarmac. Just start walking on a pretty straight line for say fifty steps. You can then tie the stocking to a tree or something so it will be harder for other animals to steal the treat. This game you should wait at least 15-20 minutes until the dog goes for the track because the scent molecules need time to " land" on the ground. But you can let your dogs watch you do it, especially in the beginning, because they will be curious.
    Later you can add distance, turn 90 degrees and walk at an angle to make it more interesting.
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 776
    Juni, you have some awesome ideas! I need to figure out how I can try stuff like that around here.
  • Mochi920Mochi920
    Posts: 357
    @juni I'm totally going to try that out today! I bought some new treats too so she'll be even more excited about it :D thanks for the ideas!!
  • ObizaObiza
    Posts: 69
    Rusty likes to eat flattened bird carcasses off the road. Unfortunately we don't always get on him before he snatches it up. With the snow banks melting he keeps finding things too. He picked up a half mutilated bird while walking over the weekend. Usually a quick Rusty no and he'll drop it. He also doesn't forget where things are. We were visiting a friend and Rusty kept running around and pawing at his couch. We thought he was going crazy until I saw a mouse move under it.
    The next morning we came down and he resumed his position of staring at the couch convinced it was still there lol. I don’t think our friend appreciated him finding it haha.
  • spacedogsspacedogs
    Posts: 361
    LOL if I were that friend I'd appreciate it very much and start setting traps, also ew to the dead birds. Rhyz did pick up a dead mouse the cat left on the deck once, thankfully dropped it when asked but he was SO excited to have it.
  • ObizaObiza
    Posts: 69
    He got all paranoid and went straight on amazon to order all of the traps. It was pretty amusing but I'm sure I wouldn't feel the same if it was my house! Rusty is good at finding dead things... last summer he found 3 dead baby bunnies. He still checks under the porch and spruce tree for more. Apparently I own a grave digger. :-<

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