Drake is now almost 5 months old. We have had him for a month. He eats EVERYTHING outside that he is not supposed to. Grass, weeds, rocks, dirt, wood of any and every kind, mulch, chicken poop, literally everything he can get his mouth on.
We have been working with "leave it", but we literally have to be like "leave it leave it leave it leave it leave it" all over outside. He just won't stop trying to eat everything. Have a beautiful huge front yard, but have to keep him leashed all the time or he just constantly eats things.
It is not because he is hungry. Half the time he doesn't want to finish his puppy food. He would rather go outside and eat yard debris.
He is also teething, which is just making it worse. We have tried providing tons of toys for him to chew. Nope, he only wants to eat stuff he is not supposed to.
We are starting obedience class tomorrow, but it is inside and he doesn't usually do it inside, just outside.
Anyone have any advice? I am at the end of my rope with this eating everything. :(
You could always get him a basket muzzle for when he is outside. I almost had to resort to that because Franklin was eating rocks and had to have surgery to remove one after having ingested it and it was too big to pass and vomited or pooped out 13 other rocks over the course of a few months.
Yikes! Now I am even more freaked out!!! lol!
I think eating anything they can get their mouths on is a corgi trait. Max loves to eat grass and I don't worry too much about that. Katie will eat anything that is within her reach including poop and she's 9. Leave it works with Max not so much with Katie. Then again Katie doesn't seem to get anything....I have trained dogs for over 30 years and I have never had one that absolutely refuses to learn even a simple sit command.
Maybe you could try spraying some bitter apple or hot sauce on some pieces of bark or something and leave them easily accessible...although maybe he might find that even more tasty. :P
Wondering if he has a vitamin deficiency.... Maybe change foods and leash walk only for a little while to break the habit.
We had the same problem with Linus. We had several trips to the vet where I was nervous that he had a blockage from ingesting something he shouldn't have (nervous puppy parents!) We never let him out of our sight when we took him out and we tried our best to pick up as many things in the yard as we could (any sticks or rocks that we could see, we didn't go crazy or anything). You can practice "leave it" inside as well. Put something on the floor (a piece of kibble or a low value treat or shoe or whatever) and tell him to "leave it". If he goes for it, cover it with your hand and tell him "uh uh". If he can ignore it for 5 seconds give him a high value treat and praise. Practice several times a day. Extra practice really helped Linus, he won't persist anymore when we tell him to leave something. You could also start to practice taking him out on a leash (although Linus hated the leash until he was almost a year old).
Jen's description of teaching leave it is right on. Max was pretty good about leave it to start with but when I was preparing for our CGC and therapy dog certification I had to ramp it up. I never thought I would get him to actually walk over a piece of hot dog and not touch it but he did. Katie, on the other hand, you best move your foot if something falls on the floor anywhere near your feet...you will lose both if they are in the way. I know she isn't stupid but dang, I have never had a dog that I couldn't train to even obey a sit command. We never hand her a treat or you will lose fingers...after all these years of trying she just does not get the take nice.
He was originally on Purina ProPlan when we got him. After a couple weeks we switched him over to Taste of the Wild.
I have taught him "leave it" and he does "leave it" in the house. It is just outside where "leave it" doesn't work that we have the problem. And really, he will "leave it" outside, its just that you have to say "leave it" for every single thing that fits in his mouth. So a walk around the yard sounds like "leave it leave it leave it leave it leave it".
I almost always have him on a leash outside, unless it is play with toys or pictures time. Even with the leash on he still snatches up everything he can. I don't have an option of walking him on concrete as we live in the country and its not really feasible to drive into town every time he needs to go potty lol. If I try to keep his head up off the ground when I walk him, he won't go potty. It I let him put his head down so he will go potty, he eats everything.
What about trying a gentle leader for a bit so you have immediate control of his head? He can sniff around with his head down and when you can see him start to snatch something you would be able to pull his head away instead of like with a collar where you basically have to pull the dog away? Just a thought.
The same idea as Bev crossed my mind: he may have a vitamin or mineral deficiency and it would not hurt to give him a good supplement for awhile.
I found it useful with my pups to teach the "heads up" command, on a short leash, after they were used to the leash and starting to go on longer walks. I did this mostly because it's no fun to walk dogs who constantly have their nose on the ground.... . I keep the collar up as high on the neck as it will go, which gives good control of the head. The pup needs to be next to you because, if he goes in front, the collar will be pulled down the neck and out of position. I don't allow pups any sniffing while walking. I will release the pup on a longer leash to sniff and do it's business with an "OK, go!" but then I am more or less standing still in an area. When we resume walking, it's again close to me and high collar. You need to tug straight upwards to correct and teach that" head up" command. If you keep the leash short, allowing enough slack to walk with the head up, but not enough for the nose to reach the ground, you will not have to correct much at 10-12 weeks. At 5 months, it will take more effort.... .
My Miniature Dachshund was my biggest challenge. Adopted at 6 months she ate everything in her path, including road base on our dirt road. Since she is only 6 inches tall, her long muzzle is millimeters from the ground :DD She was never off leash. If I missed, in spite of my keeping an eagle eye on her while out, and she gulped something, I would dive bomb her and fish it out saying "don't eat stuff!" eventually I could use that phrase as a warning, she has become very good, but it did take months because, at six months, that really bad habit was well developed. I am still vigilant with her.
I had a friend whose adult dog ate rocks. After two surgeries he lived out the rest of his life with a fine mesh wire basket muzzle outdoors. Melissa is right about that!