Is anyone else having the problem of their puppies eating any and everything they come across on the sidewalk? Beulah has now puked up 3 fruit pits and one cigarette butt. This is after finding a cigarette butt in her poop. I try to steer her away from anything that might seem enticing and I try to get everything out of her mouth that she picks up, but it's clearly impossible to intercept all foreign objects. I know it's partially a puppy thing, but it's rather unnerving, as I fear she's going to get into something really harmful someday.

Is anyone else having this problem? If so, what are you doing/have you done about it? I'm working on teaching her "leave it" and "drop it". But it's not going near as easy as sit, down, rollover, etc.

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Hahaha... I live in an equestrian area, so my little guy (9 months old now) looooves to pick up horse poop. :P I find that the faster I walk, the less likely Indy is to go after random stuff on the ground... he kind of goes into "travel mode" where he isn't trying to investigate things unless they are HUGELY tempting (other dogs, people, etc). It's also helpful to carry treats with you when you walk, so you can tell her to "drop it" and make an exchange, she gets the treat and you get the Forbidden Item. That way every time Beulah does pick something up, it can just be another drop it/leave it training moment for the two of you.

I find leave it/drop it to be really hard to teach, as my puppy likes stolen laundry and horse poop a lot more than he likes the food and treats I have for him. :P But we are making progress, one road apple at a time... ;)
LOL, i love it. Vesper's favorite forbidden items are bird and rabbit droppings. We found the fastest way to teach "drop it" was in the house- both while playing fetch and when Vesper got ahold of indoor forbidden items- indoor items seemed easier to give up than poop. :) If Beulah is playing fetch, that might be the easiest way to start. Vesper was very receptive to "drop it" when the action resulted in 1.) A treat, and 2.) A better game of fetch. Then we transferred the behavior to forbidden items, where she picked it up more quickly indoors than outside.

I agree with Meg, fast walking is the best defense- Vesper goes in to "travel mode," too. Other than that, Charlie Crackers and "leave it" or "drop it" are our best friends.
When Enzo was a bit younger he ate everything. He was super sneaky too; hardly noticed when he picked things up outside. He was big on picking up rocks, acorns and cat poop. Over the past months he has stopped picking everything up outside. We are still working on "leave it" and "drop it" inside. He mainly likes to grab things so we can chase him. He drops them as soon as no one follows him. "drop it" only seems to really work when playing fetch. "leave it" works when we place the object in front and tell him to "leave it" but not really if he goes to an item on his own. These are definitely harder than sit, down and rollover he picked those up in a few minutes.
Bella was having a huge issue with picking up little tidbits when we go on walks. She had a very hard time catching onto "leave it", so instead I make a "NAAH" sound whenever she tries to pick something up and it works really great. Sometimes she'll try to ignore me, but if I say it a little louder, she'll eventually turn away from it. And the Exchange method is cool. It is hilarious to watch Bella debate over the tempting object in my hand, or the object in her mouth. So many expressions cross her face, it's just pure entertainment.
Don't feel too bad, we have a Hoover too! I agree with the "walk faster" approach for sure. Dogs can only focus on one thing at a time (like men...sorry guys!) so the key is to redirect their focus. We also taught Tank "leave it" during fetch as others have mentioned. However, be encouraged (and warned!) that no one is perfect. Dispite our best efforts, Tank ate a piece of nasty chicken when my hubbie threw away a poo bag in the dumpster. That led to an infection and $475 later we got our dog back with a shaved patch on his neck from an IV; lovely. It's amazing how 99.9% of what they eat they either digest or pass, but of course our little guy had to pick something raccoon-infested to eat!


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