How to stop my puppy from eating off the streets?
Pups are very curious and constantly trying to discover the world . They do this not just by looking and sniffing , but also by taking things in their mouths , and even eat it. Eating from the street is something a lot of puppies do. Many grow over it, but for some it develops into a bad habit.
Shit, a discarded sandwich, twigs, plastic bags, stones, you name it your puppy eats it. It starts innocently but it can have adverse effects such as vomiting and / or diarrhea to serious injury of mouth or throat. Even an intestinal blockage can be caused by eating inedible objects. So good reasons to stop the unwanted behaviour from an early age.
However, this proves easier said than done. Some dogs love to eat poo. Retriever have this nasty habbit more often then other dogs.
How to prevent your dog or puppy from eating everything from the streets?
What you can do is watch the streets yourself, but you can not see everything and dogs are very quick when it comes to “free” food. But if you do see it in time, distract your dog, or just walk the other way. If your dog was lucky and grabbed something, don’t try to take it from him, otherwise your dog will see it as a funny game. If your dog does not know a command as “let go” or something, do not give him that command. Teach him the command first.
Teaching the command “leave it” or “let Go”
- Keep a snack in your hands
- Let your dog sniff the snack, keep your hand closed, when your dog/puppy stops trying to get the snack out of your hand you give him the snack
- Repeat it a couple of times and when your dog doesn’t want to get the snack out of your hands, he gets it.
- Now your dog has understood what the intention is, you can add the spoken command ‘ leave it’ to the exercise. For a dog to learn a spoken command, you should speak/say the command Word just before he the desired behaviour. In this case you say ‘ leave it ‘ and you show your closed hand with the treat in it. The response we want is that your dog quietly waits and sees. For a dog to completely understand a new command you have to repeat it often
- When your dog-puppy understands the command and is calm and submissive, then make it a bit more difficult by making your dog/puppy look at your before he gets the treat.
- Some dogs find it difficult to look directly at you, then you give the treat if he looks the other way, then when he looks at you shortly and so on
- If this all goes well, you make it more difficult by your fist again no longer to close at all, but rather a bit open. Your dog/puppy will try to get the treat. Shut your hand and wait till he stops. Then give him the treat. Most dogs understand this very quickly. Continue this exercise untill your dog/puppy can wait while you have the treat in your hand. He must ignore the treat
- Then place the treat on the floor and stay alert, your dog/puppy should not be able to get the treat. It he tries, place your foot on it.
- in the end you will be able to drop a treat on the floor, say the words “leave it” and that is what your dog/puppy does. Practise this in the house, in the garden or just outside. If it goes very good, you are starting the practise during the walk
- When your dog wants to get something off the streets, you say “LEAVE IT” if he obeys, you reward him with great enthusiasm. “Leave It”always represents a treat, this way it is fun for your dog to leave something on the streets 🙂
Have fun training your puppy / dog!