How to stop my puppy from eating off the streets?

How to stop my puppy from eating off the streets? puppy eating


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!

Cheers Simone, Yara & (Nikita) Spring Banners

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12 Responses

  1. Jesse says:

    Love this blog, I have this problem with my dog, he is eating everything, it is driving me crazy. So i’m going to practice the “leave IT” command right now. I will let you know how my dog is doing.

    • Simone says:

      Hi Jesse,

      Great that you start the leave it command. If you need any more help please let me know.

      Cheers Simone

  2. Rawl says:

    Hee hee! Those darn puppies are just like babies and toddlers. They don’t care what it is. They eat anything and everything because they have to know what it is.

    I think this is really good practical and useful information on how to train your puppy not to eat what’s not good for them. It may take time at first so it’s important to be patient while training.

    My daughter has trained her dog to do this very same thing. He won’t eat things while they’re on a walk or at the dog part but this hasn’t stopped him from trying to eat out of the trash can periodically.

    Great stuff.

  3. Stacey says:

    This is a great blog post and who knows what our furrbabies are ingesting when they eat something from the street! I have also seen a few concerning Facebook posts recently of cruel people purposely putting harmful products in food (knowing that dogs will most likely eat them). My dogs are always on the leash where we live so just a quick tug on the leash and they know not to go there

    • Simone says:

      Hi Stacey. Thanks for your nice comment. My dog is also always on leash, nut you always have to watch because thay can be very quick if they smell something good.

      Cheers Simone

  4. Ashley says:

    Ohh, you just reminded me of how much I hate seeing my dogs eating stuff from everywhere they go, I tried a lot of things but nothing made them stop.
    That tip with the commands sounds really good, I think it could be very useful in our case. And I really love that you teach people how to do it by themselves, without taking their dogs to a special trainer. I really have to try this.
    I’ll let you know how it goes 🙂

  5. Rachel says:

    My dog eats grass, poop, twigs, leaves, and bugs before. I can never fathom why she will like those things, especially those indigestable ones.

    We didn’t know how to stop her then, but it’s a good thing that she stopped this behavior by herself by the time she’s about 3 years old. Although I certainly wished that I had come across this post earlier, it would have helped us with her problems during those painful times!!

    Positive reinforcement is always a good way 🙂

  6. SanShar says:

    Training a puppy is really not as difficult as most may think.

    It’s just a matter of knowing how to train. Which is what most facilities that provide puppy/dog training classes do. The actually train the owner on the proper way to handle their dog.

    There’s nothing more rewarding than a well trained, well behaved dog.

  7. Cathy says:

    Oh yes, free food is a treasure for our puppies especially if they are human food – doesn’t even matter if it’s stale or not. Dogs are just attracted to new food smell and would put into their mouth just to get a taste of it.

    In most cases, this would often lead to some vomiting and diarrhea. But in unfortunate ones, it could be poisonous and owners certainly need to watch out on what their pups are eating off the streets.

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