Wants to Eat Everything on a Walk

Posted by mark-sippel
Nov 2, 2015
I have a 2.5 year old Golden Doodle who will pick up anything on a walk and usually try to eat it. She has eaten apples, paper, rope, bottle caps - fortunately she has passed them so far.. I watch her and usually can tug her away from the item (she wears a Gentle Leader) but there are times like at night when I can't always see things. The bigger problem is if you try to get it out of her mouth and it's something yummy, she may nip at my hand. She is more aggressive in this situation with my wife. Fortunately she's never broken the skin.
She's a very smart dog, a bit high energy and very loveable to people & animals. I can take food out of her bowl when she's eating no problem... it's just the issue on the walks. This is worse with my wife (she recognizes me as the alpha). She has been to Puppy school and graduated grade 1 and 2 obedience (she's a star in class but not so much so at home). Appreciate any advice.
Posted by Preethi KOP
Nov 3, 2015
Hi Mark,

Thanks for writing in.

I am sorry to hear about the little scavenger on your hands, but very pleased to know that she hasn't ingested something toxic or had a foreign body obstruction in her intestine thus far. It's a scary thought, isn't it?

The good news with her is that since she is so food oriented she is very trainable, especially given her star status in obedience classes! Her scavenging habit should be easy enough to rectify. For starters, I would recommend having your wife start on some alpha training. It is important that she obeys her command as well as yours.

Next up would be channeling the training towards 'heel' as well as 'leave it'. Have a look at the training process for these commands in our ebook and let us know if you need any extra pointers. Dr. Sophia Yin, who was a fantastic animal behaviourist, had a beautiful article on the scavenging issue. Here is a link to it: http://drsophiayin.com/blog/entry/dogs-who-eat-things-off-the-ground-training-leave-it

While the training is still in progress and until she is ready to be fully-trusted on walks, you may want to consider a basket muzzle. Better this prevention, than a few thousand dollars spent on surgery to remove a foreign body from her intestines!!

I hope this is helpful. Good luck with the training, let us know how you go with her

Kind regards,