Dogs can eat some disgusting things if you let them. However, there are a lot of things that are not good for them i.e random things in your house, that could inevitably lead to diarrhea and nausea later. Here are a few ways that you can train your dog from eating anything and everything:
- Preventing them from Scavenging:
Bring plenty of treats when walking with your dog. As you walk along, frequently say your dog’s name. When he looks at you, say “yes” and give him a treat; Then keep walking. Repeat this process a few times in the beginning. Pretty soon, your dog will start looking up to you voluntarily. When he starts learning to pay attention to you, give him a treat every time he looks up at you without saying his name. After a while he will look up at you frequently. This will teach your dog to focus on you rather than the ground. Additionally, he will learn that you’re the best source of good food. He won’t have to look for crumbs on the ground when he can get some great treats by just gazing adoringly at his owner.
- Teach him to “leave it”
Taking morsels from your dog’s mouth after he picks up things off the ground is not an effective way to teach him. In your dog’s perspective, when you take food out of his mouth, it seems like you want to take all of his things for yourself. Therefore, he will eat whatever he finds on the floor quickly before you have a chance to look at him. The best way to deal with it is to show him that you are just curious. Ask him “what do you have there?” and offer him a treat so he has an opportunity to drop the item in his mouth. If he finds some unacceptable food, keep feeding him treats and walk away from the dropped item until he forgets about it.
You can teach your dog to “leave it” by showing your treat in your fist. Say “leave it.” Most dogs will sniff at your hand. Some may bark at you. Keep waiting patiently. Eventually, your dog will give up and pull away from your hand. Immediately say “yes” and open your fist and give him your treat. Repeat that 3 to 4 times. Then hold the treat in your open hand without saying “leave it” and let him have the treat. This will teach him to only pull away from the treat when you say “leave it.”
Then you can teach him to look at you in order to earn the treat. After you say “leave it,” and he pulls away from your hand, don’t give him the treat yet. He will start looking up at you. Immediately say “yes” and give him the treat. Repeat the process about 50 times until he gives you direct contact any time you say “leave it.”
The next lesson you can teach him is to pull away from food on the floor. You can have a bait on the floor and keep a better treat in your fist. When he gets close to the bait, say “leave it.” If he tries to grab the bait on the floor, don’t let him until he looks up at you. Say “yes” and give him the tasty treat in your fist. Repeat the process several times. Pretty soon, he will understand not to eat crumbs on the floor when you say “leave it.”
This training may be a bit of a process but with enough patience this will become a very useful tool. It is nice to have your dog paying more attention to you than what’s on the floor.