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how to train dog not to eat any food on ground?

Discussion in 'Dog Training' started by stam, Dec 4, 2003.

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  1. stam

    stam Boxer Buddy

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    It's fairly common in this country for dogs to be poisoned and I'm concerned about this happening to my dog. Several of my friends have had dogs who have been poisoned and subsequently died. He's an indoor dog and when he's out in the yard I always watch him to make sure no one throws any poisoned meat or meat mixed with glass into our yard. A few days ago I found some poisoned meat in our yard and I cleaned it up and my dog is ok because he didn't eat it. Is there a way to train him so that if he finds some food in the yard or park he doesn't eat it? I'm concerned that although I always watch him some day my back may be turned and he'll eat something. Also a few weeks ago someone walked around the neighborhood and dropped hot dogs mixed with poison on the sidewalks and streets and in the park and that happened a few months ago as well.
     
  2. Tulsa-Dan

    Tulsa-Dan Your Friendly Moderator

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    I use the "leave it" command for my dogs. They have been fully trained to "leave" any food they find on the ground. They only eat food which is in their bowls or comes from my hands.

    Whenever they find something all I have to say is leave it and they will walk away from it. That is to say, as long as I am there to catch them. If I'm not around, I doubt that this command would be very effective as I presume they'd eat whatever they found pretty quickly. But at least I have some control when we are together and in our yard.

    I start this training by using a "food leave it." I have the dog sit/stay and then place a treat in front of him on the ground. I give the "leave it" command and if the dog goes for the treat, I quickly grab it and take it away saying "Uh Oh!" Then repeat until the dog leaves the treat alone until I give a release command "ok" and the GIVE THE DOG THE TREAT from my hand. I still don't allow them to pick it up for themselves off the ground.

    Then we graduate to other food objects, doing the same thing. Then we go to objects such as waste cans, shoes, plants, etc., etc.; things you don't want the dog to get into or bother. In other words, things you want the dog to leave alone.

    Get your trainer to give you some additional training tips on how to accomplish this training and good luck.
     
  3. stam

    stam Boxer Buddy

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    Thanks for your reply. It's a great explication of the leave it command. I'm sorry I wasn't clearer in my post. My dog knows the leave it command and he does it correctly. However, I'd like to train my dog so that even without a command he wouldn't touch any food, i.e. if I'm not there and he finds food, he won't touch it. I always watch my dog when he's in the yard or park but just to be safe I'd like my dog not to eat any food he finds since friends have told me it only takes seconds to poison a dog which happened to one friend who was watching her dog but was distracted for some seconds and the neighbors were watching and told advantage of that to poison the dog. Recently four dogs in my nieghborhood died because they ate poisoned food and I want to avoid this happening to my dog. A friend just mentioned to me that I can have people my dog doesn't know but who I know are trustworthy throw meat and chile into my yard and then my dog will try to eat it but because of the chile he won't want to and if this happens over a period of time, then he'll learn not to eat food we haven't given him. I don't know if this is a good method or not, any suggestions would be appreciated or any better methods would be appreciated. We're currently looking for a good trainer to come to our house. So far the ones we've contacted don't seem to be very good as although they said they use positive reinforcement, from speaking to them it seems as though they're only positive if my dog does the command correctly, if he does it incorrectly they might hit him so I didn't want to go with those people. Thanks.
     
  4. Tulsa-Dan

    Tulsa-Dan Your Friendly Moderator

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    I don't know that there is really any reliable way to train the dog not to eat food he finds when you are not around to redirect his behavior. Dogs are dogs and they are instinctive and food is waaay up on their priority list. :)

    Your chile training might work. At least it could be worth trying. But as I said, when a dog is on his own he is probably more than likely going to be a dog and eat whatever he finds.

    As for training, even though you are in Costa Rica, I'm sure you can get some excellent training books to help you. Check out our book forum for some ideas.

    Good luck and let me know how the chilie training goes if you decide to try that.

    Dan
     
  5. Scrapper's Mom

    Scrapper's Mom Boxer Insane

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    Aren't guard dogs and police dogs trained to only eat what they are given?
     
  6. marciafinn

    marciafinn Boxer Insane

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    That is really sad that dogs are poisoned like that in Costa Rica. I hope that nothing ever happens to your dog.

    I agree with Dan though that a dog will probably eat something if you aren't there. Maybe you can find a way to train him not to eat anything even when you aren't present. Best of luck and let us know if you do find out a way to train him otherwise.
     
  7. BrazilBoxer

    BrazilBoxer Super Boxer

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    I posted to your other post about using a muzzle outside. That might be a solution for you to be 100% sure.

    However, I just wanted to say that there is a TERRIBLE training method that is used here to teach dogs not to eat meat in the yard. They put live wires into a piece of meat and when the dog touches it he gets shocked, thereby "learning" (how terrible is this) that meat in the yard isn't good. Please be wary of anyone who says they can teach your dog not to pick stuff up, because if that is a popular method here, it's probably popular in CR too.

    As far as chile goes, I tried to use this method on Lady's poop and she ate it anyway. I'm not sure it works.

    Mariah.
     
  8. Krikkit

    Krikkit Boxer Insane

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    It's awful that someone is baiting dogs in your area :( This sort of thing, as mentioned, is virtually impossible to train to 100% reliability as dogs come hard-wired to forage .... and most learn only to leave the food in certain circumstances. Police Dogs here are trianed to refuse food (but remember that police dogs have a lifestyle far more structured and supervised than the average family pet). My own dogs will not eat food or forage when working either, but outside of work I have to rely on the leave command.

    FWIW, a friend of mine has a Labrador who would have to be one of the greediest and keenest foraging dogs in the world :eek: What she has done is teach her dog to bring to her anything at all he finds on the ground. He will even bring back food. The problem arrises with types of food that can not be picked up (softer foods like soggy bread etc).

    Wishing you all the best with this.
     
  9. marciafinn

    marciafinn Boxer Insane

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    That is a good idea is to train your dog to bring you whatever they find. It is a good idea for other items as well since they pick up many things they shouldn't. I can see where the problem would be with the soft items, i.e. bread, since if there is a poison in it it would probably absorb into their system when it was picked up. However, it sounds like it is worth a shot to try...

    I still can't believe this is a common practice in some places.:eek: That is so sad! I had a friend growing up whose dog was poisoned by their neighbor. I cannot believe the things people stoop to - it baffles me!
     
  10. douma

    douma Boxer Insane

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    I don't believe that a dog could be trained to not eat food from the ground 100%

    We have big ploblem with stray dogs and cats here and some idiots believe that with a poison the probler would be resolved :mad:

    So ,because i want to be sure that Avra will be safe,during walking i watch her very well,i have trained her to walk by my side even off leash,she knows very well the "leave it" but i couldn't be sure ,so when we have to go for a long walk or vacations i have atropine and another drug that the vet gave me and injections in my bag
    Better safe than sorry!

    Sophia and Avra
     
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