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 Crazy scavaging habit - normal or concern?

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Kmanweiss
Teenager
Teenager


Male Join date : 2016-09-01
Location : Pierre, SD

Crazy scavaging habit - normal or concern? Empty
PostSubject: Crazy scavaging habit - normal or concern?   Crazy scavaging habit - normal or concern? EmptyMon Sep 19, 2016 10:20 am

Rorschach is about 15 weeks now. He's been with us for 4 weeks now.
He gets 2 cups of TOTW Wild Pacific puppy food a day. Anything extra (more than a treat or two per day) and things get soft. Overall he's doing great, but walks are getting to be a chore.
He literally eats EVERYTHING.
Every other tree in this town drops something. Fruit (often rotting), nuts, berries, seed pods, flowers. Rory eats it all. But it doesn't stop there.
Rocks, pine cones, bird poop, other dog's poop, worms (dried and fresh), bugs, grass, wood chips. You name it, he's eaten it.
He doesn't try it, decide it's not food, and spit it out, he just eats it. At this point, he knows that I don't want him to, so he's getting quicker, and swallowing things before I even get a chance to react to him.
It doesn't matter if I feed him before or after the walks.

I've been working on him with the drop command, and it works for toys, but not for things he wants to eat.

Is this a husky thing (my other dogs never did this)?
Should I let him eat some of the stuff he finds (as long as it's not clearly dangerous or not edible)?
Any suggestions for getting him to stop?

I want to take him on leisurely scent walks where he can explore, sniff, and learn at his own pace....but I don't want killing himself by eating a pine cone.
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TwisterII
Senior
Senior
TwisterII

Female Join date : 2013-06-14
Location : Missouri

Crazy scavaging habit - normal or concern? Empty
PostSubject: Re: Crazy scavaging habit - normal or concern?   Crazy scavaging habit - normal or concern? EmptyMon Sep 19, 2016 11:08 am

There are some huskies that take exploring the world with their mouths to a new level. It isn't unheard of. My girl liked to pick up a lot of stuff when I first got her, but she was an adult, so she wasn't quite as bad. Getting solid on the 'leave it' command will help. When you see something you don't want him to get tell him to leave it before he gets it in his mouth or if there's something on the ground you know he is going to want to pick up, get him excited and jog past it so his attention gets on you instead of the object.

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TigerCzarina
Teenager
Teenager
TigerCzarina

Female Join date : 2015-09-11
Location : Cincinnati OH

Crazy scavaging habit - normal or concern? Empty
PostSubject: Re: Crazy scavaging habit - normal or concern?   Crazy scavaging habit - normal or concern? EmptyMon Sep 19, 2016 2:22 pm

Lukas just like that-he's much better but there are certain things that he refuses to give up-mulch in particular. We used the on by command (pretty much the same as leave it, like Jenn suggested. If he's doing this while on walkies, try keeping him on a short lead? That also gelped with Luka because we could pull him away faster if necessary. Same thing in the house, until you can trust him not to stick things in his mouth.
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KairoAndEmber
Puppy
Puppy


Female Join date : 2016-09-04
Location : Myrtle Beach

Crazy scavaging habit - normal or concern? Empty
PostSubject: Re: Crazy scavaging habit - normal or concern?   Crazy scavaging habit - normal or concern? EmptyMon Sep 19, 2016 3:03 pm

Apparently Border Collies are also prone to this - there are a lot of cries for help on my BC forum. May I make a few suggestions?

1) I have heard that eating objects for the sake of eating can be a sign of nutritional deficiency. I have no clue WHAT deficiency, but it might be worth looking into. Perhaps there's something in the puppy food that has him unbalanced?

2) Try a basket muzzle. Introduce it with lots of treats inside, letting him eat around it and even from it. Put it on, treat, take it off - build up a "HEY THAT THING MEANS TREATS!" mentality. He will learn to enjoy wearing it. Then introduce a new thought - if he wants to go outside, he has to wear his muzzle. Put it on, treat, head out the door, come back, off, treat. You may be surprised to find him bringing you the muzzle when he wants to go out!

This will be a lifesaver. It is really bad (not to mention expensive) if he swallows just 1 of the wrong (or sharp) thing.

After a while, when he matures, and gets used to not eating things on a walk, you can start weaning him off the muzzle. Right now, walks = food. You want walk = walk first - then you can start getting rid of the muzzle.

This will also come in handy at the vets, if for any reason they have to muzzle him to get something done. He will already be comfortable with something around his head.
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aljones
Senior
Senior
aljones

Male Join date : 2014-08-18
Location : Terlingua, Texas

Crazy scavaging habit - normal or concern? Empty
PostSubject: Re: Crazy scavaging habit - normal or concern?   Crazy scavaging habit - normal or concern? EmptyMon Sep 19, 2016 3:05 pm

Well, shoot, just got a PM and went to see what it was so I lost a great three paragraph reply.

The short version - some dogs do indeed like to eat anything in sight. Some things like sugar free chewing gum and mulch that contains coco-husk are *extremely* attractive, they are also very poisonous.

Best thing I can suggest is to keep him on a very short leash so that you can see what it he's going for and use that as an opportunity to teach "on by" or "leave it". As he learns to leave things alone, you let him have more leash - yeh, it's a pain but better to take the time to teach him than to have to run him to a vet.
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MiyasMomma
Senior
Senior
MiyasMomma

Female Join date : 2014-06-26
Location : west Texas

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PostSubject: Re: Crazy scavaging habit - normal or concern?   Crazy scavaging habit - normal or concern? EmptyTue Sep 20, 2016 1:42 am

Dave, Miya was like that too, she did learn drop it and leave it pretty quickly and all was great with my world, until.....Sofie came home, she is a terror when it comes to stuff on the ground, and she perfectly knows what drop it and leave it is, she just doesn't care that I say it, very not typical of a gsd puppy, more typical of a husky puppy, so this has frustrated me some. Smile Everyone gave the best answers, and my only addition, besides me feeling you pain is teach focus, lucky for me Sofie loves balls with squeakers and to grab her focus I squeak the ball and say Sofie watch me, the drop it or leave it or because i have her attention I can get to the object that she has in her mouth. Good luck, Rory will eventually grow out of it.
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