My puppy eats everything....
I need help. I have a 5 month old papillon puppy who likes eats everything both inside and outdoors. He constantly has his head in a down position and is like a vacuum cleaner scanning the floors for anything he can eat. We sweep and vacuum daily but he still finds little things to eat.
Whenever we go outside for potty breaks or walks he stops every few steps and picks up a leave or a stick and carries it with him. He even eats clumps of grass.
I recently had a pretty serious scare when he got a hold of and ate a part of a dog tranquilizer pill we give our other dog who is scared of thunder storms. Luckily, he was ok but now I am constantly worried about what he is finding on the floor or outside. When he does grab something and you try to get it from him he runs away.
Is this a characteristic of papillons?? How do you break a dog of this behavior?
Any tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Most puppies believe everything is edible until proven otherwise, and it's responsible for getting a lot of them into trouble one way or another. It's also the reason behind puppy proofing your home :o)
However, some are more dedicated to this habit than others, and don't seem to outgrow it, or at least not totally. It sounds as though your little guy fits this profile.
Obviously the best thing to do is to make absolutely sure that there's nothing on the floor or at his level that can be dangerous to him if he eats it. At least he's a small dog, it's more difficult to protect a larger dog who can 'cruise the kitchen counter tops' and so on.
It's a good idea to work on the 'drop it' game with dogs like this, so that if (or when!) they get hold of something that they really shouldn't, you can get them to 'drop it' on command. You need to work on this every single day, starting in the house, then extending it to the yard, walks, the park and so on.
Get some of his favorite treats, and when he has a toy or something else in his mouth, go up to him, get his attention by using his name, and then say "drop it". Show him the treat and if he drops the toy to get the treat tell him "good drop it" and give him his reward immediately. If he doesn't let go of his toy, help him by gently removing it from his mouth, then say "good drop it" and give him his treat.
Practice is the key here, so do it over and over again. Puppies are creatures of habit and once they learn a habit it becomes a reflexive behavior. You want to get to the point where he obeys 'drop it' anytime, anywhere, no matter what he has in his mouth. It's for his safety, so make it a priority.
Other than that, just hope that he does eventually outgrow this habit to some degree and always make sure he has plenty of interesting, sturdy chew toys to play with. Some dogs need go mouth on things or carry something, it gives them a sense of security. Making sure that he only has access to safe things is important.
Hope this helps, best of luck with your pup.