Eating Everything

Discussion in 'Dog Behavior Problems' started by PonyRider, Sep 3, 2011.

  1. PonyRider New Member

    My dog Molly eats EVERYTHING. She takes clothes and underwear from the laundry room, and eats those. Anything on the floor is in her mouth. And trash- we have a garbage can that pulls out from the cabinet, and our little cocker spaneil manages to open the cabinet and still eat trash.

    Whenever we catch her we yell at her and put her in her cage, but that doesn't stop her, as soon as she's out she's eating something again. Nothing works. Even when we are in the room with her, she will get into anything that she can. She does have good days, but her eating problem is just horrible. If she is not being closely monitored and stared at, she will eat something.

    Our house is sectioned off so that Molly can't go upstairs, but when she escapes it's horrible. She eats anything that's on the floor unstairs, eats tiolet paper, gets into the trash upstairs, EVERYTHING. She eats money too. Countless amount of coins and dollars have been lost thanks to Molly. And we'll be forced to send her to the shelter if we can't fix this eating problem. HELP!!!!

  2. jackienmutts Honored Member

    Oh goodness. Where to start? Well, first, not to sound rude or critical, but it sounds like there needs to be some "people training" asap!! Why are clothes, shoes, coins, dollars, etc, left laying around for her to eat? I guarantee you she wouldn't be eating money at my house!! :eek: Aack!!! She's a cocker spaniel, so it's not like she's a really tall dog, able to scour high shelves, tops of washing machines, drawers, and closets. Sounds like she's scouring the floor - and floors should be dog-proofed. My first comment - it's not her fault, it's yours.

    I read your other post, and you said Molly's fat. Does Molly get out for lots of exercise? My guess is no, or clearly, not enough. I'm thinking Molly is bored out of her mind, and looking for things to do - so she's making her own games and entertainment. There's a saying that "if your dog is fat, you're not getting enough exercise". And if you think about it, it just may be true. My bet is, if you started getting Molly out there, walking her, spending lots of time with her, playing with her, training her, using that cocker mind (and they're fantastic at scent games!!), she'd be a lot better in the house - cuz she'd be tired and relaxed - and way less inclined to go hunting for trouble. And, I'm betting if things weren't left around for her to get into, some of your problems might go away - am I right?

    So - to start, how about picking up anything possible that might go into her mouth. Make it impossible for her to fail - set her up to succeed. Clean up anything in the path of "Hurrican Molly". Assume it will get eaten, so if you don't want it destroyed, don't leave it around. It's not her fault. Then, make a committment to share your time with her. Yelling at her and then putting her in her "cage" is not a solution. Too late. You're punishing her for your mistake. You (or some family member) left the stuff out where it shouldn't have been. Next time she eats something, who ever left the stuff out should get in the "cage". :eek: Spend time thinking about what you/they did - and next time, you/they might put stuff away. :p And - once free from cage punishment time, take Molly on a 30-40 min walk (that should happen every day, anyway). Maybe an extra walk, or 30 min of ball, or maybe play some 'find it' scent games with her - whatever her favorite games are. What are they, by the way? You didn't say much in the intro post, except that she's 6 yrs old, was fat and her name was Molly. If she just kind of hangs out and you don't do much with her, start now. Cockers are fabulous dogs (I had one for 17-1/2 years). They love attention, love to play, always up for anything - so give it a go. My bet is, she's looking for something to do - and maybe all she wants is your attention. Even if you're only getting mad at her, she's still getting your attention when she gets into stuff she shouldn't. Give her loads of love when she's being good, and take away all the stuff you don't want her to have.

    Does she have lots of her own toys? Do you ever give her kongs stuffed with treats (altho you then have to take her on extra walks to work off the extra calories)? You could find or make treats she can eat, stuff the kong, freeze it - and it will keep her busy for a loooong time. Exercise her ahead of time, maybe when you're leaving, then give her the kong - hopefully by the time she finishes, she'll be too tired to go looking for trouble. All kinds of ideas - but it has to start with picking up the stuff off the floor. It all comes back to ... it's not her fault. It would be sad to think she might lose her home cuz humans couldn't pick up their things. I have German Shepherds - you think a Cocker Spaniel can get into things? I had to change doorknobs cuz one of mine started opening doors at random and helping himself to whatever he wanted - and once he actually opened the front door and let himself out. Please set up little Molly to succeed, I know you can do it! (y)

    If I'm way off base and you can provide way more detailed info so we can better help you, please do. I only responded based on the little you said. I'm sure others will chime in also. Good luck!
  3. PonyRider New Member

    Thank you for all of your help! It's true, she does need loads more exercise, and she sure has the energy for it. And one problem is that our laundry is in a seprate room, and the landry is on the floor (or near the floor) until it is washed. And we leave the door open slightly so our cat can go in and out because his food in in there. But hopefully if Molly gets more exercise she won't be tempted :) Thank you again for all your help! Things will start changing right away!! :D
  4. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    Yes, i so agree with Jackie's every word above, THAT IS DARN GOOD ADVICE, and i hope your read Jackie's words 2 or 3 times to make sure you got it all,

    yeah, first FIRST FIRST thing i thought,
    when i read about a dog who is eating inappropriate stuff, and being destructive,
    (to be read aloud in the tone of "Red Alert!" "Red Alert" ha ha)

    To me, a dog who is destructive, is often a BORED DOG!! As well as a dog who is boiling over with unspent energy. Dogs HAVE TO spend their energy to be sane....

    so it is a good thing you arrived here to learn how to teach your dog tricks. So you can also go to CLASSROOM sign up above to learn how to begin tricks training for Molly's MENTAL excercise,
    and the physical excercise --excercise---excercise----good long walks at LEAST twice a day, but, imo, you can not walk a dog too often.
    If your dog can swim, that is great way to help chubby dogs work off calories without damaging their already stressed-out joints.

    and be sure you ARE cutting her food back, and leaving off human food treats completely now. MANY DOGs CAN NOT eat as much as the bag advises us to give the dog. Cut his food back by 1/4 to 1/3, and weigh him in 2 weeks. (vets don't charge for weighing dogs) If no weight loss, cut it back by another 1/4 and re-weigh in 2 weeks...GOOD LUCK.

    Yes, you can find a way to keep laundry off the floors, even in the laundry room---it can be done. BAskets, shelves, something.
    It's like if you have small child, you would not leave items that would tempt the small crawling child on the floor, and then be surprised, "Geez, the toddler ate my pearl necklace??!"

    Clear the floors, is great advice. Is good first step!!

    Or, if not,-------------- if training entire family to develop new "clothing free floor" habit is too difficult-------
    move the dog's food to another area, and close the laundry room door until Molly has learned she does not have to be nutters, and until Molly has also learned, "I don't have to be a nut, my family WILL get me mental and physical excercise, ahhhhh...."
  5. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    RE: THE TRASH EATING, you can buy toddler cabinet locks, easy to install, and these locks do not show on outside of cabinet,
    even better------------------
    you can train your dog to LEAVE IT. The end goal, AFTER Molly solidly understand the concept of Leave It, you then take Molly over to the trash, and tell her Leave It.

    Here is a "positive interruptor" if you CATCH Molly chewing up your clothes.....
    SORRY for those odd, 'extra' letters by this the link to that video, i couldn't copy the link correctly....

    Obviously, yelling at Molly after she has finished chewing clothes or getting into your trash, solves nothing, teaches Molly nothing, and is very very confusing to Molly, ---------who, ---------near as Molly can tell,-------- you are annoyed she is lying on her mat....or walking in kitchen....dogs WILL offer appeasing body language if yelled at, but, it does NOT mean they "know" what they are being yelled at FOR, HA HA!! NOPE, they don't have a clue.

    GOOD LUCK!! YOU CAN DO THIS!! AND I BET AN ENTIRE BULLY-STICK-CHEW, THAT YOU AND MOLLY WILL HAVE FUN FUN FUN!!!! LEARNING THESE THINGS!!!!!!!!!!!! If you AND Molly are NOT having fun teaching these cues to Molly, let us know, we'll help you trouble-shoot it. Training dogs is FUN!!
    running_dog likes this.
  6. running_dog Honored Member

    The laundry room problem - get a baby gate, the dog stops, the cat goes over it.

    Try never to yell at Molly, it is really hard. I started out with a very short fuse when I got my dog but I've learned that a short fuse is no use at all in dog training. The more positive you are (catch 'em being good) the more fun it is for everyone and the easier it is to teach a dog to do what you want when you aren't watching.

    And most important of all... good for you to being ready to change, I hope you build a whole new exciting relationship with your dog!
    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  7. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    ooh, Running dog has good idea, or install a cat-door into the laundry room door, and shut laundry room door? I misunderstood, i thought *Molly's* food was in the laundry room, ohhhh.

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