Please Help


New Member

My dog Dakota is a six month old shepherd mix. She is obsessed with food and eats everything she sees including rocks, dirt, hair, string and the stuffing from her toys. She walks around with her nose to the ground licking up anything that seems tasty. She is never left unsupervised and I have gotten her the toys that are "indestructible" and she destroys them. I am terrified that she is going to get a bowl impaction which I cant afford to fix. I am desperate to fix this problem along with others including separation anxiety and walking nicely on a leash. Any advice would be appreciated.

Kristin and Dakota:msnmad:


Honored Member
THIS can be helped, yes it can!! Good for you for wanting to correct this while she is still a puppy!! It is excellent you do not have her outside without supervision, THAT will be tremendous help.
I'm not exactly sure how to stop this, but here's some ideas til someone more knowledgable than me comes by and spots this question.

First off, one thing is teach your dog to "drop it" or "Trade". Do this training inside your house, starting off with objects Dakota isn't terribley interested in anyway. YOu give command 'drop it' and soon as she does, click and treat that, and praise. You wanna take care you do not repeat the command, or else Dakota learns, well, i can drop this toy on 1st or 2nd ...or 3rd.... time he says it....see?

Do not let this turn into tug game either, confuses the dog. You don't touch the toy during this command, imo. YOu say drop it, once, ignore wrong responses, praise/reward correct response.

During training, don't take toy right away after she drops it, that lessens her urge to drop it. Make this fun, be very enthusiastic when Dakota does right thing----and if you are new to training, all training sessions with dogs last only about a minute or two for dogs new to training.

Always, always follow with play session. Make training times your dogs favorite thing of the day.
You can repeat the lesson several times a day, but only take a few minutes at a pop of training. You wanna stop before your dog zones out or becomes frustrated.

"Trade" is kinda same thing, except dog sees the treat:dogbiggrin: while deciding if she will drop it or not and gets treat soon as he drops toy, like an even pass or trade. "Trade" may be easier for some dogs than "drop it".

Keep treats super tiny, a full dog is not as motivated. My dog doesn't seem to care if his treat is miniscule or a big lump..

Hopefully, over time, you can advance along to objects of more value to Dakota.

And then begin training this cue outside, again, beginning outside with objects of low value to Dakota, and over time, advancing along to higher value objects.

The goal is, in the future, after Dakota knows what "drop it" or "Trade" means, you can use this cue to get her to spit out stuff she should not have.:dogtongue:

In the meantime, before Dakota has learned "trade", or "Drop It".........You can also try saying "ah ha!" or "NO" in firm voice, but no yelling is needed, or shaking a can of pennies ---------if she does get something or shows too much interest in something outside that you do not want her to eat, reward her for stopping, or for looking over to you.
Then give her something else to do.:msnohyes:

Chasing you, throwing a ball, chewing something that IS okay, play with her, something.
Bored dogs do get into trouble, ha ha!!:msngiggle:

but stand by, there are some reeeeally smart dog folks around here who will see this and give you advice!!! Hang in there!!


Honored Member
RE: "separation anxiety" and "walking nicely on a leash" please describe what you mean? What exactly is Dakota doing that you want her to stop doing?


New Member
Thats great advice tigerlily. I would have said the same thing. I just wanted to add that her diet might have something to do with the dirt and rock eating. I don't know what you are feeding her but it might be something to look into. Dog Food Reviews - Main Index - Powered by ReviewPost helped me picked out my puppy's food. Also raw bones are great to help with the chewing. Then you wouldn't have to worry about her eating a piece of an "indestructible" toy.


Honored Member
THANKS, Ryleighgirl! I love that site you posted above about dog food reviews, is one of the easiest to use to understand, some of the sites on dog food can be overwhelming.

Here is one other EASY dog food analysis site, has "points" system to rate your own dog food: Dog Food Comparisons. Find The Best Food For Your Puppy or Dog.

I too, had to study up dog nutrition, (that can be overwhelming project) as my rescued dog was so severely malnourished, he could barely walk when we first got him, we thought he mighta been old (he wasn't) or had heart troubles (he didn't), it was just extreme malnourishment. Buddy was a "poop eater' when we first got him.
I'm embarrassed to admit, our previous dogs got dog food from grocery stores, we did not know any better back then. We went by whatever our vet recommended....*shiver*.

Ha, now it is a passion of mine and i can't believe i was ever as dumb as i used to be...i want to apologize to my previous dogs..

We give Buddy 2/3 kibble "Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover's Soul" kibble, with 1/3 meat/poultry/fish on top, and a dab of cannola oil. We tried raw, but Buddy got worms and we are now too shy to try it again..

Now Buddy's eyes sparkle with life, his teeth are brilliant white, his coat gleams, it actually glows and is very shiney and soft, his breath has no odor, nor does his skin, and he has boundless energy and runs like the wind. ...This from a dog who had fur like dried grass and could not walk very far.

There might be better dog foods, but this one is about a dollar a pound, so it is best we can afford. Top FOUR ingredients are meat (can't find that anywhere), has no corn, no toxic preservatives that are in almost all dog foods, is made in america, and Buddy snarfs it.
That was a good point, Ryleighgirl, that it may be Dakota is trying to supplement her diet with the eating of rocks and dirt...


Honored Member
YOu know, i was just thinking, my idea to tell the dog "no" was kinda lame, and i shoulda said Dakota can / should be taught "Leave It!" ....or, change up the "no" to be "no touch" or "yucky!" some cue that is more specific. Plain old 'no' may be confusing for some what?

To teach "Leave it", i begin INDOORS and put an object down, i used a low value treat, and set it on floor a few feet away in front of Buddy, made flat hand gesture between dog and treat and said "leave it". When Buddy made no attempt to move toward treat, i click/treated that.

Over time, i upped the treat to high value treats and toys, etc. And moved item closer to Buddy.....

then i practiced it outside, (EVERYTHING IS HARDER OUTSIDE!! HA HAHA! I gotta start all over again when we move a known cue to the outdoors!) Now Buddy knows what "leave it!" means. yay!


New Member

thanks for your help! we are working on drop it and leave it but dakota does not seem to be the worlds biggest fan. She will get there though.

Separation Anxiety: When I go to class I have to leave her in her crate. She cries and whines escalating to a bark for about 40 minutes. She digs at the bottoms of her crate and on the door trying to get out. She does this even when I am in the house! It does not seem to be a panic thing in relation to the crate because she goes in happily and of her own free will.

leash: She refuses to walk next to me and when we pass other dogs she is jumping all over the place pulling (even on a gentle leader) trying to say hi to the new pup. I have tried re-direction (turning around), stopping when she pulls and treating her when she walks next to me but she just doesnt seem to get it. My housemate says its because she doesnt respect me as her pack leader.



New Member
And thanks for the advice on the food. I am feeding her nutro now but am planning to switch to Instinct or Evo as soon as this bag is gone. Perhaps it is her diet that has her eating things she shouldnt.