How can I get my little girl to stop getting into the garbage. She is 14 months old. We have recently moved out to a farm where she has lots of room to run and play. We no longer have room for her big kennel in our house so we started by testing her at home alone for short periods of time with our other dog. She was doing fantastic and I was so proud of her but now, when she is left at home and even at times as we sleep, she takes off the lid to the garbage and makes a mess. She also takes things off the counter, I would say she never "used to" do this but I think she has only just learned how big she actually is.
She knows she is not allowed to do it as she goes strait to her bed once I walk into the kitchen and have a "gesh" moment, and does not even put her nose near the counter top or table when we are in the kitchen with her. I have taken her over to the garbage and told her "no" in a firm tone. She gets plenty of exercise on the farm with the kids, myself and our other dog. She is also very well feed, I buy the best food I can find for her.
She knows what "no" means and does not get fed people food other that the odd carrot (this is her favorite treat when we are learning new tricks). During the day the dogs go to work with my husband or are at home working outside or inside with myself, they are practically never alone. I don't want to have to leave her in the kennel when we are leaving for town for only a hour or so. I enjoy that she and my other dog can roam the house and play while we are gone.
Are there any "tricks" you can share to get her to stop this? The mess is not really the part I am concerned about, although its not nice to wake up to or come home to. The garbage is the garbage for a reason and I am more worried that she will ingest something that perhaps hurt her or make her sick ( the tub of butter slowed her down and she up chucked a few times).
Thank you so much SP
Hi Shenelle This is a pretty common problem with some dogs, and it's really understandable because for her it's as though you've left her home alone with the tastiest goodies you can find.. and she just can't resist them! It's got nothing to do with her being truly hungry though.
Although you correct her when you're home, it's a lot to expect for her to leave the trash alone when there's no-one around. In my opinion your best bet here is to give her time to 'forget' this bad habit and hope that as she matures (she's still only a teenage) she gains some self-control.
If you can't keep the garbage can away from her (ie in a larder, laundry room etc.) where she can't get to it, then you will need to crate get a crate for her that will work indoors, or leave her bigger kennel outside in the garage or somewhere similar. If it's only for short periods she should be just fine.
If she doesn't have the opportunity to indulge in these habits when you're gone and you correct her firmly and consistently when you're home, given some time she will stop them. Right now she can get to the trash and is instantly rewarded with tasty stuff that she doesn't realize isn't good for her. You're right to be concerned about the safety aspects of this (see this page for information on the types of food stuffs that are dangerous or toxic to dogs, some may surprise you.. Poisonous Foods) and it's vital to stop her having access to the trash.
Sorry there are no clever tips or tricks for this, but limiting her access to the trash (and removing stuff she can reach from the counter) or confining her when you can't supervise her are really the best options in my mind.
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