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Do all dogs act as 'vacuum cleaners' whilst out on walks?

(6 Posts)
Solo2 Wed 14-Sep-11 10:00:16

Rollo - again! - (golden retriever aged 8 months). The whole time, his nose is to the ground and he's trying to 'hoover up' every single thing - leaves, rubbish, fruit, conkers, beech nuts, pebbles. No interest in anything else unless I treat every few seconds - which isn't going to work longterm. I also try to hold some food in my hadn most of the time, to draw his attention away from the ground but he loses interest unless I actually give it to him after a few seconds. It may take weeks or months to get him used to a muzzle (trainer will start this tomorrow), which is the plan.

Meanwhile, all walks are a complete nightmare - massively, massively stressful for everyone, as I'm having to yank him away from EVERYTHING, ALL of the time and as there are thousands of autumn nuts and fruits even on pavement walks this year where we are. I'm also having to twist his lead around my hand and shorten it massively, effectively almost 'strangling' him at times and cutting off circulation in my hand! - as we walk passed a particularly nutty/ fruity patch of ground - just to keep his nose up.

I can't chat at all with the DCs who have to come out on the later walk of the day, after school/homework, as I'm constantly keeping an eye on Rollo and where he's going to lunge next.

Is this 'normal' dog behaviour? When I watch others walking their dogs, they're strolling along, calm and relaxed, maybe chatting with friends etc and the dog is happily walking with nose in the air, looking around and keen to move on. Our walks are awful and we're under strict instructions from the vet consultant never to let Rollo eat anything at all other than his prescribed food. So I can't relax for a second.

DooinMeCleanin Wed 14-Sep-11 10:04:05

It's normal. Devil Dog, surprisingly, behaves quite well in this area shock, but then he can eat only the best, most expensive of foods. The other two are accomplished food theives and will eat anything and everthing they can lay their paws on. One of our walks used to take us past a take away. I have changed routes since having the greyhound. Dragging a tiny whippet away from a half eaten kebab is easy, it is not easy dragging a determined and starved (she would have you believe she is starved) Greyhound away from a half eaten kebab.

GrimmaTheNome Wed 14-Sep-11 10:10:46

mine used to when he was young - as with the shit-eating, he got much better about other stuff at ~ 18 months. Well, not nuts but anything of animal origin. He only occasionally makes an attempt at particularly good roadkill now and isn't obsessed by it.

I've seen dogs muzzled for this reason so it can't be unique.

My dog is small, so I've not tried it but wondering if Halti might work better than normal collar to get his head up without strangling (if muzzle doesn't work out)

BeerTricksPotter Wed 14-Sep-11 10:27:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Scuttlebutter Wed 14-Sep-11 10:51:54

This is why muzzles actually work so well, for two of our three greys. One grey isn't particularly bothered about stuff (will occcasionally sniff something like a dead hedgehog, but can be called away). The other two are gannets, so and hence the muzzles. Not for things like Haycorns and thistles, but unfortunately people are disgusting and leave things like half eaten pizzas, kebabs, Etc in the park. Apart from the issue of cooked chicken bones, I don't want them eating anything which could either be poisoned, or rotting, so muzzles are perfect. But even for these two, they aren't food obsessed in the way you describe, and would turn up their very long noses at the thought of eating chestnuts or pebbles.

NunTheWiser Wed 14-Sep-11 11:09:03

Haltis or Gentle Leaders are good at stopping this. UnWiseDog would investigate the most disgusting stuff on the ground if I couldn't redirect her with the halti.

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