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Cav spaniel eating EVERYTHING HE FINDS

(5 Posts)
maddiie Thu 15-Nov-18 15:05:41

Can barely walk him anymore! He's 7 months old so praying it's a puppy thing but every shell, pebble, feather, piece of rubbish straight in his mouth. He swallows them if we don't interfere. Tried swapping for treats but it's just not practical as it's literally every 0.2 seconds he finds something else. Any one have any advice? Please tell me they stop doing this!!!

OP’s posts: |
adaline Thu 15-Nov-18 15:31:56

Can you muzzle-train him? Muzzles aren't just for aggression/biting behaviours, they're also good for dogs who forage and eat absolutely everything!

I only recommend it because if he swallows something sharp or poisonous he could be in real trouble. Of course ideally you need to train him out of it but the priority needs to be his safety.

While muzzled, he'll still go towards things he shouldn't, which is when you can teach a "leave it" command. He goes towards, say, some tissue, you say "leave it" and when he looks away/comes towards you, treat him. Every time. Eventually you'll be able to drop the treat because the sound of your voice will distract him away from the object and you'll be able to get rid of the muzzle.

Some people don't like "leave" as a command but it's been invaluable for our Beagle. It was one of the first commands we learnt at training and now at 10 months he "leaves it" 95% of the time. He no longer needs a treat either, just the command is enough (unless it's cow poo!)

LittleBLUEsmurfHouse Thu 15-Nov-18 17:05:49

I agree you need to muzzle train asap (although it might be hard to find a basket muzzle to fit a Cavs fairly short but wide nose) before he swallows something sharp or poisonous.

Then train leave it command. Dogs trust dog school have a great, simple and quick method for this - not sure if it's online. They also say leave it command should only be used for something they are never ever going to be allowed, whereas if it's something they can have but just not immediately it should be a wait type command or distraction.

ScreamingValenta Thu 15-Nov-18 17:14:27

Mine grew out of it to some extent, but I still have to watch him around food litter - discarded fried chicken particularly.

LittleBLUEsmurfHouse Thu 15-Nov-18 17:15:51

Their leave it method is on this page. Worked wonders for my cavalier.

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