Eating off the floor

Want to know something about training your Schnauzer. Feel free to browse through this section. You will find everything from toilet training, recall and other training issues covered here. Feel free to ask your own questions too. You will have a perfectly behaved Schnauzer in no time.
Post Reply
Ksteel080
Posts: 2
Joined: 06 Jul 2020, 22:01
First Name: Katie

Eating off the floor

Post by Ksteel080 »

Our mini puppy spends all of her walk scoffing things off the floor. We’ve trained her to “leave it” which works perfectly indoors and I can pile treats up in front of her face but as soon as we’re outside she will not listen. She can sniff out a chicken bone in the grass (I live in South London, chicken bones are everywhere), when I try to get them out of her mouth, it’s a painful process (those teeth are sharp!). I’ve also had to pull dead birds, bird poo sweet potato, plant pips, and other items out... twice we’ve had unexpected vomiting as she swipes things so quickly and if I go to get the item out of her mouth she swallows quickly in defiance. I don’t want to have to muzzle her - is this something she could grow out of. She certainly gets enough food at home (the vet said she was a chunky puppy at 7.2kg!). I do watch her constantly on walks as she can disguise a grab as a sniff, she’s just so quick! I walk with my eyes on the floor making sure I can keep her tight when I see food on the floor, it’s just to food/items I can’t see/smell and she can! Any advice is most welcome. She also won’t stop eating the soil from the plant pot, so any advice on that is most welcome too! Thank you

User avatar
zeta1454
Moderator
Posts: 4305
Joined: 19 May 2011, 16:58
First Name: Leigh
Dog #1: Magic
is a: P/S Mini Bitch
Born: 20 Apr 2010
Dog #2: Trilby
is a: P/S Mini Bitch
Born: 15 Mar 2012
Dog #3: Pip
Born: 21 Feb 2014
is a: P/S Mini Bitch
Location: North Yorkshire
Contact:

Re: Eating off the floor

Post by zeta1454 »

Hi Katie, puppies generally will try and eat anything they can get in their mouth and to a certain extent this is a phase which they will grow out of as they mature and pass through teething. However, in my experience mini schnauzers are gannets when it comes to food and some can continue to grab at anything they regard as edible in the garden, on a walk or in the house.

The chicken bones are a worry as these can cause damage internally to a puppy or adult dog but some things although disgusting to us probably are unlikely to be a real danger to your puppy. I would try to teach her to give up items she has picked up or at least drop them so you can dispose of them safely but maybe concentrate on removing those such as the bones which are a real danger.

If you practice at home getting Peggy to give up things she may be eating or playing with - give her a special treat in exchange for giving it up and then return the original item. It is important when training that Peggy doesn't lose her original toy or chew item so it is not just a trade for a treat but a double bonus because she gets her toy / food back. However, once you are out and about and you want to remove something she shouldn't have obviously she will not get it back but reward her well for surrendering it to you. The idea in training this way is to encourage the puppy to give up items happily without you having to struggle with her and for this to become "second nature" so she automatically gives up to you when asked anything she has taken. You can add a word to this so she understands what you want her to do "drop" "give" or whatever you like as long as it is always the same word.

I realise this will not solve the very quick "snatch and swallow" eating but it should help with the items she holds on to such as birds, bones etc. Things such as sweet potato, rabbit droppings, even soil are probably not worth worrying about. Eating soil from plant pots is very common in puppies and as long as the soil has not been treated with chemicals or contains added fertiliser etc. should not be a real issue but you could try putting small heavy stones over the soil in the pot or similar covering to make it harder to access for Peggy. This is usually a puppy phase so she should stop this is as she matures.

Try not to startle her into swallowing whatever she has taken or act too horrified as this may encourage her to hold on or swallow it. It is hard but try to remain relaxed but it will help to encourage her to give it up for a super special treat (really tasty treat not just normal treats) and the more you practice this at home the easier it should become :)
Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. ~Roger Caras

Magic - Silversocks Sharade at Darksprite
Trilby - Darksprite Rosa Bud


https://m.facebook.com/pages/category/C ... 916994967/

User avatar
zeta1454
Moderator
Posts: 4305
Joined: 19 May 2011, 16:58
First Name: Leigh
Dog #1: Magic
is a: P/S Mini Bitch
Born: 20 Apr 2010
Dog #2: Trilby
is a: P/S Mini Bitch
Born: 15 Mar 2012
Dog #3: Pip
Born: 21 Feb 2014
is a: P/S Mini Bitch
Location: North Yorkshire
Contact:

Re: Eating off the floor

Post by zeta1454 »

Another suggestion while you are out walking is to periodically get Peggy to focus on you for a treat. Practice this at home in the garden as often as possible. You need to walk round with her on the lead and call her attention to you and immediately give her a treat as soon as she looks up. It can be easier to use a clicker for this kind of exercise as you can "click " immediately she looks up and then treat which will be a quicker response to her action. She will come to recognise the 'click' as a signal she has done something good and will be rewarded.
Although you are looking out for things which she might pick up on walks, if you can also get her to focus more on you during the walk and respond every time you call her attention even when there is nothing for her to grab, she will become used to looking up for a reward and this should make it easier to distract her when you need to. Start off calling her attention every few metres or so and gradually reduce as she begins to respond more quickly and may be looking up at you herself much more in expectation of being called and rewarded. This should help reduce her focus on finding "edibles" on the ground and increase her attention to you which is critical to success in all training.
Treats at this stage should be the best possible - cooked chicken, ham, cooked liver, sausage, small pieces of cheese or segments of tripe sticks. She has to feel she is getting something really tasty. Reduce her meal allowance a little if you are using a lot of food treats although you do only need very tiny morsels of them.
At five months plus, she may also be approaching adolescence and this may make training harder and take longer but it is worth the commitment :)
Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. ~Roger Caras

Magic - Silversocks Sharade at Darksprite
Trilby - Darksprite Rosa Bud


https://m.facebook.com/pages/category/C ... 916994967/

Oscar 12345
Member
Posts: 1364
Joined: 02 May 2017, 11:28
First Name: Julie
Dog #1: Oscar RIP Sweety
is a: P/S Mini Dog
Born: 21 Dec 2002
Dog #2: Otto
is a: B/S Mini Dog
Born: 04 Jul 2017

Re: Eating off the floor

Post by Oscar 12345 »

I can't help with this. I just have to be super super alert and it made no difference whether I took Otto out before meals or after. Otto can snuffle out an old rotting biscuit anywhere. Actually I can have liver or beef heart in my treat pouch but if someone else is offering an old piece of bread he will prefer that. The thrill is in the finding it rather than the attractiveness of the treat. He has got much much better and I can now tell whether the sniff is good or doggy smells. He does hesitate now and I am convinced he looks at me out of the side of his eye when he sniffs out food and that gives the game away. He is very used to me saying NO! and he doesn't like me attempting to get stuff out of his mouth. When he was a puppy he ate a half a dead frog, I kicked the rest of it away under the hedge and flip me he only went to get the rest the following evening... I had forgotten all about it. He has eaten all types of poo, even human. Gross puppy!
Man cannot survive with wine alone...
we also need a schnauzer.

Post Reply