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Distracted By Litter And Crumbs


Guest kisstherain
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Guest kisstherain

Hi everyone! I don't know if anyone else has this problem, but lately I have been trying to establish a pee/poo routine for my girl. This works out fine and she will do her business right away when I take her out. However, if she happens to see food or crumbs on our walk (of course I won't let her have it), she will go crazy and spend the next sometimes half an hour trying to pull me back to the food, or trying to turn back. she absolutely has no intention of peeing until she gets to sniff or eat the food/crumbs. Of course I won't let her eat random food like that so this results in my having to walk her until she absolutely can't hold her pee or poop anymore and reluctantly goes. Even if I take her someplace far away from where she saw and smelled the food she still wants to head in that direction. Does anybody have any good advice on this? Thanks! My walker is only coming for 15 min when I am at work and I don't want my girl to just spend the whole time sniffing food and not peeing/pooping.

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It'd be helpful to teach her to wee/poo on command. I use 'get busy' for Doc to get him to poo on walks (as he is a male and heavily into marking on our walks there was never any need for a wee command!). I began this process by capturing and rewarding the action - i.e. as he squatted to poo saying 'get busy', and telling him he was a good boy and maybe giving a small treat as a reward afterwards.

 

Also - it sounds to me as if the pair of you need to work on her leash manners. How long have you had her? She should know that when you say 'come along', she needs to do just that, not keep sniffing. I hasten to add that this is not best achieved by pulling/dragging! Rather keep an eye open for food debris/ another hazard (with Doc it was cats or squirrels!) so you spot it before she does - and avoid it. You set the route, and the pace. Use your voice, as well as the leash -a cheerful no-nonsense 'jolly hockey sticks' tone works wonders. And hopefully you have already taught her a leave command, at home? That is absolutely basic to any dog's safety, just in case it does get into something dangerous. If not search on here for 'trading up' (i.e. getting the dog to give up some forbidden delight by offering something even better.)

 

Of course you don't need to proceed at a route march the whole time on your walks. Again with Doc he got to know that we would walk briskly to the park, pausing briefly for him to mark in the same few places, and then once we there he could wander around, check trees, etc etc. (These days he is 13 and arthritic so all walks are more of a potter!)

Clare with Tiger (Snapper Gar, b. 18/05/2015), and remembering Ken (Boomtown Ken, 01/05/2011-21/02/2020) and Doc (Barefoot Doctor, 20/08/2001-15/04/2015).

"It is also to be noted of every species, that the handsomest of each move best ... and beasts of the most elegant form, always excel in speed; of this, the horse and greyhound are beautiful examples."----Wiliam Hogarth, The Analysis of Beauty, 1753.

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I also use a command for when she is free to do her own thing on a walk. I use "be free". She knows then that she can range out to the end of her leash, dawdle, sniff, look around, whatever she likes. :)

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Lisa B.

My beautiful Summer - to her forever home May 1, 2010 Summer

Certified therapy dog team with St. John Ambulance

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I'm sorry that you also have a neighborhood with discarded food all around. Unfortunately, in my neighborhood it seems to usually be chicken bones! I don't have much trouble with Monty (our grey) because he is tall enough that it takes some work for him to get his head low enough to sniff anything - the trouble I have is with Allie (keeshond, nose already less than 14 inches from the ground when her head is up!). I have to constantly be scanning the ground around us and in front of us, not only for the stupid discarded chicken bones (and remember them on later walks, if I haven't managed to scoop them up in my poop bag), but "spare poop" which we also have too much of in our neighborhood. I do not want either of my dogs to step in or otherwise interact with another dog's poop! I swoop in and pick that up too, but I have both dogs trained to stop forward movement to a "Nah!" noise (when I don't use their real command, "wait"), and can call Allie off of things with a "hey, leave it." She is way more interested anyway, so with Monty all I need is the "nah!" for him to stop and suddenly decide there was nothing there that was interesting at all, and isn't that building across the street something tonight?

 

I agree that you might want to try working on a "leave it" command at home, and then try working on it in other situations where you can control it better, even as you become hyper vigilant about not letting her find things on walks. It is hard to constantly scan for things, I know, but if you can get the training done too it will get easier. If you see it first, you can just hustle her past it before she can get her nose down and find it herself and become super fixated. If there is a certain area that often has discarded food, can you possibly try to avoid that area entirely? (I know that can be hard for us urban dwellers!)

 

Good luck!

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Guest kisstherain

Thanks for the great advice everyone! I am starting leash training now. I'm using the method when I stop whenever she starts tugging. Does anyone know if this is a good method? So far she has gotten a little better and doesn't tug as hard when she sees food, but I find that I need to give her a quick tug at the neck to discourage her.

 

At home if she comes sniffing for food and I say "NO" she will run away from the food, but when we're outside when I say "NO" she wants to grab/swallow it quickly before I can wrestle it away. Unfortunately there is no way for me to take her somewhere where there aren't food crumbs as I live in an urban area. The dog run area in my building has no food but of course, she hates it and doesn't want to pee/poo there. I wish the only food around are chicken bones, at least its healthier than the donuts, muffins, bread, that I see around! I will try to teach her the "leave" it command, but she has NO interest in learning any commands even if I use food...she knows her name and will come to me when I call her (if she's not hypnotized by food and that's about it.. :ohno

 

I also started giving her treats and praising her whenever she goes poop. Now she looks at me expectantly and licks her lips whenever we go to the poop area...and..she's started pooping a little bit once, getting her treat, then pooping the rest...like she thinks I am going to give her TWO? hahaha!!

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Stopping when she pulls and "Good girl!" and moving again when she comes back to you (slack in leash) is a great method.

 

I would start teaching a "Leave it!" command, both at home and on your walks. Put some great, tiny treats in your pocket. When she VERY FIRST STARTS to zone in on something, cheerful "Leave it!" and the instant she even partly turns her head to you, "Good girl!" and treat. Practice at home first with her on leash and something on the floor -- first, something inedible; then something edible but not that great (scrap of bread) that you're going to stay 6' away from; then 3' away from; etc. Works better than "NO!" because it tells her what you want her TO do, and she gets rewarded for doing that. :) :) :)

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Guest normaandburrell

I have found it is helpful to have different treats on hand, some that are that "so-so" treats and some very high value treats (my hound likes Gwaltney sausages). They seem to pay more attention when there is always a chance of getting a really high value treat!

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