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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One of my dogs is just over a year old and when he is outside will eat anything that he can get. He spends most of his time inside with us, but when I let him out to go to the bathroom or get some exercise, he always ends up trying to eat something. I am constantly taking sticks and plants out of his mouth when he comes in. I've even seen him pull small branches off of plants to chew on. I'm worried that he will one day get a bowel obstruction from eating things he should not be eating. I don't want to limit his outside time because he really seems to love it, but I don't want to risk his health. How can I train him to not eat everything in sight?
 

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Honestly, I'd first be a bit concerned about his constant hunger. Does he behave like this in the house as well? Does he normally ingest non-food items in the house too? Does he seem to regularly be looking or begging for food even when he gets regular meals? If he does, I think there might be a medical problem. He could have tape worm or thyroid problem. First get him checked out medically, and then we can try training. I would suggest the command "Leave it" regardless if he has a medical issue. If you want I can spell out how to train that.

Until then maybe just limit his time outside to walks where you can restrict his abilities to grab and eat things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
He doesn't behave the same in the house. He loves to chew on his toys and play with our other dog. He doesn't look for or beg for food between meals. He recently got checked out by the vet (blood work, stool sample, etc.) and everything came back normal. "Leave it" sounds like it would be a good command to teach him. What is the best way to do so?
 

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To teach leave it, I place something on the ground and when he goes for it I say "leave it" nice and stern so he stops and looks at me. Then treat.
My dog is just now beginning to behave better and its been months. When I catch him chewing on something I say leave it. Best to catch them right before they grab it, then treat fOr leaving it.
I'm not sure if that's the most efficient way as my progress is slow but its progress nonetheless
 

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I teach Leave it using Doggy Zen/It's Yer Choice type games. I love teaching it in this way because it teaches the dog to control themselves and make good choices rather than have you control the dog with commands. I also like this method as it is very easy to expand to distraction training.

https://youtu.be/ipT5k1gaXhc
 
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