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Re: My Jack eats garbage!

Posted by:  Leslie Hemsing
Posted on:  April 23, 2002 at 22:40:51

In Reply to: My Jack eats garbage!
Category:   Behavior Problems
Posted by:  Lisa
Posted on:  April 23, 2002 at 17:14:47

Question:

: Hi,

: My JRT is 7 1/2 months old, and for the most part, he's the best dog in the world. There is just one thing I wish I could get him to stop doing. We go for lots of walks outside, and it doesn't matter what is on the ground, but my little guy feels compelled to pick it up and put it in his mouth. About 75% of the time, the "leave it", or "drop it" command works, and he obediently lets it fall out of his mouth, and we walk on without any problems. But some of the more appealing things(berries from the trees, leaves, small sticks, a french fry etc.)he knows he can promptly chow down before I can even catch him. I watch him as closely as I possibly can, without being right in his face at ground level, or holding his head off the ground. I'm so worried he's going to eat something that's going to make him really sick. He already had an upset tummy from some strange thing he ate. I don't think he's hungry or not getting enough to eat. He has a very healthy appetite, and eats 1 3/4 cup of food a day(he's 17lbs). He was just at the vet for a checkup, and he's perfectly healthy. What do I do? Or is this just one of the many quirky things Jack owners have to just deal with?

: Thanks!


Response:

Hi Lisa,

I think most folks who have raised a pup often wonder why they didn't name their dog "Hoover" or "Eureka" -- this isn't just a JRT thing, it's a puppy thing. At 7 1/2 months, your little guy is still very much a pup. Keep up the good work with training him to "drop it" -- with time and your continued patience, he will eventually respond 100% of the time. :-)

"Leave it" is a slightly different command because it is given when the dog first begins to investigate an object, not after the object is in the dog's mouth. The leave it command is best taught by first getting the dog's attention with a noise (much like stopping a pee mid-stream) followed by the command, praise and then just keep walking. As with drop it, the key is consistency.

You're doing a great job, Lisa -- hang in there!
Leslie