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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 19675
Experience:  Behaviorist /Trainer and Dog breeder 18+ years
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We have a Bishon Frise, female, which is about 1 1/2 years

Customer Question

We have a Bishon Frise, female, which is about 1 1/2 years old. She has a thing for eating cut grass
And leaves and other sundry items. What do we need to do to teach her not to pick up and or eat
Stuff other than her food?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 10 months ago.

My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.

In order to supply you with an informed answer, it is necessary for me to collect some additional information from you. When I receive your response or reply, it will likely take me between 30-45 minutes to type up my reply if I am still online when I receive notice that you replied. I hope you can be patient.

What obedience training has she had?

Was it a formal class?

Do you hold practice sessions often or just give her commands as needed?

What have you tried so far?

Does she have toys?

Are they always available for her to play with?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
She hasn't had any professional training of any sort,, just myself. I have grown up with all sorts of dogs, and also trained
Them to a degree,however , I never have had a dog as difficult to train anything as this dog. No. There has not been any practice sessions as I work during the day, and my wife knows nothing about training a dog. So, I don't much time if any to train
Her myself.
She has toys. However she has them chewed up shortly after their given to her. They are available for her to play with
As long as they aren't shredded and or in pieces.
I haven't tried anything other than trying to keep her from the grass clumps and leaves she likes to chew. I haven't the
Slightest idea what to do!
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 10 months ago.

Just a quick note to let you know I'm working on your answer now.

Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 10 months ago.

Thanks for the additional information. Some of the problem is that you are gone most of the day and she is with your wife who as you put it knows nothing about training. TRaining is not really difficult if you have instructions. So perhaps she may be willing to spend 15 minutes a day at training. It doesn't take much more than that twice a day.

The following site is helpful in helping owners train their og. Be sure and click on the link to the page on obedience at the bottom. and links on subsequent pages leading to detailed instructions.

Training works best if you train at least 30 minutes a day (two 15 minute sessions). I would start making your dog work via the Nothing in life is free program (NILF). It is outlined below.

I believe in a positive reward system for desired behavior but also an oral reprimand for undesired behavior. Along with the oral reprimand, I usually recommend the dog be leashed and a short tug given to get the dog's attention on you for the oral reprimand. Oral reprimands are a low toned "NO" to show the dog the behavior is unacceptable.

One command that will come in handy is the leave it command. You can read instructions on training for that here:

The other is to have items that she can not destroy. Usually Kong brand toys are virtually indestructible. They make a lot of toys. Some have a treat compartment where you can put yogurt or peanut butter without Xylitol and freeze it. These kind of toys are a better joice for her. You also need a variety of toys and have at least 2 sets of different toys. Dogs get bored, so you need to switch them out ever week to keep their interest.

The other thing you can do is get a long lead for her and set up a situation where she might normally try to ingest some cut grass or twigs and or stones. You will have some paper thin hot dog slivers on hand for training purposes. Put the lead on her and let her roam. When she approaches the object she is not supposed to ingest, give the short tug and the firm low toned "NO". Some dogs are more stubborn than others but usually after several reprimands in a row, the dog will hesitate or turn away from the object. When she does that, give her calm praise and a hot dog sliver. It will take her a little while to make the connection but she will learn that not ingesting the grass, rocks etc, gets her hot dog slivers.

It will take work on your part to teach her not to ingest these items. Of course, removing the items will work best, ***** ***** do understand that in a lot of cases that is not a feasible option, so you will need to rely on the training. Now until she is trained you might use a basket style muzzle when she goes outside that allows her to breath but has openings too small for her to pick up grass, etc. Another solution until she is trained is to give her a grass, rock, stick free area just for her. Being a smaller dog, it would not need to be that large. You should be able to keep that area free of objects for the most part. Of couse, that does mean she will need to be walked to this area and back when needed.

Many dogs do ingest small amounts of grass when their stomachs are upset. It is not known if this helps ease their stomach or hels them vomit. Just in case some of her ingesting of foreign objects is due to poor digestion. Adding some good bacteria can help digestion. Fortiflora available at the vet and many pet stores will add good bacteria to her gastrointestinal tract and help with digestion.

I hope this information is helpful to you. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have . If you do find this helpful, please take this opportunity to rate my answer positively so I am compensated for my time.

Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 10 months ago.
Hi Larry,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Oshie. How is everything going?
Jane Lefler
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 10 months ago.

Hi again,

Just a quick followup to determing how things are going with Oshie? Did you find my answer helpful?

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