Ever since rescuing Leo, I’ve been reading up on how to try to train him out of being a canine garbage can. He eats anything and everything he can. A lot of it is just because it smells good, looks cool, is something new. A lot of it is out of revenge, curiosity, self-education, and pure spite. I think that maybe >0.2% is out of hunger.
The boy loves cut, freshly mowed grass. He loves grass to begin with but nothing beats grass that the lawn owner decided didn’t need to be caught in a basic lawnmower catchment bag while mowing. He becomes The Strongest Puppy in the World when on a walk and we come across freshly cut mounds of grass. He’ll grab such large chunks that he’ll gag and start to choke… and he doesn’t care. Not until he can’t breathe.
He likes to go for the candy wrappings, tiny alcohol bottles, fast food wrappers, bird crap, cigarettes, rocks, shoes, dinner mints, beer bottles, dead animals, old cups, empty water bottles, and anything else people like to toss out of their cars onto my street and into my neighborhood. We clean this crap up every day for the sake of the dogs in the neighborhood and for fuck’s sake it keeps happening. My back can’t take it. These arthritic hips can’t take it.
People suck. Throw away your fucking garbage. Because since you won’t throw away your fucking garbage like a fucking human being? I have to read articles about learning to Heimlich and CPR my dog.
Training him to “leave it” works about 75% of the time. Training him to “drop it” works about 60/40% of the time when he’s picked something up during that failed 25%.
When he fails to “drop it” on command, and something other than a food item that won’t hurt him, he knows the drill is going to be:
- right hand over snout
- finger prying open lips
- lips pressing on his teeth so he opens his own mouth
- left hand pulling out whatever garbage or other item is in his mouth
Sometimes he actually can’t drop it. He panics. It’s stuck on the side of his cheek, or the roof of his mouth, or it’s too far back in his mouth. But he wants it out. Because if he obeys the “drop it” command, he just might get a small treat to replace it.
And sometimes, whatever is in his mouth is something that panics him because it doesn’t feel good and he shows me what he did and in his puppy way “asks” me to get it out for him. That definitely deserves a treat. No close calls so far, but this nearly 30-lb pup gets into EVERYTHING.
In fact, sometimes he’ll get into something and pick it up just so that we’ll tell him to “drop it” in the hopes of getting a treat and lots of praise for obeying.
One of these days he’s going to need the Heimlich or CPR because of his little pranks.
And so, luckily I subscribed to this dog magazine’s free newsletter. There are occasionally some helpful articles, and they lead me to research the subject matter further.
And so. Dog owners. If you haven’t thought about learning the Heimlich and CPR on your dog before now, no matter old your dog is, it’s never too late to learn.
Some dogs—especially puppies—will chew on nearly anything in sight. Dog and cat owners may find their curious pet chewing on shoes, furniture, and even clothing. Although it can be hard to stop young pups and playful cats from chewing on objects other than toys, it is still possible for pets to choke on their toys, other objects, and even food. In addition to learning how to perform the Heimlich maneuver on a choking pet, it is equally important to learn how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on a dog in case of an emergency.