Life with a Labradoodle that eats everything can be very stressful. Today we are going to take a look at why they do it, and what you can do to stop them.
We’ll investigate the reasons why some dogs have an unhealthy appetite for the unusual or inappropriate. From hunger to boredom, or even just for fun! And we will show you your main options for dealing with your Labradoodle eating everything. Helping you to pick the right solution for your dog, and for you.
Why do Labradoodles eat everything?
A dog that constantly consumes whatever you leave on the floor or countertops, or that forages for disgusting things at the dog park, requires constant vigilance. And even some scary trips to the veterinarian. So why do they do it? There are several possible reasons why a dog might start to eat unusual items, or things that you would rather they didn’t touch. They include:
Being hungry doesn’t usually cause a dog to make strange food choices, but a starving dog might give something inedible a shot. Or be more inclined to snatch food that you’ve tried to leave out of their reach.
Occasionally illnesses in dogs can cause a strange appetite. If your older dog suddenly starts eating objects when they didn’t previously have a problem, then this is a good time to have a chat with your veterinarian.
When dogs are left alone for long periods of time with nothing to occupy themselves, they often take to chewing. Especially dogs like Labradoodles with two strong lines of dogs in their past that love to hold and carry things in their mouths.
Upset animals behave in ways that you wouldn’t see an emotionally happy dog behave. Chewing and consequential eating of random objects can happen when a dog is very unhappy and or anxious.
Labradoodles are half Labrador Retriever, and we all know what Labs are famous for – their appetite!
Sometimes solving the reason why your Labradoodle is eating everything can stop the behavior. But more often than not once it’s begun, you will need to tackle the issue in another way because it’s become a bad habit.
How to get your dog to stop eating everything
There is no one perfect solution to this issue, but there are several ways to help improve the problem. You can use any one of these techniques to help your dog to stop eating everything, but a combination of at least two usually works best.
If your dog is eating things in the house then organization, prevention and distraction might well be your winning combination. If they are eating everything at the dog park, then a combination of prevention and training might be your best bet.
Getting organized at home!
Dogs that eat everything in the house are often doing so because they have too much freedom, and too much access to your things. The best thing you can do to help combat the problem is to get your organizational hat on. The following general areas are the biggest changes you can make.
- Clean and tidy countertops
- Clear the floor
If you never ever leave edible items on your countertops, your dog will eventually stop counter surfing. Even when you aren’t in the room. Because it won’t be rewarding any more.
Make sure anything that is of an accessible height by your Labrdoodle when they are stood on their back legs (and that’s quite high up!) is cleared away. Ornaments and trinkets temporarily, food stuff permanently.
Look at what you’ve left on your floor. If your kids leave toys around or your partner never remembers to store their shoes, it’s time to draw your line in the sand. Because whatever is left on the floor is fair game to a dog. They aren’t able to draw distinctions between your stuff and their toys. If you don’t want it eaten, put it away!
Preventing a Labradoodle from eating everything
There are two areas of prevention you might need to consider. Indoors there are ways of reducing your dog’s access to the things he’s eating. Outdoors you will need a more direct approach.
- Baby gates and puppy pens
- Trash can clips
It’s wonderful for a dog to live as a part of the family, and go wherever we go. But some dogs, especially younger Labradoodles, just don’t cope well with that level of responsibility. If your doodle is eating everything then you need to keep them mostly contained in the areas where they are least likely to get themselves into trouble.
Baby gates and puppy play pens are great tools for keeping your dog just in those easier to clear parts of the house. Avoiding playrooms and dining rooms makes a big difference to a lot of families. As does the trusty trash can clip!
Using a dog muzzle to stop them eating everything
One of the biggest problem areas for Labradoodle owners with dogs that have a taste for the disgusting is the dog park. One approach to dealing with their unpleasant eating habits is to use a muzzle that prevents them from picking up objects in their mouths.
However, the downside of muzzles is that they have a stigma. Some people will see a dog muzzled and assume they are aggressive. And they don’t always work to stop your dog eating, depending upon the model of muzzle and your dog’s persistence! Fabric muzzles seem to work best as they don’t have such wide grooves, but then they need very frequent washing. Another solution that works well outdoors is training.
Training your dog to stop picking things up
There are two areas of training which can really help to reduce your dog’s tendency to eat everything, and these are heelwork and recall.
Teaching your dog to walk nicely alongside you, either on a leash or off leash, will reduce their chances of coming across something they want to eat. But helping them to secure a great recall is your best bet of dealing with the issue. Because a dog that can be called away from something they are tempted to eat can be stopped from eating it.
However, there are downsides of using training solutions to combat this problem. Firstly, training takes time. Secondly, the act of eating gross items might be so rewarding that you need a very strong incentive to keep them by your side. It can be done, but you’ll need to slowly introduce trickier distractions and build up their skills over time. And in the meantime, you still need to deal with the issue.
A bored or excited Labradoodle is likely to seek out ways to entertain themselves that you won’t necessarily like. That’s why distracting them is such a valuable thing to do. Whether that’s by providing them with toys or games, or through training.
Keeping your Labradoodle focussed on you
Keeping your dog’s attention on you and away from the less appealing things they might put into their mouths works really well in some contexts. And there is almost nothing more worth your while than spending time helping your dog to focus on you.
You can teach your dog to pay more attention to you by being more interesting! Either by regularly doing little rewarding training sessions, or by interacting with them more. Bringing a treat pouch on your walk and giving them a tasty bit of food every time they check in is a great start. As is bringing a toy they like to fetch or play tug with. It all keeps their focus coming back to you, and away from the things they might eat.
Why does my Labradoodle eat everything?
There are several possible reasons why a Labradoodle can start eating everything. Hunger, illness, boredom, stress and genetics can all play a part. And after the habit is established it can be tricky to stop, but not impossible!
Using a combination of organizational skills, prevention, distraction and training you will be able to stop your dog eating everything. Whether it’s at home, or out at the dog park!