Your Highness asked in PetsDogs · 1 decade ago

How do I get my dog to stop eating trash?

For the last two weeks or so, she been getting into all the trash cans and has taken a liking to eating the trash, especially food wrappers and tissue.

I don't know why, and I can't reprimand her for it because I have yet to catch her in the act of fishing stuff out of the can. I always just come downstairs to find her on her doggie bed chewing on a wad of tissue

I've been trying to get the rest of my family to shut their bathroom doors and put other trash cans on top of desks, but of course they forget, and they don't listen or care.

Is there other steps I can take, or something I can spray on the trash cans to keep her away? She's a two year old lab, and she'll occasionally get into the trash, but never as often as she's been doing lately,

177 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    Keep the lids on the trash cans.

    Train the family to clean up after themselves.

    Make the offending family member clean up after the dog gets into the trash.

    Source(s): Been there, done that.
  • 4 years ago


    Source(s): Ultimate Dog Training Videos -
  • 1 decade ago

    Depending on the room, I hide the trash or use covered cans. In the kitchen I put the trash under the sink and use a safety lock to hold the doors shut. In the bath and bedrooms I use various covered cans including one with a locking lid in my sons room and the step kind where the lid pops up, and I also put a trash can in the closet but that door is always shut. There are no uncovered, free access cans in my house. I have 3 dogs (2 large dogs, one small dog) and a cat and they don't get into the trash. They get into everything else, but not trash!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I worked in a pet store and I needed to answer this question many times. The first and I think the best way is to get some small ballons. Empty the trash into the can when the dog is looking . Say No and mean it , when the dog puts its ears down and lowers its eyes you know that he got the message. As soon as the dog walks away get the balloon and place it on top of the garage. The dog will break the balloon and get scared. this should stop him from going into the garage. You may need to place a few balloons in the trash to make sure the dog breaks one and that they do not just float away.

    Source(s): The best of the pet store personal that I worked with
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  • 1 decade ago

    Barring any medical issues, it sounds like your dog is having separation anxiety, and if it is, nothing you can use (sprays, bad tastes) etc. will work, because at this point, any attention is what she wants, bad or good. If you secure the trash and she just finds something else to chew or strew about, this is likely the problem.

    Has she been alone more than usual lately? Dogs are pack animals; they are highly social and need company, not just food and shelter to be healthy and happy. A good trainer may be able to help you/her overcome this behavior. If that's too expensive, see if some family member or person in your neighborhood that is good with her can come and spend time with her or walk her when you are away for long stretches.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The product Bitter Apple is good in many cases. However this is a 2yr old lab who just started this.

    It's one of several what I call 'rebellion stages' a dog goes through when living with humans. Part of the canine social pack behavior that slides over into our interactions with them.

    2 years is one of these markers.

    To get through this 'period of contention' (which can last up to six weeks or longer, just depends)with the least amount of difficulty and the highest degree of successful communication, put the lead back on the dog and sort of live with it on your wrist when at home for at least two weeks. That's the amount of time it will take to reimprint behavior the dog's had but has momentarily forgotten [just hanging out around the house and NOT chewing or going in the trash - and in fact cannot go into the trash as the lead makes than impossible, so that in a way sort of erases that pattern from getting reactivated by occasional forays if off the leash and you decide you will just up your attention on the dog and then it slips, for example].

    Yes, it is vital that ALL MEMBERS OF THE HOUSEHOLD participate in doing this the same way [to the extent that they had a relationship with the dog prior to this]. Keep doors closed. Keep trash cans emptied for this contention period. Make the extra effort to help keep this from becoming an imbedded pattern that takes a lot more to move the dog out of and can have far more serious effects than that of eating tissues and displacing the trash.

    I'm in the field of animal behavior for over 35 years. A professional in it for over 25.

    Plus my own goofy dog behavior experiences.

    Gotta love the Labs, they are a hoot. Be grateful it's just at the tissue stage and you had the good sense to nip it in the bud. You should get more points for that!!! :)

  • 1 decade ago

    My lab did this. I put my kitchen trash can under the sink. I would leave a little tissue in the bathroom trash can when I left the house so she could go in and shred it and let me know she was angry I left her behind. Otherwise, all the trash cans have to be picked up or doors shut. Trash can kill a dog. Mine puked up a huge elongated sock one time while I was at work. How she didn't die doing this I don't know. The sock was full of other stuff, had absorbed liquid and stretched the entire length of my living room.

  • 1 decade ago

    The only thing that worked for my lab was a spray bottle. I kept a spray bottle with water in it near every trash can or bathroom, when she would go in I would give her a little spray and say NO firmly, you have to be consistent with it or they think they can get away with it sometimes. The spray bottle worked perfectly and after a week or two, she doesnt even pay attention to the trash or bathrooms! I also keep a metal can with some coins in it for noise, if she was being really bad, I would shake the can at her, the noise is annoying to them and they begin to associate the trash with that noise! Good luck!!!! Labs are a handful, but so worth it!! :-)

  • 1 decade ago

    I don't know what to do about the small trash cans throughout the house, but... what we did was buy a few hooks and attached them to the wall, at the height of the trash can. It has a little lip so that it will sit just on the hooks, keeping it attached to the wall, then our little dog can't knock it over. The other thing i though of was buying those shiny trashcans with a foot pedal to open the lid, those are pretty heavy, look nice, and have a lid so the dog can't get in. They are a little pricy though. Good luck... our little dog still finds trash, like in the neighbors yard, and brings it to our yard and tears it up. AND HE GETS PLENTY TO EAT!!!! < that is for those ignorant answers above...

  • 1 decade ago

    My chihuahua does this too. I believe she does this because she's hungry. If you leave your lab home alone, make sure to leave it some dry food or something that you know she likes. That way, she wont have to go through the trash looking for wrappers and what not. My dog loves getting the tissues from the trash, I think thats just the thing dogs like to do when they're bored, but she'll stop if you give her enough discipline.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    What you should do is make sure all the trash cans have a lid. I would buy a strong durable plastic kind that cannot be easily opened or spilled. Something waterproof. Next start seperating your food and non-perishibles into different bags. It's what I do because of the odor. It might help out. If this doesn't work, then you'll just have to stalk your dog and spray her on the nose when she gets into trouble. She sounds cute though...

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