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Thread: My dog constantly gets in the garbage... help??

  1. #1
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    Default My dog constantly gets in the garbage... help??

    Well, today I walk in the house and greeted by my happy Pumpkin, only to walk into the kitchen and find garbage EVERYYYWHEREEEEE. She does this a lot, and I have no clue why! She knows she's gonna get in trouble too, because as soon as she sees me walk in the kitchen, her tail stops wagging (I always look at her to be sure lol). Then she ducks her tail, head down, and tries to run away. I usually put her in the garage or the bathroom (she HATES the bathroom), but of course, she'll end up doing it again.

    What are the main known reasons for dogs getting in the garbage? Is it because she's bored? I notice sometimes she does it as soon as she thinks no one is home. For instance, my mom was in her room, and one of my sisters left. As soon as the door shuts, my mom hears Pumpkin knocking over the garbage can. Is it out of loneliness maybe? Most of us are gone during the day, but she doesn't always do it. Any ideas?? Anyone else have this problem with their dogs before?

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  2. #2

    Default Re: My dog constantly gets in the garbage... help??

    I have the same problem with my Dog, pretty much exactly the same.
    I'd like to see some advice here to sort the problem ^0^

  3. Default Re: My dog constantly gets in the garbage... help??

    I have an embarrassing story about this. On Monday my dad came home from work and found my used tampons and pads all over the kitchen and living room floor. The dog got into the trash and chewed them up and left the pieces all over the place. So gross and embarrassing! Nasty dog.

    Dogs instincts are to hunt. That's just the way they are. They look in the trash for something good. I don't know how to stop it though other than maybe putting the trash in a room where they can't get to it while you are out of the house.

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    Default Re: My dog constantly gets in the garbage... help??

    if you can't just put the garbage out of reach, there are some products which aren't harmful to the dogs but which smell really bad and prevent the dogs from wanting to nose through the trash. my dog had this thing for tissues when he was younger so he was always going through the trash to eat used ones. we started putting a little bit of cayenne pepper around the bin and he's never been in the trash since.

    also, since your dog obviously knows what she's doing is wrong, it probably wouldn't do any good to scold her. if you think she's doing it out of boredom or loneliness, try to buy her some new toys to play with or try exercising her more if you can. good luck!
    "I have learned that the ambition of those who follow selfish precepts is no more than a chaotic waste, a finite gain that must be followed by infinite loss."
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    Default Re: My dog constantly gets in the garbage... help??

    We have that stuff you spray on objects to stop them from chewing on it, and I've tried cayenne pepper before, but neither work. I think she's losing her sense of smell since she's getting older (she's gonna be 11 in another week!), and she can't find treats I throw right in front of her hehe. I'm gonna try getting my little sisters to walk her more when I'm not around and see if that helps!

    @Chocolate_Truffle lmao! Omg, that's horrible but sooo funny!! XDD

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    Default Re: My dog constantly gets in the garbage... help??

    Dogs always have a constant urge for food. It's in a dog's nature.
    This goes back to when they were wild and before the overly breeding started. Dogs needed to survive on it's own without humans to feed them.
    On top of that they are hunters with great noses.

    Dogs will never stop eating. Give a cat a bowl of food and it will stop when it's full. Even when there's food left. Give a dog a bowl of food.. it will go on and on until there's nothign left.

    Dogs used to do this because they never knew when they would be fed again.

    To go back to your question about eating out of the bin....
    A dogs nose is really good. She can sniff out any food leftovers in the garbage bin. wether they are wrapped or not. To fit my past long story into it, A dog will do anything he/she can to get it out. It is food!

    To stop this, you need to correct her behaivoir right in the act. You punish her afterwards when there are things on the floor. Trust me, on that moment getting angry and locking her up will NOT help you for one single thing.

    The reason why she runs away isn't the fact that she tried to eat out of the garbage bin and knowing she's wrong.. it's you walking mad towards her. Maybe you even scream and curse.

    Dogs have a bad short memory. That's why you need to scare/correct her right in the act. Not later. Like kids.. it won't work. she'll only get scared of you. Your dog cannot link eating out of the bin with your mad/frustrated energy after 5 minutes after she did it. Even if you walk at her normally.. she picks up your mood/energy reaaaal fast. Frustration, being mad, sad... you name it.

    The best things you can do is catch your dog in the moment + taking a better garbage bin. Obvious your bin is small or has a bad lid. We used to have a garbage bin with a press on lid. Pressing on it would open it. My old dog (the one that passed away) found out that all he needed to do was to put his head on it and POOF! We got a better and stronger bin and no problems ever since. Not even with my new dog.

    Also, you can sprinkle mouthwash on the things in the garbagebin. dogs hate the taste of it.

    However, i think you need to claim the bin and making sure she knows it's yours and catch her while eating out of it. (watch some thigns from Cesar milan!!! Huge help on things.)

    Please note, this behaivior is NOT an act of being bored. However, you can give her a chewy bone and new toys to keep her occupied and take her nose of the bin. If she would be bored she would chew up shoes and distroy things. This is something totally different. Just keep her brain stimulated. (long walks are great too)

    Hope this helped


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    Default Re: My dog constantly gets in the garbage... help??

    ^ or try to catch her BEFORE she does it, sort of like shaping her behavior or conditioning her (think Pavlov! haha)
    "I have learned that the ambition of those who follow selfish precepts is no more than a chaotic waste, a finite gain that must be followed by infinite loss."
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    Default Re: My dog constantly gets in the garbage... help??

    ^ exactly. that's even better. Just claim the space around the bin as yours and she will know she cannot get near it. (that's how I trained my new dog + a better bin works too)


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    Default Re: My dog constantly gets in the garbage... help??

    Thanks for the responses! Yeah, my dog's pretty bad when it comes to food. I just don't really understand why it started all of a sudden. She gets in the garbage, jumps on the counters and steals food, or she'll go for food right out of our hands if we're not looking! I saw on TV that dogs are really responsive to our eyes, so I constantly try to make sure my eyes are glued to my food, but not to her otherwise she'll start drooling [more so].

    Too bad my mom took out the garbage already, otherwise I'd hide and try to catch her going in the kitchen. I'll also definitely try out the mouthwash idea! Cayenne pepper had no effect on my dog, so I'm up for any ideas.

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  10. #10

    Default Re: My dog constantly gets in the garbage... help??

    "Behaivior is NOT an act of being bored."

    Most of the dogs I know dig trash/ruin stuff out of boredom. You're actually supposed to take them out for at least half an hour a day, since most people don't, the dogs become anxious and find their own source of exercise. I worked in dog rescue, and most of the dogs had this issue (being annoying and destructive). Giving them a ton of exorcise usually fixes the problem. (Which is why people attribute the cause of behavior issues to boredom. It could also be an alpha issue, so the "claiming" bit could work. You can test to see if your dog thinks you're alpha by going near his food. If he's violent or clearly unhappy, he doesn't think too highly of you. If he just lets you take the food bowl, you're the alpha. All my dogs let me take their food, I am the alpha, ) Remember, the bigger the dog, the more stimulation they need.

    If the dog only does it while your away, then that's an issue. As soon as you catch him, you have to shout "No!" and be very angry sounding so they get it. Or if you want, you can jab them in the side (not hard, but this is what mothers do to puppies when puppies misbehave...unless your dog is an adult, that might just confuse him). Since dogs have terrible memory, if you come home yelling when you see trash the dog will be like, "Wow she's crazy" and not know why you're yelling. So you have to catch him in the act.
    Last edited by Chellie; 12-23-2010 at 08:17 PM.

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    Default Re: My dog constantly gets in the garbage... help??

    Some great points are made. Dogs are more prone to behavioral problems when they do not have enough exercise in their day. They might chew up things more or bark excessively or do things like dig up your garbage because they're trying to find things to stimulate their senses. It's also because dogs are huge gluttons, and are especially attracted to foods that their masters eat (because whatever master eats must be safe and good to eat in dog clan).

    Change your garbage cans to dog-proof ones. Perhaps something heavy and with a lid. You can also spray scents on your garbage cans that he does not like (ex: http://www.amazon.com/FP-REPELLENT-K.../dp/B00106WWUE )

    Do not bother scolding your dog after the bad deed has been done. They wont remember, and they wont know what you're unhappy about. All they see is you looking at them angerly and they are responding to that. As laura mentioned, only punish when he is caught in the act.

    And lastly, give it lots of exercise!

  12. #12

    Default Re: My dog constantly gets in the garbage... help??

    Quote Originally Posted by katzluva View Post
    And lastly, give it lots of exercise!
    Exercise is the key!

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    Default Re: My dog constantly gets in the garbage... help??

    Thanks for even more responses! ^^ We do let her out when she wants to, but then she goes sniffing around for my cat's food and then starts whining to come back in (usually). I need to figure out a way to kick my sisters' habits of LAZINESS to take poor Pumpkin for more walks. :/

    Also, I actually looked up Food Agression yesterday. We gave her a giant bone for Christmas, and while I was petting her after a while, she started growling and snapping and accidentally bit my finger. >< I locked her in the bathroom for a while and took away her bone. I think that helped her, since I put her in my sister's room when we left and gave her the bone again to keep her entertained, and she seemed content even with me petting her and laying down next to her. I found some tips on remedying this behavior, like feeding her from my hand and not using her bowl for a while. I hope this will help, but any other ideas are also welcome! ^^;

    She hasn't gotten in the garbage lately, but she has been jumping on the counters in the middle of the night. My mom and I were really upset because she broke our salad bowl (we use it as a fruit bowl though) and broke it. We still use it though, because we were talking just the day before about how much we love it. We've had it since I can remember, so it would just feel weird not seeing it in the kitchen. Would more toys help on top of the exercise, perhaps?

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  14. #14

    Default Re: My dog constantly gets in the garbage... help??

    It's natural for dogs to find garbage a cool way to play and smell around. Dogs can be trained to avoid garbage but first you have to remove all the possible waste that she can stumble upon while roaming around the house. Talk to your dog always because they tend to understand their master in the long run.

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