Every day I encounter a new situation in which Mardi manages to scarf up something she shouldn't eat. There is no problem inside the house but everywhere I go outside my own house presents a problem. I don't like her eating her own stools but I can usually grab them before she does and I don't believe eating her own stool is dangerous--just yucky. However, every time I take her outside on the two acres I mow she finds something I am not certain she should have. She eats dirt, mud, sticks, tiny sprouts (weeds or violets), worms, bugs, a dead bird's wing once, scraps of paper, etc. I am very careful to pick up all debris but somehow, she always finds something. I have an ongoing problem now because a good part of my property is wet and after I cut the grass there are numerous clumps of cut grass clumps that form from grass and mud. These are her favorite. This problem will go on all summer after any rain. I can't rake two acres and I can't bag the grass as I cut because I won't be able to see if the garden tractor is still discharging. As I mow the amount of discharge decreases as the clumps bind up under the deck. I have to see when the discharge is diminishing and stop, put the mower up on ramps, and clean under the deck. If I don't and I am lucky, the mower will smoke before it burns out a belt. My land is on a steady slope and the grass is frequently wet unless we have a real drought. I can't allow the grass to get too high while I wait for a dry spell. I have three other acres that a local farmer grows hay on and I am reducing by about a third the area of the fenced acre so the remainder is on the "high" side so Mardi will still have a safe place to run free. The farmer will take over the area I give up after the fence is moved. The fence will be moved by a friend who will come when he can, and he is a busy man. He has started the job so there is no completely fence area until he gets back to finish. In the meantime I want to use a muzzle because Mardi is incredibly fast gulping anything she imagines is food. Maybe, someday, she will reliably "drop it" but that training is moving very slowly. I can take anything out of her mouth but she grabs and gulps as fast as she can. Her inappropriate eating is so bad I no longer walk her in places where people might toss trash--especially near fast food restaurants. So far, walking the well maintained path along the old Erie Canal presents only other dogs' stools. I love this dog and don't want to make her uncomfortable but I really believe her gulping of trash is a potential danger to her. She is the 8th dog I have owned and I have never had this level of trash eating to cope with before Mardi.
One last thing, I was not able to afford establishing a proper lawn on these two acres and what I cut is anything green that grew after the house was built. All 5 acres were in hay, corn, alfalfa, and soy beans. The are I mow is filled with anything that grew on its own after the crops were no longer planted. If anyone knows of a comfortable muzzle with a closed front, please tell me about it.
Nan - you can get a reliable, soft nylon muzzle from PetSmart. They are really easy to put on and it doesn't impede anything doggie needs to be doing (um, like breathing, for example). Go to their website and search for "muzzles". I've used this type before with success. (On a previous SPCA dog I had... a real aggressive biter. )
Seamus and Flynn
Here's what it looks like. The picture is a bit deceiving. That strap should be
fastened snug up behind the dog's ears. Not tight, but snug.
Last edited by Paddysmom; 04-28-2013 at 04:30 PM.
Seamus and Flynn
I use a basket muzzle like this for a dog that could lick his back foot around a cone and all that.
Amazon.com: Guardian Gear Plastic Dog Basket Muzzle, Small, Black: Pet Supplies
Plenty of space to open mouth pant, can drink in it, etc. Some dogs could probably get this off if they were REALLY creative, but if you are around to watch them it is probably fine.
I couldn't find any 'basket muzzles' at the big box pet stores, but I did find one at a small side pet store after calling around a bit.
I would also work A LOT on the leave it command, starting in the house with low value objects and gradually work up to outside (on leash where you still have full control) and later off leash.
This dog desperately needs to learn LEAVE IT!
Kelrobin Cleveland Street Denizen, CGC, RN [Parker]
"Dear George: Remember, no man is a failure who has friends. Thanks for the wings. Love, Clarence" -- IAWL Screenplay (1946)