We adopted a golden retriever mix at 4 months old - she's 6 months now. We live on a farm and she gets long runs 2-3 times a day, plus daily 1-2 hour playdates with my mom's weimaraner. She is crated only when someone is not home, which isn't that much. She is a shoe eater and we've given her toys and bones like you wouldn't believe. She also eats the plaster off the walls (in a pretty big way, in 3 different rooms), and tries to eat (not lick - EAT) dishes, firewood, metal, coal, and furniture. But the very worst is the poo. Our chickens are free-range; she devours their poo. She goes to the barn and digs up every crumb of cat poo she can find. She eats deer poo on her walks. She eats horse poo at my mom's. I would bet she eats more poo than she does dogfood. We give her Iams puppy food and she appears to be beautifully healthy, gaining weight nicely. She comes in and tries to lick the kids with her disgusting poo lips. I think I've gotten to where I'm really freaking out on her, because even my 4-year-old tells me to relax. She knows she isn't supposed to do it - she is really sneaky about it, and when she's caught she takes off in the other direction. She also will sneak a shoe and devour it when we're close by, or sneak around the corner and dine on some tasty plaster walls.
This has been going on for 2 months with hardly any change in behavior, despite all of our redirection and substituting. I have turned into a crazy yelling person over this - not good. I have had several dogs from puppyhood and I've never seen anything like this.
Please give me some advice! I'm going nuts!
Married to my favorite SAHD, Outnumbered by woolies
Sorry, I don't have a solution for you, just wanted to say that maybe it's a golden retriever thing! We had a golden, Bixby (he passed 4 years ago at 15 years old) and he LOVED poo! We lived in the country and he'd eat what he could find, including his own when it was frozen in the snow. Then, one day he came up to me with the WORST breath ever. And he had what looked like sand on his mouth. I figured out that he'd been eating cat poop out of the litter box!! He was so ashamed of himself but couldn't help it. All we could do was try to keep him away from the litter box and from any other "sources" available. It is gross, but I don't think it's harmful to them. He at a lot of other bad stuff along the way (he loved eating wood, I once had to pull a plastic bag out of his bum because he got into garbage somewhere and it was stuck on the exit route, he drank water from ponds and puddles, he'd eat at a dead animal if he could, etc. etc.) It sounds like we let him roam or something, but we didn't. Over 15 years he just managed to get into as much trouble as he could, leash or no leash (he was an escape artist too).
Anyway, long nostalgic rant to say that goldens are just too smart for their own good and they have an appetite that knows no bounds and includes the disgusting!
N, wife to my goofball K and mamma to my EC grad D (July 2010) and my new little love S (May 2013). Exploring the uncharted territory of tandem nursing with my two boys.
I hesitate to mention Cesar Milan because there are always people who disagree with him, but I saw a show where he dealt with a very poo obsessed dog, and this is what he did. He gave the dog a choice. Poo or a piece of kibble. When he chose the poo, nothing happened, but when he chose the kibble, he got rewarded (with a banana, he loved bananas, this dog). Then Cesar moved to just presenting him with the poo, and when he didn't eat it (initially, if he just waited even one second before he ate it), he got the banana. Cesar then increased the amount of time the dog had to wait before he ate the poo (because he did eat it, at first) to get his banana. After a while, the dog just didn't eat the poo at all. Kind of time-intensive, I know, but it worked for that little dog.
My dog (2 year old shitzu-maltese mix) is obsessed with poo too . We use cloth diapers and she devours the contents within seconds if I don't put it away right away (changing baby's shirt, etc, i don't obviously leave poopy diapers laying around). Sometimes I put a diaper by the bed and try to get baby settled before taking the diaper out of the room and BAM she eats it. Grosses the heck out of me, I tell you. I yell, she does know she's not supposed to do it. I also notice if the baby does some business she is hopefully sniffing around the leg openings of her onesie hoping for a way in. YUCK. Obviously it's easier for me to prevent it than for someone living in a country with free-range chickens, but still I'd like her to stop it, I also wonder why she does it and if she can get sick from it, the silly dog.
SAHM to one moody son J (06-27-03), one super-girly daughter M (02-23-06) and welcome Sophie! (05-23-10) expecting fourth in July
Well it's good to know that Bixby made it to 15.... I have worried that her taste for poo and other not-to-be-eaten things will bring her an early demise. I am thankful that Daisy hasn't shown interest in diapers! I may give the intensive treat training a try too, because I'm totally desperate and willing to try anything! :)
Married to my favorite SAHD, Outnumbered by woolies
My older golden retriever is the same way. He no longer eats the walls (we had to redrywall 4 walls in our old house) or shoes, but poo, vomit and dead things are all delicacies to him. The most frustrating thing is he digs up our flower beds looking for cat poo. He is quite the stinker. But he is worth all of it. Best dog ever!