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Have you owned a dog that waits until you’re away at work or outside the home doing yard work for an opportunity to do a bit of dumpster diving in your kitchen garbage? Many of us have, and stopping your dog’s garbage forays can have you pulling you hair out. Once a dog has begun this behavior many dog owners are at a loss as how to put a stop to it. Well you are in luck because we have a simple tip you can use to stop this behavior for good.
Our first step is to sit down and consider the situation. Yes, your dog may actually be smarter than most of the people you know, but he or she is still a dog with limiting cognitive abilities. Now that we understand this fact, we can begin to formulate our plan for stopping your dog’s garbage forays.
Scolding your dog for ripping open the garbage hours after the fact is not going to solve the problem. He only understands a scolding when it takes place during the act of him behaving improperly. This type of punishment is only going to confuse the dog and in many instances he will either snap back at you, or become timid when you are in his presence, so avoid making this very common mistake.
What is needed is training using positive reinforcement. This is by far the best technique for training any dog to behave as you want. Positive reinforcement is you give a command, the dog obeys, and they you shower him with love, praise, and perhaps a favorite tasty treat. Using this dog training method your dog will quickly begin to put two and two together and understand if he behaves as certain way he is going to make you happy, and all dogs want to please their owners, plus he will receive a treat to snack on.
Here is what you need to do. Eliminate the temptation. Yes, it really is that simple. If Max does not have easy access to the garbage he is not going to have a chance to dive in. The most common remedy is to locate your kitchen garbage can under the sink so it is behind closed doors. While this is technically not using the positive reinforcement method it works and should your pooch discover he can paw the door open and still get a meal add a simple latch to the door to prevent this.
Stopping your dog’s garbage forays is simple when you use this trick.
How do you deal with a dog raiding the garbage? Please leave your tips and comments below.
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Labs are notorious food hounds, so I never assume it’s the dog’s fault when mine get into food. The only “garbage” I put into trash cans that stay in the house is clean paper: catalogs, mail, etc. I keep plastic shopping bags next to the sink, and as soon as I finish with something in the kitchen, I immediately take it to the trash can in the garage. This keeps my dogs from getting into the trash, and also keeps them from eating something that could potentially hurt them (bones, aluminum foil, ziploc bags).