Training

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2 min read

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How to Train Your Dog to Not Eat Grass

Training

|

2 min read

|

1

Comments

How to Train Your Dog to Not Eat Grass
Medium difficulty iconMedium
Time icon4-8 Weeks
Behavior training category iconBehavior

Introduction

 What can be grosser than when your dog pukes grass green vomit in the middle of the living room carpet? The answer to this question, as any dog owner can tell you, is: "not much." There are several reasons why your dog might be chowing down on the lawn when he gets a chance. These include to help with digestion, to add fiber to his diet, and "pica", which is a condition that gives your pup the desire to eat non-food items.

Keep in mind that your pup's ancestors would eat grasses, berries, roots, meat, and anything else they could find to eat out in the wild. It is also possible that the desire to eat grass and leaves is nothing more than a leftover trait from long ago. The good news is that with the proper training, you can teach your dog to stop grazing out in the backyard. It can also put an end to those puddles of green vomit in the middle of your carpet. 

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Defining Tasks

In the past, dogs may have eaten grass, berries, and anything else when they were hungry. However, today grass may be contaminated with a range of highly toxic herbicides, pesticides, waste from other animals, and many other substances that can harm or kill your dog. In order to get your dog to stop eating grass and many other items, you must teach him to obey the 'leave it' command. You can then use this same command to get him to stop chewing on or eating a wide range of items. 

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Getting Started

If you are determined to teach your dog how wrong it is for him to eat grass, you are embarking on a task that is likely to take quite a bit of time. This is because, even today, eating grass is something that most breeds do naturally and teaching them not to eat grass goes against their nature. 

To convince your dog there are better options out there, you'll need some tasty treats to reward him during training. You'll also need his leash handy, and for one method, a spray bottle filled with water to use as a deterrent. 

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The 'Leave It' Method

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1

Attach a leash

Attach your dog's leash and head out for a walk.

2

Use the command

When he shows interest in grazing, give the command, "leave it!" in a firm voice.

3

Call him back

Follow this by calling him back to you. Never use the leash to "reel him in". When he comes to you, praise him and give him a treat.

4

Rewards

If he does as he is told, give him a treat and plenty of praise. If he doesn't, keep working on this step until he complies.

5

Off-leash

Once he has mastered this behavior while on the leash, you should be able to do the same thing without his leash.

The 'Heel' Method

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1

Go for a walk

Attach your dog's leash and head out for a walk.

2

Use the 'heel' command

Each time he shows interest in dining out, use the 'heel' command.

3

When he returns

When he returns to your side without pulling on the leash, give him a treat and praise him.

4

If he gets it wrong

Never punish him for getting it wrong, just continue working with him until he gets it right every time. If your dog doesn't already know 'heel', work on it with him using a treat lure to keep him by your side or by stopping and turning each time he strays or pulls his lead.

5

Working with him off-leash

Once he has mastered bypassing the grass by walking to heel while on the leash, you can start working with him off-leash until he no longer wanders over to the nearest clump of grass and starts chowing down.

The Spray Bottle Method

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1

The spray bottle

Fill a spray bottle with fresh cold water.

2

Go for a walk

Go for a walk with your dog on his leash.

3

Just say no

Each time he wanders over to his favorite clump for a snack say "NO!"

4

In his face

Spray him in the face with the cold water at the same time. When he gets it and stops chowing, give him a treat and heap praise on him. In time, your furry friend will come to associate eating grass with getting sprayed in the face with cold water.

5

Be patient

While it might take a while, this harmless method of deterrent training can be a very effective way to stop him from doing things like eating grass, getting on the couch or bed, getting in the trash, and many others.

By PB Getz

Published: 01/31/2018, edited: 01/08/2021

Training Questions

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Training Questions and Answers

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Mia

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Golden Retriever

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2 Months

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Question

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I want to stop my dog from eating grass but every time i take her outside, the first thing she does is eat grass

May 28, 2020

Mia's Owner

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Darlene Stott - Dog Trainer and Groomer

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104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, does the grass make her sick? I have a dog who has the same impulsive habit to the extreme - he pulls up dirt along with the grass. I have to teach him to leave the grass alone every spring once the snow has left. And yes, in the winter, he replaces the grass with snow and ice! Use the Leave It command: https://wagwalking.com/training/leave-it. I suggest that you have a toy with you when outside and distract Mia with the toy (get involved in a game of fetch or tug of war) and gradually she may forget about the grass. If your training efforts do not work, you can ask the vet about it. Sometimes a dog will eat grass when they are missing something from their diet. All the best and enjoy little Mia!

May 29, 2020


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