The instinctive habit of dogs to sniff out everything along the way is actually harmful, and if your dog also picks up everything in its path, then this is a very bad habit that you definitely need to fight, because by picking up everything in a row, your dog collects mass microbe and infections, as a result of which it can get sick. In addition, she can find poison that is intended for rodents or eat some kind of spoiled product, which is also fraught.
The habit of dogs to pick up everything is absolutely natural, because their ancestors themselves were looking for their own food, sniffing out and picking up everything in a row. But our pets do not need this habit at all. And you can get rid of it very easily if you act correctly.
So, how to wean a dog to pick up anything from the ground. Here are a couple of tips from our zoopsychologist and his view of this problem in general:
In order for a dog to learn or unlearn something, it needs positive or negative reinforcement.
If your dog picks up from the ground, then:
1. You did not try to wean her from this, that is, either you did not forbid her to do this at all, or you did not give a sufficient measure of negative reinforcement. In this case, the dog takes his behavior for granted, and what he chooses himself serves as a positive reinforcement;
2. Maybe you are too sorry for your dog and do not give him the necessary measure of negative reinforcement, then the dog knows that everything will work out for him, and if you really want to, then you can afford it;
3. There is also an option that you gave an overly emotional reaction, it sometimes looks very funny, and dogs do not always regard it as negative, most often it turns into a game for them, and then they begin to provoke you on purpose. For example, you saw that your dog is picking up something, run to it, shout, start catching up to take it away, and even slap it. And now, your dog is all in awe of you and your emotions, starts to run away, it's fun to run after you. Or maybe, in the process of running away, pick up something else with thoughts: “I bet I will have time to pick up and eat before you catch up with me and do something.”
This is how a dog develops a desire, by all means, to pick up and eat something.
Therefore, I advise you to punish less emotionally, but so that the dog understands that you do not like it, and that you take it seriously without any game. Knowing that your dog has a bad habit, walk him for a period on a leash and when you see that he wants to pick up something, just pull the leash, it will not hurt your dog, but unpleasant enough, if it does not help, do the same, but a little sharper and stronger.
It's also good to use "no" or "fu" commands so that you can prevent or stop her trying to pick something up. When you give a forbidding command, your voice must be stern and even-handed.
I advise you to alternate the forbidding commands “no” or “fu” with the permissive “you can”. After all, where there is a prohibition, there must be permission, for balance, then the dog will not perceive the world as hostile. That is, at first you forbid picking up anything already lying there from the ground, but then you put your pet’s toy yourself and allow him to take it, accompanying this with the “you can” command. So you turn your pet's training into an interesting and entertaining game, and most importantly, a useful one - aimed at developing an understanding of what is good and what is bad, what is possible and what is not.
If you have a puppy or a young dog, then all these manipulations will give a result very soon, and your pet will form a new positive habit - “do not pick up anything”. The most optimal age for this is 4-6 months, a maximum of 12, then it will be a little more difficult, but still acceptable.
If your dog is already an adult, or even very mature, 4 years old or older, then I advise you to save your precious time and not torturing yourself and your pet - immediately contact the trainer. Since it will be extremely difficult to wean such a dog from anything on its own, it will take a lot of strength and patience. There are a lot of nuances here, and it is necessary to act very clearly.
If in the future you will have questions or need advice, you can always contact our specialist - animal trainer-zoopsychologist.
Thanks, very helpful tips! I used all of them when my dog was still a teenager)) but even now I don’t let her relax