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JJ's a monster. A sweet, lovable monster at that.

My girlfriend and I spent a small fortune to fence in our front yard a few months ago, and since then we have hardly been able to let JJ out there without being on a leash. He loves to rip up and eat the grass, and an occasional leaf here and there. He'll only do this in our yard, too. If we take him to the dog park or our friends houses, he wont bother with the grass in their yard. I've been trying to break him of doing it but so far he just doesn't understand that it's not acceptable.

I never made a game out of chasing him around, trying to get it out of his mouth. I've tried redirecting his attention with a ball, but all he does is chase the ball down, stop where it stops, and then eats the grass next to it. If by chance he does pick the ball up, he'll run with it for a minute, drop it, and go back to eating the grass.

I leave him on a long 12ft lead so that whenever he does start eating grass, I can reel him in and take it out of his mouth. I tell him "No", pull whatever it may be out of his mouth, and then say "That's it, you're going inside now" and take him in. I was hoping he would get the picture that if he eats grass, sticks, leaves or whatever, playtime outside comes to an end, but I've been following this routine for about over a month now and I'm seeing no results.

Any suggestions here? Should I just let him eat the grass until he throws up and learns himself that it's no good? I should maybe also mention for those that don't know, JJ's been having some issues with his stool and a sensitive stomach could be a possibility. So I don't know if he's eating grass just to misbehave, or if he's doing it cause his stomach bothers him.
 

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Is he just eating grass, or is he ripping up the whole thing and eating clumps of grass and dirt?

Cookie will occasionally graze on grass. People have told me that dogs are omnivores and it is normal to eat some plants, so I never stopped her. We don't use any fertilizer or pesticide on our grass though.

If he's ripping up grass and digging, then that's something that I would try to stop...but beyond what you have tried already, I'm not sure what else to suggest. Normally I just redirect with a toy.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Is he just eating grass, or is he ripping up the whole thing and eating clumps of grass and dirt?

Cookie will occasionally graze on grass. People have told me that dogs are omnivores and it is normal to eat some plants, so I never stopped her. We don't use any fertilizer or pesticide on our grass though.

If he's ripping up grass and digging, then that's something that I would try to stop...but beyond what you have tried already, I'm not sure what else to suggest. Normally I just redirect with a toy.
Most of the time he's just eating grass to eat grass.

There's this one area in our yard though with dead, dried up grass, and that's where he'll rip it up in clumps, eating the dirt and all.
 

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Dog Lover
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Jj

Is JJ throwing up after he eats the grass. I was thinking he might be eating it because he has an upset stomach.
 
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Max does the exact same thing!!!!

He drops the ball, then proceeds to rip up the grass all around where the ball is. Sometimes he digs up dirt and all, and he acts really proud of himself when he accomplishes that. It's like WOOHOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I GOT ME SOME DIRT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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Peyton does the same exact thing and ripped up some nice sod today when I was putting away Christmas decorations. She first started it at the mole tunnels and now anywhere is game. She will stop playing ball and start ripping up chunks of sod, dirt and all.

Look guilty?

 

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Peyton does the same exact thing and ripped up some nice sod today when I was putting away Christmas decorations. She first started it at the mole tunnels and now anywhere is game. She will stop playing ball and start ripping up chunks of sod, dirt and all.

Look guilty?

Guilty? Nope. She is looking proud :D. As for JJ, I think they just love just love the taste of the grass and dirt. My darling does the same thing...:eek:
 

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Banker has backed off on this since we added green beans to the meals. Not perfect, but much less.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
Is JJ throwing up after he eats the grass. I was thinking he might be eating it because he has an upset stomach.
No, he's never thrown up from eating grass, or from anything else for that matter. That's the thing though, I don't know if he's eating it cause he think it's fun and he likes the taste, or if he's eating it cause his stomach bothers him. He's never thrown up from eating it cause he's never gotten the chance to swallow that much at one time since I'm usually right there to stop him.
 

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Leo does this - always have to supervise him in the garden because of all the holes he makes in my parents lawn! He especially does it next to where the toys land. As quickly as possible he'll grab mouthfuls and spit them out, usually gets about 4 or 5 goes at it before I get to him to stop it! But he always keeps one eye on me getting closer, and knows to grab the last mouthful, run off with it and eat it!
No suggestions sorry - but I know its definitely not due to an upset stomach..just an annoying puppy thing (hopefully!)
 

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Your thread got me curious so I did a google and found this informative article. Perhaps add more exercise and fiber to your doggies diet, according to them. My boy will sometimes eat grass but he seems to only go for the top of the blades.

Why Do Dogs Eat Grass? on MedicineNet
 

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I have a boxer who grazes..always has and never gets sick. It's annoying to us but it's just what he does. My jrt does it on occasion and think he learned it off the boxer. The golden just digs mainly, will catch her eating leaves off of certain plants. We also never use pesticides or fertilizers back there because of it. Some dogs graze, sometimes I think it does help settle stomachs down. I would keep trying for a bit more to stop it, hopefully it's a phase and will pass! Good luck!
 

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Those of you who say your dogs graze, do you allow them to do so? I dunno if I should just let him go for it, or continue to try and stop him. He just doesn't get it. As I said before, whenever he starts I tell him "No", then I take whatever it is out of his mouth and say, "That's it, we're going inside now". He won't even fight with me to go inside either. He'll follow me right to the door.

Grass isn't something that's going to cause a blockage either, is it? My only worry really is the rocks he may pull up in the process of eating the dirt.
 

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Wyatt Earp
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My Cody grazed on grass all his life. No problems. Wyatt does sometimes but he did go thru a period of pulling up clumps in which we had to stop before he ruined our yard:p: Now he just grazes once in awhile.
 

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This is exactly what my Koda does. I think JJ and her are close in age too...she will be playing, drop the ball, grab a big clump of grass and dirt and run. Urghhh it frustrates us to no end. I don't let her eat it unless she swallows before I can get to her. She is on a lead too so it's a matter of reeling her in in time.

We do what you do and bring her in if she is consistently doing it. Sometimes its once, we stop it and she goes about playing again.

I don't know what else to do either though..sorry...just letting you know you aren't alone and hopefully it is a phase they go through!
 

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Lola grazes while I "pick up the poop" every day. She has been doing this for 5 months now. No harm in it at all.
 

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I've tried to stop my boxer, but guess didn't stick with it long enough..I gave up. It's not gonna hurt him so to save my Sanity I just accepted it. I guess he has a lil bit of cow in him :)
 

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Brooks is very particular about his grass, he likes it best right after a rain when it has grown quickly so is very tender, and he has certain grass types he eats.
 

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Maisie, too

Maisie does this, too, and not just at home. She'll tear up grass and dirt when we've stopped to chat with our neighbors after they've greeted and petted her and she's lying down. She turns into a puppy bull dozer! It's embarassing...

I've asked her vet about it and she says pups will eat anything, just correct her.
 

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I have a suggestion to stop this behaviour.

I actually think grazing is fine. But pulling up clumps and eating dirt isn't. My pup is just recovering from a nasty bacterial stomach bug and is on antibiotics, and it is so sad seeing him sick. Who knows which of the million things his mouth got into made him sick, but you may be sure I will be training harder to stop him. This behaviour is called 'zen'.

Firstly, the next time he bring up a clump you need to have a whole bunch of his favourite treats ready to go. Reel him in and retrieve the clump, but keep him close to you. Keep the clump slightly out of his reach. If he lunges for it or anything, just wait it out (you may want to tether him to something so you can concentrate on moving the clump around). Once he has calmed down and isn't going for the clump either use a clicker to click (an iClick is considered the best) or just say 'yes!' in a happy tone the instant he does calm down, followed by a great treat. Start moving the clump around, further away, *click* closer, *click* etc ... slowly getting closer over time. Ignoring lunging and marking all good behaviour with yes/click then immediately a treat.

What you are trying to get into your pups head is that he is better off not touching the clump, because he will get good things. End the session after about 5 minutes on a high note. The next session you hopefully should be able to leave the clump in front of him, and just feed him treats for leaving it alone. Then maybe the next one wave it around his face, head etc.

Then I would move him over to the dry patch you spoke about, re-teach a little bit, because dogs aren't good generalisers and need to be reminded about what they have learnt when they move to a new place. Then put the clump kind of back on/in the grass and play with it with your hand a bit. If he ignores it, click/yes and LOTS of treats! When your pup does something especially right we call the heap of treats we give a jackpot and trust me, they remember it.

Then eventually let him start playing on the long line again, click/yessing and treating every now and again if he continues to not pull up clods when he's in that dry area. If he really loves doing this, you will have to pull out all stops with your treats by the way, real meat probably, chicken with a tiny bit of garlic works with most dogs. Eventually he could come off the long line, but remember to reinforce occasionally. Then start phasing out the treats.

Sorry this has been so long, it is hard to explain more quickly. You may know clicker training already, in which case I could have shortened it...... but oh well. It may sound complex or difficult, but it isn't. It's just gradual steps, rewarding the good moves focused towards what you want him to do. You could use this to stop him touching grass entirely if you wanted also.

If you are interested in using this technique and have any questions I'd be happy to answer them.
 
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