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My sweet 6 mo. old girl has swallowed a dozen socks since we’ve had her. Majority of them, we didn’t even know she found one so that was scary. A few, we did, but she swallowed them in seconds. The last one- led to a serious vet visit. We've gated off areas, but my kids invariably forget to close a door or drop something.

I think we have a resource guarding issue. If she gets anything cloth she’ll try to swallow it immediately. It’s dangerous and I’m afraid. I’ve tried trading a high value item, but by the time I get one, she’s already swallowed.

I’m going to work with a private trainer in a week, but also looking for any tips I can start now. I love this girl - and I fully expect she’ll try to do it again. Can this even be broken?
 

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You are doing exactly the right thing getting a trainer to help. There are some things you can start working on.

Teach her to trade for a high value treat. You start this training by asking her to trade you something she doesn't place high value on for something better, and eventually work up to asking her to give up something she really likes, like a sock, for something you offer.

Also teach her bring things to you, don't chase her, rattle the treat bag and call her to you, "bring it to me" happy voice, and then reward when she comes, and reward when she gives.

Both of these are things you practice when it's NOT urgent to get what she has, so that if you do have an urgent need to get something from her she has learned a habit of bring it to you or trading for something.

No scolding, make it a very positive happy thing for you to approach and offer a trade, or for her to bring what she has to you.

Teaching a "leave it" command is also a good tool. The trainer should be able to show you how to train that one, it's hard to put in writing.
 

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If not already done, I would have your vet examine your dog. I had a Beagle long ago, that swallowed a small part of a towel which had wrapped itself up in the large intestines! He had to have a bowel resection and almost did not survive. (Happily he pulled through).
I always deal with behavioral issues AFTER possible medical ones. He stopped eating socks, underwear, and towels after I taught him myself.
 

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If not already done, I would have your vet examine your dog. I had a Beagle long ago, that swallowed a small part of a towel which had wrapped itself up in the large intestines! He had to have a bowel resection and almost did not survive. (Happily he pulled through).
I always deal with behavioral issues AFTER possible medical ones. He stopped eating socks, underwear, and towels after I taught him myself; without assistance from an outside party.
 

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Puddles
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For heavens sake puppy proof your house and keep the socks picked up so the pup can't get them??? Training is always good but prevention is the 1st thing to do. It's not like the puppy is opening a dresser drawer to get the socks!

Addition: If all you ever do is take the prize away it's instinct to start protecting it, so you are actually teaching this puppy to protect the prize. Look at this from the perspective of the puppy... you need to teach the pup to bring the prize to you and return it so there is no reason to gulp it down or hide or protect the prize.

When your kids were little did you leave draino or meds where they could get them? No, you provided a safe environment. This puppy is exactly the same, they don't know what's safe any more than the kids did.
You taught your children to share their toys? You need to do the same with the puppy. Sharing is a giving and taking of something.... kids that don't know how to share will hide any possession they think will be taken or removed.
So provide a safe place to live, reward for bringing the prize to you (safe prize) and return it right back to the puppy. Surgery to remove something is a really expensive and tough way to learn safety.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
For heavens sake puppy proof your house and keep the socks picked up so the pup can't get them??? Training is always good but prevention is the 1st thing to do. It's not like the puppy is opening a dresser drawer to get the socks!

Addition: If all you ever do is take the prize away it's instinct to start protecting it, so you are actually teaching this puppy to protect the prize. Look at this from the perspective of the puppy... you need to teach the pup to bring the prize to you and return it so there is no reason to gulp it down or hide or protect the prize.
When your kids were little....
Appreciate all the wisdom here - thank you! But Puddles, your judgmental tone is a bummer. Clearly I’m taking responsibility in a public forum, admitting our mistake and our problem - this is our third Golden and our others never showed a bit of interest in socks, so this came as a surprise.

The house is now gated off. Kids have been warned and reminded multiple times. Do you have children?

I was asking for advice to deal with the resource guarding in advance of a trainer coming. I recognize this is very serious, which is why I came here asking for ideas.

Most of you gave helpful wisdom, so thanks. Tonight I started offering a treat whenever she was playing with a favorite item. She began to drop once she learned treats were involved. So I’ll keep working on that at every chance.

Just a final thought - there’s so much wisdom on this forum. It would be a shame if even one novice pet owner didn't post a question for fear of judgy responses. 😊
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you. She actually did see the vet. They x-rayed, saw a sock, removed it via enema, but also did have to open her up since x-ray was inconclusive if there was something else in there. There wasn’t. Scary and expensive lesson. That’s why we are taking this so seriously. We adore her.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
You are doing exactly the right thing getting a trainer to help. There are some things you can start working on.

Teach her to trade for a high value treat. You start this training by asking her to trade you something she doesn't place high value on for something better, and eventually work up to asking her to give up something she really likes, like a sock, for something you offer.

Also teach her bring things to you, don't chase her, rattle the treat bag and call her to you, "bring it to me" happy voice, and then reward when she comes, and reward when she gives.

Both of these are things you practice when it's NOT urgent to get what she has, so that if you do have an urgent need to get something from her she has learned a habit of bring it to you or trading for something.

No scolding, make it a very positive happy thing for you to approach and offer a trade, or for her to bring what she has to you.

Teaching a "leave it" command is also a good tool. The trainer should be able to show you how to train that one, it's hard to put in writing.
Thank you. Very good tips. We started with the trading tonight. I haven’t rattled the treat bag but I see the huge value of training her to come to me. I appreciate the reminder of a happy tone of voice too.
 

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Appreciate all the wisdom here - thank you! But Puddles, your judgmental tone is a bummer. Clearly I’m taking responsibility in a public forum, admitting our mistake and our problem - this is our third Golden and our others never showed a bit of interest in socks, so this came as a surprise.

The house is now gated off. Kids have been warned and reminded multiple times. Do you have children?

I was asking for advice to deal with the resource guarding in advance of a trainer coming. I recognize this is very serious, which is why I came here asking for ideas.

Most of you gave helpful wisdom, so thanks. Tonight I started offering a treat whenever she was playing with a favorite item. She began to drop once she learned treats were involved. So I’ll keep working on that at every chance.

Just a final thought - there’s so much wisdom on this forum. It would be a shame if even one novice pet owner didn't post a question for fear of judgy responses. 😊
So very well said! <especially the last sentence!>
The loss of new pet owners here has been unfortunate.

Kudos and best wishes with your dog!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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So glad your girl is okay after that ordeal. It is nearly impossible to keep the floor 100% sock-free with kids around.

We had a dog who ate those small footie socks. We had to use peroxide to make him vomit socks several times with good results, luckily never had to have an operation to remove socks. His cousin did have to have surgery to remove a sock, guess it ran in the family lol.

Our current dog eats everything including sticks, dirt, moss and rocks. We're working on training as well, but it's hard to trust that training alone will fix this problem. Our trainer suggested a muzzle for situations where it would be hard to control her grabbing and swallowing stuff. I don't love the idea of a muzzle, but it is a safety issue as you've mentioned.

Best of luck!
 

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I had no idea Max had swallowed a sock until vomiting it at my feet. Max always loved eating my son's socks after playing tennis. I caught Max attempting to eat the second sock getting it just as he was prancing off with his award. Goldens love eating socks or should I type Goldens just loving chewing and eating anything.
Every day I take a few minutes touring the home making sure their toys are still safe and there are no clothing available. Yogi likes to eat hand towels........
I work on this fettish daily praising him for not chewing it. Honestly you need to be proactive and make sure there are no socks available to chew. Raising a dog takes years .
Just don't leave the temptation out. I know it sounds easier said then done but I would hate to lose a dog to a foreign object ingestion.
 
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