If your Labradoodle eats everything that fits in their mouth, you have all the right reasons to be concerned. This behavior – where dogs eat everything that they find – is called scavenging.
The most common reason Labradoodles sometimes eat everything is that they are bored and their energy isn’t well-spent. It may also be because your dog is hungry, suffering from malnutrition, or poorly trained. Fortunately, there are several ways to fix this behavior.
First and foremost, you must try to understand why your dog is exhibiting this behaviour. You can then employ techniques accordingly to correct it. More severe cases of scavenging are called Pica, an eating disorder characterized by an obsessive urge to eat everything.
It can often be dangerous because they might be eating things like rubber toys, chicken bones, food wrappers, or even gross stuff like cat litter or soiled baby diapers.
Is It Normal for Labradoodles to Eat Everything?
As a whole, Labradoodles don’t have any specific breed-related characteristic that makes them eat everything, this behavior depends on the dog’s personality and surroundings. It varies in every dog and is most often seen in puppies and younger dogs.
Dogs are natural scavengers who are curious to explore their surroundings through their mouth. Most dogs get over the natural habit of satisfying their curiosity by eating everything with age; when they get proper meals and know what tastes good, they tend to forego the behavior. Some, however, continue to do this due to several reasons.
It is important to note that this is not usually a cause for concern if your puppy is simply eating grass. Grass sometimes provides vitamins that your pup needs and helps with their digestive system. Unless they are trying to eat poisonous plants, you do not need to worry.
Possible Reasons Your Dog Eats Everything
Excessive scavenging behavior varies from dog to dog. Some dogs are incredibly picky eaters and sniff and thoroughly check their food before eating it. Others gulp up everything, which can often cause serious concerns like choking or even poisoning.
If you are worried about this behavior in your Labradoodle, here are a few possible reasons it might be happening.
– Boredom – Humans tend to eat when they are bored. Believe it or not, the same is the case with some dogs. When they don’t get enough attention or playtime, and they have lots of pent-up energy and want to do something, they end up eating whatever they find.
– Stress or anxiety – If this is a new behavior in your dog, they may be stressed. Dogs sometimes start chewing and even eating things like rubber slippers, small toys, and even furniture when they suffer from separation anxiety.
– Malnutrition – It might be time to analyze your dog’s diet. Are you feeding them enough for their age, breed, and physical activity? For example, puppies need to eat much more often than adult dogs, so your young pup might be hungry.
If the food appears to be filling enough, is it missing any nutrients? Dogs sometimes instinctively begin eating everything if they lack the vital nutrients their bodies need.
– Intestinal parasites – Adult dogs need to be dewormed every 2-3 months, especially if they spend lots of time outdoors. If your dog hasn’t been dewormed in a while, intestinal parasites may be why they are eating everything and still feeling hungry.
– Training problems – Your dog eating everything could simply result from them not learning the meaning of ‘No’ or ‘Leave It.’ Most puppies naturally grow out of the habit because they hear their owners saying no when they try to chew something they aren’t supposed to. If your dog isn’t good with this command, they’ll simply continue the behavior.
– Underlying medical conditions – If none of the other possible reasons seem to be fitting, your dog may be suffering from an underlying condition that causes constant hunger. One such condition is called polyphagia, which is linked to diabetes, hyperthyroidism, and other conditions. A general checkup with your vet will clarify the situation.
How to Stop Your Labradoodle from Eating Everything
Depending on the apparent reason for the behavior, you can do several things to stop your puppy from scavenging.
– Change their diet to something they find tastier.
– Add more vitamins and nutrients to their diet.
– Spend more time with them.
– Make sure they get a walk and playtime every day.
– Give them strong rubber chew toys that cannot be torn apart.
– Whenever your dog puts something forbidden in their mouth, distract them by offering a tempting chew toy instead.
– Rule out any underlying problems with help from a vet.
If none of these things work and it appears that your dog simply isn’t trained to stop eating everything, it is time to employ some effective training techniques.
Teach Your Dog to Focus on You
Focus is the very first thing you should teach your new Labradoodle puppy since it forms the basis of all other commands. If your dog doesn’t know how to focus on you, they are likely not to obey other instructions as well.
To teach your dog to focus on you, follow this process:
– Hide a treat in one of your hands behind your back.
– With your other hand, try to get your dog’s attention. You can do this by snapping your fingers or waving a toy.
– As you do this, repeat a command like ‘Look at me!’ or simply call your dog’s name.
– When the dog looks at you, wait until they hold their attention on you for at least a few seconds.
– Give them the surprise treat when they do so.
– Repeat this often, eventually trying with just the command, without the finger-snapping or toy. When your dog looks at you at the given command, give them a treat and lots of love!
Perfect the ‘Leave It’ Command
This is perhaps one of the most important commands your dogs should know, so they can let go of harmful things whenever you ask them to.
There are several ways to teach this.
– Show your dog a small treat. When you have their attention, put the treat on the floor and cover it with your hand.
– Your dog will try to sniff and get to the treat. Let them do this without letting them have the treat.
– Wait patiently for your dog to back away. As soon as they do it, say ‘Leave It’ and give them the treat.
– Repeat this a few times till your dog learns they’ll get the treat when they leave it alone.
– To perfect this, put the treat on the floor but don’t cover it with your hand this time. Instead, say ‘Leave It.’ If your dog listens and waits patiently, give them the treat and lots of praise!
An alternative method to teach this is to hold a toy in your hand and let your dog chew it without you letting it go. When they let the toy go even for a moment, say ‘Leave It’ and give them a treat. Repeat this until the dog learns what Leave It means!
Keep correcting your dog’s behavior until they learn not to eat everything. Until then, it is a good idea to keep a close eye and puppy-proof your home. Labradoodles are curious but intelligent dogs, and they soon grow out of the habit with the proper training and attention!