Muzzle for Acorn Obsessed Havanese??? - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 49 (permalink) Old 12-06-2018, 01:59 PM Thread Starter
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Muzzle for Acorn Obsessed Havanese???

This little of mine snaps up these acorns on his walks and chews on them like a fine delicacy. He is crazy for them and all of our sidewalks, roads are covered with them. Million of them.
He got sick the other day probably from snapping up a couple and eating them. He is on a short leash and I watch him like crazy and he still gets them. Probably 4 every walk. He will "drop it" or "leave it" IF I say it but how he snaps them up so fast, I will never know.
Any ideas on what to do? Is a muzzle the answer?
I feel like a failure. Every time he gets one. Thanks for any advice.
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post #2 of 49 (permalink) Old 12-06-2018, 04:38 PM
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I can offer no advice except to say that the speed with which our Hav can grab the back of the tv remote and dart off with it is unbelievable. So, I understand how hard it is to manage! if my kids would stop losing it off of the back of the remote it would solve all of my problems It’s the weirdest thing, how much he loves that piece of plastic. I can’t even imagine contending with an object he sees as food and is all around him! None of the trees or plants close to us are dangerous, but there’s a bush with berries along a sidewalk we have to avoid, and it’s one bush and kind of a pain. If I forget and don’t cross before he sees it he tries to dash off to it. It’s hard to control acorns when they aren’t in your own yard in many parts of the country, so don’t beat yourself up. I’m sure someone will offer better advice!

Last edited by EvaE1izabeth; 12-06-2018 at 04:46 PM.
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post #3 of 49 (permalink) Old 12-06-2018, 08:04 PM
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A muzzle would be a way of managing the situation, but it would be a shame to have to muzzle him for every walk. I would dedicate all future outings as training sessions until the behaviour is controlled. Bring high value treats and reward/throw a party everytime he “leaves it”. Not if he grabs the acorn, mind you, give the command as soon as he even looks at one so he learns not to even pick them up.. If he looks to you instead, reward. Use a lot of movement like stepping backwards excitedly so he moves towards you to get the treat, then turn and carry on with the walk. Try and keep his attention on you instead of the ground. If he manages to grab an acorn either remove it from his mouth or use the drop it command. You might have to do this every step of the way and you might not get too far on the walk at first, but if he is truly eating them (and other, potentially worse, things off the ground) then this training is very important and worth the time it will take.
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post #4 of 49 (permalink) Old 12-06-2018, 08:17 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by EvaE1izabeth View Post
I can offer no advice except to say that the speed with which our Hav can grab the back of the tv remote and dart off with it is unbelievable. So, I understand how hard it is to manage! if my kids would stop losing it off of the back of the remote it would solve all of my problems It’s the weirdest thing, how much he loves that piece of plastic. I can’t even imagine contending with an object he sees as food and is all around him! None of the trees or plants close to us are dangerous, but there’s a bush with berries along a sidewalk we have to avoid, and it’s one bush and kind of a pain. If I forget and don’t cross before he sees it he tries to dash off to it. It’s hard to control acorns when they aren’t in your own yard in many parts of the country, so don’t beat yourself up. I’m sure someone will offer better advice!
Stealing the remote is pretty cute! He must be a crafty little knowing how much attention he will get!
We just came back from a walk(it's dark and I shine a flashlight on him for the whole walk), and he managed to get 3. I am so busy between shining the flashlight, holding onto the leash, watching to see if he gets any, telling him to leave it, drop it..it's almost like a comedy routine!
How fast and crafty these little ones are is amazing!
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post #5 of 49 (permalink) Old 12-06-2018, 08:32 PM Thread Starter
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Every walk, we encounter probably thousands of the loved acorns. Every sidewalk square has probably 50 of them and he tries to get every last one. The roads are covered in them too but they are usually crushed which makes for easier snacking. If he got a treat for every one he "leaves" or "drops", he'd probably be as fat as a little pig! Not sure if that is the answer.
Hopefully, I can resolve this before he gets one stuck inside a body part like his throat or an intestine. I think I will try bringing a couple treats to keep his attention off the acorns.
The thing that really bugs me is that I am one of the few homes without the oak trees that drop the acorns but they end up at my place too. I clean them up off the sidewalk every day! A couple hours later, they are back!
I wonder if he would realize why he was being muzzled and stop eating the stinking acorns!
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post #6 of 49 (permalink) Old 12-06-2018, 09:50 PM
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If he got a treat for every one he "leaves" or "drops", he'd probably be as fat as a little pig!
My dog’s favorite prepackaged treats must be the most processed, artificial “food” known to man because they smell SO strong that he sniffs my fingers for like 5 minutes after I give him one. I’m not about to give up his highest value treat (next to cheese) as a tool, but they smell bad and I also want to control how much “candy” he gets, so I cut them into the tiniest pieces and only use them for certain things. They are seriously 1/16” bits, but he will still do anything for them. I still worry he’s going to get fat, though, because DS told me that in his attempts to become Puppy’s favorite he has given him the reserved treats!
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post #7 of 49 (permalink) Old 12-06-2018, 09:52 PM
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Stealing the remote is pretty cute! He must be a crafty little knowing how much attention he will get!
Haha, I’ll have to tell my kids he figured out what the remote does and he’s trying to get them to play!
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post #8 of 49 (permalink) Old 12-06-2018, 10:08 PM
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Every walk, we encounter probably thousands of the loved acorns. Every sidewalk square has probably 50 of them and he tries to get every last one. The roads are covered in them too but they are usually crushed which makes for easier snacking. If he got a treat for every one he "leaves" or "drops", he'd probably be as fat as a little pig! Not sure if that is the answer.
Stop thinking of the walk as a walk. Your pup in not allowed to go on a walk until he learns to ignore the acorns. Start with something you can succeed with. Clear your driveway or whatever of all acorns except one and work on getting past just that one ... then two ... etc. until you can start moving down the street. Again, this could take many trips outside.
Portion out both his meal and treat allowance and use all of that food to train, when it runs out, you’re done for the day.
Make things more convenient for yourself with a strap on headlamp instead of a flashlight.
Time and patience : )


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post #9 of 49 (permalink) Old 12-06-2018, 11:39 PM
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facorite treats

Quote:
Originally Posted by EvaE1izabeth View Post
My dog’s favorite prepackaged treats must be the most processed, artificial “food” known to man because they smell SO strong that he sniffs my fingers for like 5 minutes after I give him one. I’m not about to give up his highest value treat (next to cheese) as a tool, but they smell bad and I also want to control how much “candy” he gets, so I cut them into the tiniest pieces and only use them for certain things. They are seriously 1/16” bits, but he will still do anything for them. I still worry he’s going to get fat, though, because DS told me that in his attempts to become Puppy’s favorite he has given him the reserved treats!
Perry has one of those favorite treats - we refer to it as "puppy crack" lol. All I have to do is touch the bag and he's bouncing all over the place, lunging towards it, etc (he doesn't get it til he's sitting calmly but he can't seem to help himself otherwise it's so enticing!) I do use them sometimes when it's not a high value training/ reward, but I also break them into tiny pieces. For example, we were playing with the ball the other day and I needed to reinforce the 'bring' command so he was getting a treat every time he brought it back to me... I was able to make one of those little square treats last for around 9 throws so a really good session of chasing the ball only used 3 treats. Of course that might be impossible on a walk where you're juggling leash, watching them like a hawk, etc, but it is possible to use tiny bits of treat - Perry didn't seem to care how big it was, just that he got it .
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post #10 of 49 (permalink) Old 12-06-2018, 11:48 PM Thread Starter
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My boy doesn't even get treats. He thinks a kernel of dog food is a treat. It's pretty smelly, Salmon and Sweet Potato. He'd just about stand on his head for it. I keep the open bag in a sealed storage bin and usually buy 2 5 lbs. bags at a time. I can smell the unopened bag that is in the closet from 20 feet away. It's that bad. Ordering another storage bin for the extra bag!
I must be a bad dog mom for not having treats.
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