Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Obsessive grass eating
I need some suggestions for dealing with my pit bull mix's latest obsession - grass. Now I know a lot of dogs like to "graze". In fact, Coke and Legend will also chomp on grass if they are bored or I let them outside and forget to feed them after I've been gone all day. Indy is taking this to a completely different level.
She has always been absolutely obsessed with food. If I am preparing a snack, she will sit there with her eyes popping out, drooling, and teeth chattering like crazy. I actually cannot use food in certain aspects of her training because she looses her mind. She eats like every meal is the first meal she's had in weeks. She also eats pretty much anything that isn't nailed down when it comes to small objects and debris. She's not destructive in the house, but eats anything small - leaves, woodchips, etc. Acorns are another obsession of hers but luckily we don't have them at home, I only have to deal with that for two weeks while we're at the cottage. Anyway, normally when I catch her grazing I verbally correct her, or if I'm inside I rap on the window and she stops. For a while I didn't think much of it, but starting this week she has now pooped in the house FOUR times (she has never previously had an accident since I've had her) and every time it has been this absolutely rancid poop that is basically like gooey grass. I'm posting this in the behavior section because I really think this is a behavioral issue, like she's neurotic. She is a very energetic, high drive dog and is very sweet with us but she is also pretty soft, sometimes kind of anxious.
So far what I've done is let her out to potty and then put her back inside. I hate doing this though because she has a lot of fun outside with Legend and she also is not a clingy dog, she doesn't mind being outside and napping in the sun, but if I can't literally watch her every second she will quickly start chomping mouthfuls of grass between wrestling matches with Legend or playing with toys. Today it got really hot here and I was outside a lot but working on chores and couldn't be watching her like a hawk so I threw some empty peanut butter containers in the yard. The few times I checked, she was working on those rather than eating grass so that may help, but I won't be able to bait her with treats every time we go out.
I'm just curious if anyone's seen this before and how you handled it. Again, this is not the occasional grass grazing or even puking grass and bile (Coke does that). She is literally inhaling it and when she poops it out, it's like a Great Dane sized poop (she weighs less than 40lbs). She poops 2-3 times a day and they are larger poops than my GSDs,the majority of it looks like a wet bird's nest. Also I'm sick of cleaning up the rancid mess when she has accidents. Up until this week she's been a wonderful dog in the house, either free or in a crate, and had never had an accident.