Administrator & Alpha Bitch of the Wild Bunch
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Michigan, USA
Re: Training not to eat potentially poisonous food
You can train a dog to eat only under specific conditions. What those conditions are is up to you. It can be only eating out of a certain bowl or in a certain location, only eating when given permission via a verbal phrase or hand signal, etc...
Then, theoretically, he won't eat if those conditions aren't met. So he won't eat the rat poison or poisoned meat or anything else....theoretically.
I say theoretically because it takes a LOT of work to do this, a very intense proofing phase that will probably involve a rather high degree of compulsion, and most importantly absolute consistency. The most difficult part will be that consistency because every single morsel he eats must be under those conditions... so no treats, no getting crumbs off the floor, no food based training, no treats stuffed in kongs for pleasure chewing, no bully sticks or marrow bones for chewing, no tracking.... the list goes on.
And even after all that, he's still a dog and dogs like to eat. So it will never be 100% reliable.
Plus there are many potential pitfalls. If someone has to babysit the dog, or he has to be boarded at the vet or a kennel, or any number of other situations where the common triggers that he knows give him permission to eat aren't there, obviously you could have major problems. He either won't eat under those situations because he's been trained not to, or he will eat and completely undo all that training.
Really, it's a lot easier AND safer just to supervise and use common sense in prevention. Don't leave rat poison around where the dog can get it, don't leave him outside unattended all day where someone could poison him, etc...
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.