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how to keep my dog from eating everything on the ground?


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my dog, while very sweet and cute, is not very smart. Every time I take her outside, she tries to eat things she shouldn't - leave, twigs, acorns, wood chips, you name it. We don't have a space where she can run that I can keep clear of things, we have to walk her down the street when she goes out. Sometimes the things she eats make her ill and I am concerned she could eat things even more dangerous. I try and take things away when she picks them up, but sometimes I can't get them.

Does anyone know how to make a dog stop doing this? 

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Are you feeding her enough? Do you switch dog food brands often/buy good quality? It sounds very, very strange for her to be going after things like that... stuff that would generally be unappealing to any dog. Even my mom's dumb as dirt ****zu isn't interested in leaves and twigs, even though he goes after everything that remotely looks like a crumb when he's in the house.

Maybe she is bored?

 She may need a chew toy? Does she have one? Even some older breeds like to chew on things. If they don't have something available to them, they seek out items. Lol  Or she might just be hungry, as Feanor suggested above. Playful, bored, or hungry that's my guess. Perhaps, you should try to feed her before you go out. She could be going through a growth spurt. Or just not getting enough nurishment. Or she may need more toys to play around with so she isn't seeking them out. Take a special chew toy with you places, so she has something she is allowed to chew on. Perhaps, even some form of treat. She might just be hungier than normal with the season change or something. Keep her busy when you're out so she's distracted by you. She may lose interest in scouting out things that way. Since she's scouting things to eat though I think it has to do with being hungry or playful and bored. 

I understand completely what you mean. My Princess (aka Lab) isn't smart but she's good. She's the best dog in the world. So sweet. Some dogs find their scent so they're constantly trying to sniff or find something to get.(Not necessary eat though.)  Our Labordor never cared about finding things until she was taken on a hunt. Then she realized she was a bird dog and was constantly sniffing and searching for a scent on the ground. It didn't last forever but it was just new to her. Not that she hadn't used her nose before. I'm sure she had but it was a different level of sniffing. So she was excited by it. =-P She wanted to catch the scent of something, so she would search for it. You may look google qualities of her breed also for help. 
best dog chew in the universe are bullysticks.

you should also teach your dog a leave it command or a drop it command.  the leave command is easier to teach.  start with treats thrown on the floor and when the dog goes for it say leave it, then block them from getting it.  eventually you'll just have to say leave it without the blocking.  when you get that down move it outside.  take treats with you and stop and toss one to the ground.  when the dog goes for it say leave it and block if you need to.  if the dog stops then it gets the treat.  the command is useful for many things but eating things found outside is its greatest use.  my dog will still eat somethings sometimes if they are really yummy.  trying watching these:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hK2-DNKx9LY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0IYwLW8QdA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jaLyBp77Wco

there are millions of videos for every problem you are having with a dog.
 Youtube has lots of tutorials that may help. Great suggestion, Jewels.
I have a beagle & they are terrible chewers.  We got him at 8 weeks, so we saw all the stages of growth pretty much.  In my experience, the best way to prevent them from getting into things is to feed them till their bellies are full, and exahust them.  I would put Cooper's food out & let him eat till he was full, then put his leash on him and walk & run him all around the neighborhood, till he was so tired he could barely keep his eyes open.  A tired dog is a happy dog.  They like to be stimulated-to have a purpose.  Get her a kong toy that you can stuff.  You can put peanut butter ot the kong stuff that comes in a can inside the Kong chewie and it gives her something to occupy her time/attention. 
This is not at all uncommon.  Puppies (and dogs) are very curious....think of a toddler, everything goes in their mouth because that's the most acute sense.  Same thing with dogs....except they use their mouth AND nose :)

My puppy does this, and I taught her the "leave it" command as jewels recommended (whether she decides to listen to me or not is another story...lol..the joy of puppy ownership).  You may want to try a dog training class as well, they will teach things in addition to the leave it command.

Good Luck!
this has nothing to do with what you are feeding your dog. i agree with the above posters who suggested teaching a leave it command.

start out somewhere with no distractions, like your kitchen or living room. get a bunch of treats, some just regular old ones (we'll call them low value), and some SUPER tasty (high value) ones (like chicken, hotdog, cheese or anything your dog goes nuts for). put them in a pouch or pocket out of sight but easy to reach, like behind your back.

 get your dog to sit, and place one of the low value treats on the floor. put your hand over it. the dog will start sniffing and pawing at your hand. don't try the command yet, just let her paw and sniff. the SECOND she looks away from the covered treat at all. say "YES!" and give her some of the high value treat. repeat the process. when you see her starting to get the idea, giving up on the covered treat quickly, say the command when she starts pawing the treat. next try leaving the treat uncovered, but be ready to cover it quick if she goes for it. work your way up slowly. next try the same thing with different objects she likes. then try it out in the yard, then on a walk. alway carry treats with you on walks in the beginning. when she goes for that hunk of bark or whatever, eventually you should be able to say leave it and she will look at you for a treat. evenutally you don't need to give her a treat everytime you use the command, but it's a good idea to do it once in a while to keep her guessing.

PM me if you have any questions i'd love to help!  
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