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Training to not eat stuff at the barn

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  • Training to not eat stuff at the barn

    My year old aussie named Noodle is an awesome, pretty well behaved little dog. We have a small yard at home, so I occasionally bring him out to the barn with me where there is a lot of space for him to run. He LOVES it there. He takes his job "helping" me with the horses very seriously. He nevers lets me out of sight, and usually lies in the ring, or near my truck while I'm riding.

    The problems is when I'm in the barn getting ready to ride and not paying him much attention. He scours each stall for leftover grain, and picks up every kernel off the feed room floor. Then at home, 6 hours later, his intestines riot and expel everything. It's amazing to see that big a pile come from such a little guy! We feed a grain-free food at home, since he has a sensitive tummy, so I think it's just an overload but he finds any type of grain irresistible.

    One obvious answer would be to never take him to the barn, but that would be a bummer for both of us. I've also tried tying him, but would really rather train him to be more responsive. My old heart dog aussie went everywhere with me, and never had this issue even as a puppy.

    Noodle has completed one round of obedience training, and is signed up for a second, but our down - stays are pretty weak at this point. He does well with "leave it" at home, but not away from home with that much stimulus.

    What's the best training technique to help with this?

  • #2


    • #3
      I have a collie. Lassie-type, except he'd push Timmy into the well.

      He goes to the barn with me when I teach. I do not want to have to tell him 'leave-it" every time he investigates something undesirable. Grain, etc is generally kept up at the barn (in a totally different building) so it is not the main concern for The Collie. His problem is manure. ThreedogPack's suggested link technique works well for some - but not for The Collie. He uses a training collar/e-collar/hearing-aid whenever he is off leash. Its just my comfort level and training method. It works for us. Whenever he would go hover near a pile of manure I would use the "vibrate" button option for less than 1/2 a second. He does not like this sensation (but it doesn't HURT - just feels weird) and would drop the manure and scatter. Long story short? Ask The Collie and he will tell you "POOP BITES BACK!"

      He associates the funky feeling with the manure - not with me. It worked well for us, may not be the answer for you, but thought I'd share.


      • #4
        that's a tricky one. You can easily train a dog to "leave it", but that requires YOU to be watching your dog and be ready to give the "leave it" command- the fact that you aren't supervising your dog at the barn makes this unworkable.
        Can't you just shut the stall doors? or put your dog up in a crate or the car (if the temp is safe for that) while you get your horse ready? I think putting dogs in prolonged down-stays is disrespectful to the dog's needs, and tying dogs up is unsafe.
        personally not a fan of people who bring dogs to the barn and just let them run around unsupervised. If your dog needs more exercise, there are better ways to do that than letting them run around unsupervised at the barn.


        • #5
          Basket muzzle? I have one that scarfs everything, and I had to use it while at the barn. She gave me a dirty look, but at least it allowed her to wander in the barn while I muck stalls.

          She's not grain sensitive, but she would over indulge in poop. (ewww)


          • #6
            I have an Aussie too. She ate horse hooves treated with some chemical and had a $500. vet bill. Now we have chain hooked to a post with access to shade and water.


            • Original Poster

              I'm the only boarder at this barn. It's out in the country. So bringing the dog with me on occasion isn't bothering anyone, except me when I have to clean up after him when he overindulges.
              He's pretty well behaved considering his age, and at this point, limited training. I don't feel I should have to supervise him every second and would like to do more training to that end.
              Wondering why it's disrespectful of a dog's needs to ask him to stay in one spot for 15 minutes?
              Thanks for the suggestions - I like the technique in the link and will try that and ask for help at our next obedience session.
              I think a vibration collar might be too much for this dog - he's incredibly sensitive.
              Will have to think about a muzzle in the short term.


              • #8
                Originally posted by TBFAN View Post
                He's pretty well behaved considering his age, and at this point, limited training. I don't feel I should have to supervise him every second and would like to do more training to that end.
                the whole point of the link I put up earlier was self control on the dogs part.

                the problem with using an e collar is that if your dog doesn't make the connection you will still have to watch him like a hawk to time the zap correctly.

                Or it might be similar to yelling at a dog for going potty in the house, he might just wait till you aren't paying attention, the go poo diving and get a mouthful before you can hit the button. It teaches them to be sneaky. Dog have a tremendous ability to wait for the perfect moment when you are distracted.