Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Yellow Labrador Retriever is Crazy for Food - part I

Subject: My yellow Labrador Retriever is crazy for food - part I

From: Electa (Canada)

Labrador Retriever Name: Furgus "The Hungry"

Reader's E-mail - Electa Writes:

We have a 8 month old yellow lab. He is a sweet smart lovable dog except one thing... he is crazy for food. I don't mean the typical counter surf every once and a while. I don't mean may steal a nice juicy steak from your plate no. This dog is insane for food all the time. He is never turned off.

We feed him and he will then try and get into the garbage. He steals food from the kids. He shredded my husbands book and ate the cover because it had a little apple juice spilled on it. He has torn open I don't know how many garbage bags. This is in a city where we compost all of our food stuff so the most he can smell is a wrapper. He will eat the wrapper. He has eaten a whole bar of soap. He has eaten plastic, paper etc. This is not a household that leaves stuff around and he has his areas he is allowed. His favourite is a dirty diaper.

Please any help you can provide. He is a nice size dog. I don't want to increase his food too much or he may become over weight. He gets plenty of exercise and he is fed a very high quality organic no additives dog food. I am starting to think it is a waste of money considering how much garbage he eats. Well I am sorry for going on but if we could get this handled he might be the best pup ever. Aside from the food thing he is a smart obedient dog.

Thanks for any help
Electa and Furgus the Hungry

All About Labradors Blog Response:

Hello Electa,

How are you. Thank you for visiting the All About Labradors blog, I hope you find it to be of help to you and Furgus.

Continue Reading...

Please don't think you are rambling on, as the more information you let me know, the better.

I have a couple of things to ask.

What king of food do you feed Furgus (name brand and flavor)?

Do you feed him any treats?

Has Furgus had any injuries or other condition that required him to take steroids?

Any vomiting or diarrhea?

Does he drink excessive amounts of water?

Please list anything else you can tell me that you think will be helpful.

With all the email questions I receive, I always ask a favor of the person writing. If you have any photos of your Labrador Retriever, that you could email me, I would love to post them to the Labrador Retriever Pictures blog. You DO NOT have to send a photo to receive an answer to your question.

Please get back to me with the answers to these questions and I will see what I can find out.

Talk to you soon.

Reader's E-mail - Electa's Response:

Thank-you so much for getting back to me. We feed him Holistic Blend. We give him the Lamb formula. He does get treats. Mostly pig skins or we get these disgusting cartilage chew things. They don't have a brand to them as we get them at this Mom and Pop place and they look like they just came out of a pigs knee. No bone, just cartilage sinew and fat. I don't even like to touch them, but Furgus loves them and they are supposed to be great for tartar. They also last more than five seconds so they keep him busy if need be.

He has had no injuries and he is as healthy as a horse. He is only 8 months old and has been neutered if that helps. No vomiting, but he does get diarrhoea every once and a while if he gets into things.

I don't think he drinks excessively. We can't leave water down for him as I have a two year old who thinks it is funny to play in it, but I stay home all day and I make sure I give him water on a regular basis.

He does have a kennel and he is put in it at night and whenever we go out, or if I am really too busy with the kids to keep an eye on him. He isn't allowed to be in a room by himself as he can't be trusted.

He knows the word off and he is 90 percent with it. If he is chewing something he shouldn't I can usually get him to drop it with that command. We try not to leave anything around but as with kids just when you get everything "puppy" proofed he finds something else to get into. He will eat anything.

It is hard with the kids as they are young and love to feed him. He has never been fed from the table. I have tried to train him by leaving traps around. Like food on the counter and watching him until he tries to get it and them yell off. He will get down, but it is constant.

He acts like he is starving to death. It is extreme behaviour. I know a lot of dogs like to eat themselves sick if given the chance but Furgus is crazy for anything he can chew and swallow.

He will literally try and move our couch if there are a few bread crumbs under there. If I am sweeping (mostly his hair) I have to kennel him because he will eat the dirt I am sweeping.

There is one thing, we have a cottage on a lake (lab heaven). He loves the grass down there. Now I know most dogs eat grass but he is like a cow. He will climb over rocks to eat the reeds in the water and he loves the ones with the purple flowers. I just hope those aren't dangerous as there is no way I am going to be able to keep him out of the water.

I just want to say again that Furgus is a smart dog. He knows a lot of commands. Come, sit, down, paw, kiss, back. I work with him a lot as he is more than easily motivated by food. If I say kennel up he will walk over and get right into his kennel. The fact he is so well behaved except for this food thing is very frustrating. Any help would be helpful.

Thank you very much
Electa and Furgus

To read the second part of this e-mail visit: Yellow Labrador Retriever is Crazy for Food - part II

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