How Do I Stop My Dog From Taking Things From The Garbage?

My Shepherd/Lab cross keeps taking kleenexes from the indoor trash bins. We STARTED teaching her leave it and she does it pretty well, but when nobodies arouund, she secretly steals them from the garbage. Sometimes she eats them, and sometimes she rips them up. It has gotten really annoying keeping all the garbage cans out of her reach and I don't know what else to do! Will she eventually stop, or do I have to teach her something? PLease help!

Asked by Bailey on Mar 12th 2011 in Behavior & Training
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There are garbage cans with locking lids you can try. Wiley was a street dog, so he had a real thing for garbage. I made the garbage can inaccessible to him, & worked on *leave it for walks. He did stop eventually & has been great for a few years. BUT it did take time. Everytime I thought he was good & I would not secure the can I would come home to a the behaviour was really entrenched. Have patience!

answered on Mar 12th.

Other Answers



Please secure the cans where she can't get into them. Every time she gets a tissue, it reinforces the behavior and makes it more likely she will do it again. "Leave it" training is well and good, but when you're not watching, nothing is going to stop her unless you make the trash unavailable.

It's pretty much a fact of life that if you live with a dog, garbage needs to kept secure. A few dogs have no interest, but many can't resist a nice kneenex or food wrapper... Can you put the trash under a counter, or in a cupboard, or up out of reach? And there are some very nice cans with tight-fitting lids that open with a foot pedal that work great at keeping dogs out.

Maggie answered on 3/12/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


When we're around Chase knows she can't get away with taking food from the garbage, so she doesn't try. We would get so frustrated when we'd come downstairs after a shower and there would be a tipped over garbage can with last night's spaghetti all over the floor.
So we moved the garbage. It's kept in the downstairs washroom, behind a closed door. Rather than set her up for failure (I couldn't resist last night's supper if I were her!) I remove the problem.
Sure, it's not as convenient for us, but I'd rather ensure her safety and be put out than come downstairs after chatting with my roommate to find she's choked on a chicken bone.

Chase answered on 3/12/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 2 Report this answer


Our garbage cans as well are placed safely out of reach of Deogie, behind closed doors.
The health and safety of Deogie is way more important than being able to throw my kleenex in an easy to throw garbage can.
When training a dog, choose your battles and this fight isn't worth fighting...simply put the garbage cans away.

♥ DEOGIE ♥ answered on 3/12/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 2 Report this answer


We ended up having to get a new trash bin, that couldnt be opened unless stepped on. The one we had before could also be opened manually

Chocolate answered on 3/13/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


There are some lifestyle changes that you have to make when you take on a pet. For Bailey's safety and your sanity, the best solution is to rethink the way you store trash. Trash bins with lids are a fairly affordable and simple solution.

Libby answered on 3/13/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer