Clipper loves to eat all paper products

Posted by clipperglover
Mar 13, 2008
I have a Jack Russell Terrier named Clipper, he is a very loving dog but we
do have alot of issues to work on. He is 7 months old with alot of energy.
I have purchased the sitstayfetch ebook and we are working on his issues
one at a time. The issue that I can not find in the e-books are about eating
paper products, doesn't matter what kind of paper any paper will do but he
does like toilet paper more. Fabric softner sheets are my main concern.
He stands at the dryer when I'm taking the clothes out not to get the clothes
but he actually stands there waiting for a fabric softner sheet to fall so he can eat it. I try to catch them first but every now and again one falls to the floor, he's faster than I am at getting to it. When I try to get it from him he
eats and swallows it. Now I have found the leftovers in his play room on the floor, blew my mind because I didn't know what it was, I just knew it didn't
look right (poop). After close examination I discover it was a fabric softner
sheet with some food rolled up in it. My questions are 1) What if any are the dangers of him eating this and all other paper? Don't know if he threw it up or if it came out the other end 2) What can I do to stop him from eating paper
products? I've got a solution to the fabric softner sheets, I will no longer use them. But what about all the other paper most of which I have to have (ie toilet paper)Oh yea, he also likes plastic grocery bags!!

Please someone help before he turns into paper!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by Blue
Mar 15, 2008
Hi there!

Sounds like you have a wonderfully clever little dog there! But they can often be too clever!

Frequently what happens with obsessive behaviour is a dog will latch onto that particular behaviour as a source of attention - negative or positive doesn't matter.

At some point along the raising of your pup, you may have caught him with a piece of paper/paper product and made a big deal out of the situation. This may have even occurred a few times with different products to really reinforce his obsession!

Now what you need to do is reverse this behaviour, make him realize, that acting in this way does not get him more attention, in fact it does the opposite.

Jack's are notorious for being stubborn when it comes to obsession so you will have to be very consistent with your training - and persistent!

The easiest problem to fix will probably actually be the fabric softener one! So we'll use it as an example of how you can go about resolving the issue...and always have treats on hand, in your pocket or nearby to where problems most often occur!

Have Clipper on a leash at your side while you are doing the laundry, as soon as you see a fabric softener sheet or a reaction from clipper to suggest there is a sheet in sight, reprimand him immediately.

A good reprimand use a loud deep GRRRRRRRR or AHHHHHHHHH or Nooo at him. This will give him a fright and let him know what he is doing is not okay. At the same time I would also give him leash reprimand (should he be on a lead at the time) and/or a squirt with a water pistol.

The best way to perform a leash reprimand is to be at the dogs side and pull the leash with a quick and firm jerk sideways - this way the dog is pulled slightly off balance. Pulling backwards or with lots of aggression will only cause the dog to become more aggressive or in this case excited for whatever you are trying to reprimand him for.

After you have reprimanded him, ask him to sit, if he does, praise him and reward him with a treat! Repeat this procedure as much as needed, and he will get over his fabric softener obsession with practice and patience!

You can repeat this type of behaviour modification by leaving "booby traps" of paper products where he can get at them. Casually walk past the products with him on a leash, or drop the product down by him. AS SOON as his little ears perk up or body language looks excited, reprimand him as before, jerk on the leash and verbal reprimand. Sit, and reward.

The key is make the behaviour unacceptable and not a game and praise PRAISE praise, good calm behaviour!!

With proper structuring of reprimands and rewards, obsessive behaviour can be overcome! Patience and consistency are key!

Hope this is helpful, you may also want to review the bonus book on alpha training, so as to make your reprimands hold more impact and your status as alpha reaffirmed!

If you have any more questions, feel free to post them!
Posted by clipperglover
Mar 18, 2008
Thanks for the feed back and I will do everything you suggested. Have really enjoyed the
SitStayFetch e-books but I have another problem I am working on also. Clipper wants
to pee on his bed. Quit letting him sleep with me because of this. Bought him a really big nice bed...peed all over it and figured out how to unzip it and pulled out all the stuffing. I took an old comforter and made that his bed until I can get him to stop peeing on it, then I will get him another dog bed. I remove his water at 7pm and don't give him anymore until morning. I take him to potty before bed and about 3am. He still manages to
pee on the comforter. He must be holding the pee back at our potty breaks just so I will
wash the comforter everyday. Thought a dog would not potty where he sleeps, well not
this fellow. I think he has read the e-books and is trying to come up with everything that
wasn't in the books. Scratches up (open) door to the point of total damage. Some days I regret getting him, but there are a lot more days he makes me glad I did. Just seems like I don't have the time needed to train him properly but I've just got to be patient and
give him all I have, he deserves that much before I hang him from a tree (just kidding)
Thanks you your help!!!
Posted by Blue
Mar 18, 2008
Hi again!
Let me know on how the paper training progresses!

About the peeing in his bed.

This type of peeing is often linked to a behavioural insecurity.
Some background: The majority of dogs prefer to be subordinate in the dog world. Pack leadership is a lot of responsibility, especially when you are the leader of a pack of humans who are unpredictable and whose body language dogs don't fully understand!

A dog will often pee on it's owners bed when the pack leadership isn't strong enough, they choose the bed for two reasons. The first reason is because it's where the pack (you and a significant other if you have one) spends a lot of time and relaxes and the second is because the bed IS where the pack relaxes and feels at ease, it is a primary and important spot to defend - so they mark it as theirs.

For this reason large fluffy beds (human or dog) are not good for insecure dogs (and not only because they're a pain to clean! ) This is why when house training puppies, it is recommended to partition off larger crates to smaller spaces so as the puppy doesn't pee in a 'not bed' location within the crate.

For the same reason, I suggest you make a bed out of a towel (easier to clean! and you can rotate with other towels if you don't have time to clean dirtied ones right away - just put them in the same bed location) not much bigger than your jack when he's laying down. Always use pet deoderizers (not bleach because it is similar in smell to the ammonia in dog pee and encourages marking) when cleaning up a mess - this will get rid of the scent of pee which tells the dog that that spot is not a new bathroom!

Now to help with his behavioural insecurity as I mentioned before, start practicing alpha techniques with him.

I'd like you to ensure you and your family members have read and understand the techniques in the bonus book "Secrets to becoming the Alpha Dog". These are great techniques for maintaining or establishing your position at the head of the household. No matter what the problem is all dogs need to know where the stand in the house for both yours and their peace and comfort.

Here are some ways to reinforce your position-

1) If you come across your dog while they are sleeping or lying on the floor then you can reinforce your position as alpha dog by making him move so that you can pass by.

2) Make sure that you always go through doorways first. A good method to reinforce your position as alpha dog is to walk your dog around the house on the leash, making your dog wait while you walk through doorways first.

3) At mealtimes make sure that your dog eat after all of the humans have.

4) Do not feed your dog tidbits or let it pester you at the table. Save the morsels and tidbits for training sessions instead.

5) Do not greet your dog straight away when you arrive home. Make it wait until you are ready and then call it to you.

6) Whenever your dog want attention or anything wait till they are sitting and being well behaved.

7) When you give a command make sure that you are in a position to enforce the action that you require from your dog, especially in the initial stages of Alpha Dog training. Also, use the Alarm-No-Command technique as described in the Alpha Dog bonus book to reprimand your dog if it does not obey your command.

Another helpful thing to do is to disallow dogs on couches/chairs/laZboys/beds etc. as this will help affirm your alpha status (being allowed the comfy prime beds!)

This is the first major step. It is very important that everyone at home is also the alpha over your dog.

Now the next step is to make sure your dog is very obedient. Work with him for 10 minutes twice a day in a quiet secluded area where you can have his full individual attention. Start with the basic commands of sit, stay and come.

These things should help your pup in feeling more secure that he doesn't have to defend and lead the pack, and should help with his housetraining in the long term.

Some people will disagree with alpha training - deeming it to harsh, but it is a good way to bring a pup up, then you can relax a bit as the pup grows older and is more confident that it's pack and pack leaders are strong and established - you can always fall back to alpha training when problems arise too!

Well, I hope this helps a little, you can also try reading through some of the suggestions in the "house training" section of this there are lots of helpful tidbits of info there too!

Keep us updated on your progress!