eating poisonous blow fish at the beach

Posted by Dianne-Winter
Feb 16, 2011
Hi everyone,
i have a dilemma with my dog Buddy. He is 9 months old now and doing really well. I have 99% recall with him at all times and in all circumstances... its just that 1%. Buddy has started eating blowfish when he finds one. its the only time that he will disregard all of his training. he wont 'drop'or 'leave' and he will run away with the blowie if i approach. Please help as eating them is making him quite ill at times. many dogs have died from eating them and i dont want him to be the next.
thankyou Dianne
Posted by KOPCaroline
Feb 17, 2011
Hi Dianne,

Have you tried bringing treats with you on your beach walks? Give Buddy a couple as you walk along so he knows you have them, and give them when you "practice" calling him back at random times on the walk. Be on the lookout for blowfish ahead or nearby where you are, and try to call him to you for a treat before he sees them. Once he's come back, give him the treat, then if need be, get him by the collar and walk him past the fish, saying "no" if he lunges at it or spots it and tries to go for it in any way. If he doesn't lunge or pay any attention it, he gets more treats!

The only way to really impact this sort of thing is to see it before your dog does, so you know its coming and can train it out of him as you go by. If you're really having trouble at first, go back to keeping him on a lead (even an extendable one) while you walk on the beach, using the same sort of method as above, just tugging the lead and saying "no" when he tries to go for the fish. I'd hate for a serious health issue to come from his naughty behaviour!

In the meantime, keep working on his recall training, introduce him to new experiences if you can and make sure his recall is awesome throughout them, the more he gets it and gets rewarded for it the more situations he'll be likely to respond well in!

Hope this helps and you can get him to stop eating bad fish!! Good luck
Posted by KOPCaroline
Feb 17, 2011
After looking around, it might also be worthwhile to talk to your vet about Buddys habit, considering how deadly it could be one day. They can give you advice about potentially making Buddy vomit or coating his stomach so that the toxin may be diluted or prevented from having a 100% impact. I'd really just hate to hear that something tragic happened with him at the beach, especially if something like activated charcoal or another emetic could help and be useful at hand
Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Feb 17, 2011
Hi Dianne,

I agree with Caroline. First find out how poisonous it is. If it is seriously poisonous, avoid the beach altogether or have Buddy on a leash all the time.

I understand you want to take the fish away from him when you see him holding in his mouth but more you try to take it away, he sees more value in the fish and/or he thinks it's a fun game. It is better to prevent him from getting to it. So be proactive as Caroline suggested.

In the mean time, you might want to practice "Leave it" and "Drop it" in a regular basis. You can do this when you are home too. Drop treats on the floor here and there in your hallway and walk him on a leash. If he tries to eat a treat, say "Leave it" and tug the leash. Go back and forth and repeat everyday so that he can walk ignoring those treats on the floor.

If you think treats are too tempting, use toys or balls to start with. Once he master "Leave it" inside the house, you can have him on a leash on the beach and walk by those blowfish intentionally. Practive "Leave it" as he tries to get to the blowfish.

"Leave it" and "Drop it" commands will come very handy. Just today, I dropped one of my antibiotic tablets right in front of my dog's eyes by mistake. I instantly said "Leave it" and the tablet was untouched. #1 emergency call for dogs is eating human's medicines so it is important that your dog learns this command, in addtion to put all the toxic stuff out of reach.

Good luck