Meet Misty the Jack Russell Terrier
Misty's owners contacted us to help Misty as she was eating materials that she shouldn't have. This included acorns and stones. Misty had had a few surgeries as a result of these objects and it was important we prevented the behaviour from continuing.
During her assessment, it was found that there could be a pain element to her eating of objects but also she found these objects play things. This would mean she was attracted to having them in her mouth. However, to keep ultimate possession to stop anyone from taking them she developed a reflex to swallow them quickly!
As with any possible pain assessments, Misty was referred back to see about pain being a possible contributor, to the behaviour. Due to the need to prevent this behaviour we started muzzle training as her first priority. We then worked with other training tasks around objects being in her mouth and being able to drop and swap! We also looked at redirection when objects were around with leave it tasks. Lastly, we changed how people interacted with Misty when she had objects and the environment around her to prevent the swallow behaviour.
Misty is still working through her plan. However, she has been making good progress and so far has not had any incidents requiring another surgery. We look forward to Misty completing her treatment plan and showing off all her new behaviours.