Thursday, May 13, 2010

Pooches: The Bovine Dog

Since the majority of our year is like this, Chicagoans make a huge deal of the nice weather. We have several parks where people pack in when the temperatures rise. Just check out how Wicker Park looked the other day:Before I got Miss M, I would spend many a day hanging out at the park reading. I would always see happy people with their dogs, and I envisioned one day bringing my own dog the park who would lay quietly next to me as I read. I thought I might even be able to lay on my blanket and use her as a pillow. Is it far-fetched to use a dog as a pillow?
Little did I know, just like my dream of having a dog who would run with me didn't work out, Miss M. had "park issues". The first time I took her to the park, she refused to sit still and would sit around trying to chew the grass. Which wouldn't be so bad if she didn't get excitable and every so often grab and chew her leash before going back to actually eating the grass like a cow.I erroneously thought that I just needed to bring a toy or something to keep her occupied. The next time I brought one of her favorite freezer-meat bones--these are the same bones she would love to chew on for hours. This worked for about 20 minutes, then she actually would leave her meat bone to chew on grass, then go crazy again and do all kinds of play bows actually trying to "play with the grass".
I would put her in a submissive position and lay on her to hold her down. It's kind of embarrassing, especially when I would run into people I knew.
I thought she would grow out of it. She doesn't do as much of the play bowing, but she still has an obsession with eating grass. Even when we find a lawn on one of our walks, she has to stop and eat the grass.
Does anyone else experience this with their dogs? Is there some other way I'm not thinking about that I can condition her to sit quietly in a park?


Anonymous said...

Haha! Oh! I LUVS to eat grass! And grass is even better when it's grass you've never tasted before or don't taste very much often. Mom says the dee-en-ay test is prolly gonna come back part cow.

Um, so mom wants to know if you've ever trained Miss M to lie on a mat or a blankie? Like saying, go to place/mat/whatever? And then basically, you just reward us with treats or cupcakes when we're lying there being good and quiet and still. So you're just conditioning Miss M that whenever she's on the mat, she's relaxed. You'd hafta start at home and work up to the park of course. You could also google "Karen Overall's relaxation protocol" which mom says helps doggies learn to relax no matter what's going on around them.

Whew! That was BORING! Can we talk about grass some more.

Wiggles & Wags,

Mack said...

I love grass too!
Hey my mom wants me to ask you, how did you make the doggy tee-pee? She says it's the coolest thing ever, and I just know I would love to have one!

If you have the time could you email her at


Anonymous said...

mine all love to eat grass... when the grass is freshly growing in the spring, they go nuts about it. Maybe you just need to accept that Miss M has a different concept of "relax" than you do! ;-)

Two French Bulldogs said...

Oh Ms M.... Silly head. We like the park and laying on a blanket. Know what's crazy? We don't like dog parks. We stand there and scream to get out
have a fun day
Benny & Lily

brooke said...

Darwin LOVES to eat grass. And then it usually makes her throw up.
We have the same problem when we take Dar to work, she can't sit still.
Maybe if you tire her out (play time, run, swim) and then try to hang out at a park she'd be a little calmer?

Mary said...

I read on the pit bull forum that a lot dogs eat grass this time of year. Levi eats it too, then chokes, naturally, because the pieces are so long. The worst is when it gets stuck coming out the other end and I have to "help him out." Gross. No advice about casually resting in the park. I am often forced to rest while walking Levi because he just plops down to take a break. Because, you know, walking that 1 mile/hour breakneck pace is awfully taxing.

Rescued Pittie Family said...

Haleigh and Greighson think the yards in our neighborhood are one big buffet.

Greighson has to "taste" every yard and if they have exceptionally good grass he has to roll around in it.
I must say that he does have good taste; he only rolls in the pristinely manicured lawns.

I've heard that grass-eating is a diet deficiency problem, but I have a really hard time believing that's what it is with my kids.

kissa-bull said...

our mommish loves to read too but shee does it in our backyard wiff ush the wee ones love to run around but ush pibble get tired after like 2 seconds and go and lay next to mommish.but we are furry lazy. mommish takes guero and coco chanel to the park to run everyday cause they are the athletic ones and she is trying to lose weight tee hee brinksey and bella dont go cause then she'd have to carry ush to the car after one mile. tee hee

pibble wiggles
the pittie pack

Shauna (Fido and Wino) said...

My dogs seem to be most enjoyable in those kinds of situations when they are TIRED. Very tired. Then they sniff around & finally lay down :)

houndstooth said...

*rofl* I am thoroughly convinced that Bunny is part Guernsey! Every chance she gets, she's munching away on the stuff! Maybe try freezing a Kong and take that for a distraction for her.

pibble said...

I think you have to come to terms with the truth. Miss M is really a goat!

the booker man said...

booker loves eating grass, too. asa only does it if her tummy is upset.
mayzie's mom already said what i was thinking about training miss m to "go to ____". i've started working with booker on that with my clicker. it's also good for if the doorbell rings, and you want to get your dogs out of the way! :)

the booker man and asa's mama

Dexter said...

I LOVE grass and eat it often. Momma says I am a big old moo cow. Humph.


parlance said...

Sit still in a park??/ SIT STILL in a park???

If you get any good tips on that one, pass them on to me, lol.

Penny thinks parks are for: swimming, running, chasing balls, walking - but never, never for being still.

Kari in Alaska said...

Baily was the first of our pack to eat grass. She taught Mesa. Together they have both taught BC. I could start a lawn mowing business....

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