Unless it has already happened to you, this problem seems to be one of those endearing little habits that make such good anecdote material for people who enjoy talking about their dogs. In our opinion this nasty little trait is not only disgusting but has all the potential for costing the owner a great deal of money. More than once a dog has ripped into the garbage sack and scattered it all over the house. In addition, the little devil chewed up much of it and ingested such savories as egg shells, coffee grounds, etc.
The dog then moved into the living room and regurgitated all over the two-hundred-year-old Persian rug. To come home to that is to experience the first emotions of dogicide. Of course, if the dog happens to split a few hollow chicken bones with his come home to find a dead dog. Going into the garbage can be serious.
This problem arises whether you are home or away. Because of the powerful smell, animals are extremely attracted to this symphony of scents. Obviously, the easiest way to solve the problem is to simply not leave the garbage pail around, especially if you go out. But that doesn’t really teach the dog anything. Set up a simulated situation. Place the leash and collar on the dog and purposely open the lid to the garbage pail. Walk away.
The minute the dog sticks his nose in the pail give him a hard corrective jerk and a very loud `no’. Then praise him. You may also try shaking the `throw can’ if it’s more convenient. You should get good results if you repeat this technique four or five times. In the event that you are leaving the house sprinkle Tabasco sauce or hot Chinese mustard on top of the garbage. This is an object lesson that really works.