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Discussion Starter #1
My chihuahua miniature pinscher mix is usually very well behaved, and well trained, but he becomes uncharacteristically defiant around acorns. He absolutely must eat them, and it's like an all consuming need. Training is not helping! Anything else, he'll drop, leave, or now ignore.

I've had him struggle against his harness to near strangulation to get at them. I'm not his primary owner or caregiver. My elderly parents own and keep him, and I work nights, so I sleep during the day.

They absolutely will not be bothered with actually walking him, they'll just continue to turn him out into the back yard, alone ANF unattended, to do business. And I live in south east Georgia, it's ALL oaks here! We have 10 in our yard alone, as do most every home around us.

He is terrified of the garage when it's closed for reasons we have never understood, because he walks through just fine when it's open. Just now, he actually followed me out there, just because there was a single acorn that had rolled in earlier.

He's tiny, and obviously gets into and under things where we can't always see or get to him. What the heck am I supposed to do?
 

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If you can, clean up the acorns. They can be toxic. One or two here or there might not do anything, but a whole bunch could cause some pretty severe problems. It seems to depend on the dog, and how ripe the acorn is or something.

A basket muzzle might be the only solution, at least until you can work on having him leave them alone. What kind of treats do you use to call him off an acorn? Perhaps the acorns are very high-value to him, so choose a yummy treat like cheese or hot dogs and work on the "leave it" cue with those.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
He was doing very well for many years, until I changed jobs, and no longer had any time for him. But we were already living here, and my father just loves him.

Now, he even ignores his most favorite treats and his squeaky toys, which usually cause a similar compulsion in him. He's steadily gotten worse and more obsessed each passing year. The squeaky toys used to do the trick.

The whole yard,1/3 an acre, is blanketed with acorns this time of year, my father isn't physically able to remove them himself, not financially able to have someone else remove them.

Once again, I work at night, 6 nights a week, and I'm living here because they need my help paying the mortgage, I have my own bills and expenses: my cat has the has monthly medication refills and two vet visits every month.

A basket muzzle will only work if it can be left on him all of time, which I know is not possible. My parents really will not be bothered with any additional work, and I'm just not here enough.
 

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Well, if possible you could put up some type of enclosure for him to be in when outside away from the acorns, so you could keep that area clean from them. I had to completely remove small rocks and over up all dirt because my Molly eat rocks which really caused issues. I also had to put a barrier around the maple tree so she can not get to the bark, she still gets sticks but just tears them into little pieces. I have to clean up daily certain things like real small sticks and if any small rocks appear from the grass etc.
 

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I don't have the time or the money to handle this myself. I tried to put him up for adoption years ago, but my father insisted on keeping him as his own. Unless this can be handled with no cost or additional effort, and yes I'm quite well aware of the reality of this situation, I fear for his life. I adopted him when I was well within the ability to care for him. Then 2 months later I was going through a divorce, and having to uproot my entire life and move over a thousand miles away. I already had the cat who was already 9 at that point. This isn't the first time I've been here on the forums trying to help dealing wth parents who can't understand that dog's aren't did different from people.
 

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the question is he getting sick from eating acorns? if he has been doing this for awhile i wouldn't worry i live in the woods and my dog could probably crap out an oak tree some days
 

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I don't have the time or the money to handle this myself. I tried to put him up for adoption years ago, but my father insisted on keeping him as his own. Unless this can be handled with no cost or additional effort, and yes I'm quite well aware of the reality of this situation, I fear for his life. I adopted him when I was well within the ability to care for him. Then 2 months later I was going through a divorce, and having to uproot my entire life and move over a thousand miles away. I already had the cat who was already 9 at that point. This isn't the first time I've been here on the forums trying to help dealing wth parents who can't understand that dog's aren't did different from people.
I'm sorry. Unfortunately, there isn't much advice anybody can give you that requires no additional effort on your part. The least effort/cost idea I have is create a smaller enclosure out of whatever materials you have on hand and keep that clear of acorns. Or, bribe some friends or neighborhood kids to clean up the yard.
 

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I'd get an ex-pen and pen off a tiny area free of acorns and let the puppy in there for a few minutes. Likely, pup will grow out of it if the habit is not practiced for a few weeks.
 

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I don't have the time or the money to handle this myself. I tried to put him up for adoption years ago, but my father insisted on keeping him as his own. Unless this can be handled with no cost or additional effort, and yes I'm quite well aware of the reality of this situation, I fear for his life. I adopted him when I was well within the ability to care for him. Then 2 months later I was going through a divorce, and having to uproot my entire life and move over a thousand miles away. I already had the cat who was already 9 at that point. This isn't the first time I've been here on the forums trying to help dealing wth parents who can't understand that dog's aren't did different from people.

Not sure what you expect us to help you with if nobody on your side can put in the time, effort or money to change anything. There were several excellent pieces of advice offered already.

Short of the dog deciding on his own not to eat the acorns, it doesn't sound like anything can be done. Maybe just re-home the dog to someone with more time and funds (whether your father wants you to or not.)

Also, the dog getting sick would be a WHOLE lot more expensive than paying a neighborhood kid a few bucks to clean up the acorns from a patch of lawn and buying a used x-pen to put around that patch.

Sorry. Hope he does okay!
 

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One more suggestion homemade no chew spray. Two parts apple cider vinegar and one part regular vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray the acorns, might work. Vinegar IS very cheap.
 
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