How To Keep A Dog Out Of Trash Without A Big Fight

You are relaxing on a Sunday afternoon, sitting in the garden and your dog rushes to you and wants to kiss you on your lips; as usual, you are happy to allow her. However, something in her mouth does not smell right, it actually smells so bad you could think that someone had just opened the trash can. Well, I have news for you; someone did and that's the dog which has just kissed you. Then you suddenly remember that this is not the first time it has happened and you promise yourself, again, that you should learn how to keep a dog out of trash.


The reason why I am interested in this topic is that I had a problem with my dog invading the trash can quite often. I seemed able to teach the dog how to do everything else except staying out of the trash. After a great deal of frustration and extensive research, I eventually came to understand what I was doing wrong; allowing her to eat without permission.

My aim is to share some of the things I did. As an owner, you pretty have to be proactive. Never leaving the dog to its own devices.

Things You Will Need To Train the Dog

Some of the things you will need to train your dog include the following.

It is important for the dog to realize that the trash can is the place that she must avoid. You will use the food that your dog finds delicious to test her. When she is able to ignore the food in the can even if she likes it, then you have been successful. Your family members are important because they will help you to reinforce the lesson you are teaching. Friends who do not live with you will help when you are testing the dog.

There are several other methods you can use to make the trash can an undesirable place to be but I prefer the one where you teach the dog never to eat unless given permission. This type of training will cover the trash can but it is not limited to it. Trash cans are different. Teaching the dog to ignore the one in your house may not mean teaching her to ignore every other can. However, food is the same everywhere you go.

Teach The Dog Never To Eat Unless You Give Permission

There are a few methods that are generally effective at teaching your dog to keep away from the trash. Let’s look at one that I have seen produce results.

If you train your dog never to eat unless you have given permission, it will not eat from the trash can because you have not given it permission to. This training is more effective if you teach your dog while it is still young. You remember what they say about teaching an old dog new tricks?

  • Step 1- Select the word that you want to use for your dog to know that it is okay to eat something. Ensure that the word is clear and you are not confusing her. The word you choose should be different from the others commands you use for other things.
  • Step 2- Every time when you are giving your dog food, say the word. If your dog starts eating without you saying this word reprimand and stop her. It is important that you inform everybody else who interacts with the dog during this training.
  • Step 3- Repeat Step 2 every time when the dog eats. Ensure that this is consistent. The one thing you do not want to do is to confuse the dog by doing this on certain days and not on others. The aim is to ensure that the dog does not touch any food unless you have given permission.
  • Step 4- Once you have spent several days training your dog, you can test her obedience. You can get a friend to try and feed the dog without giving the command. Watch the dog, if she accepts the food, it means that the training needs to continue. Continue with the training and keep testing her. Always ensure to change the people who offer the dog food. The training should continue until the dog knows the command very well and refuses to accept food unless it has permission to eat.

You can also test the dog by putting something that she likes in the trash can and leaving it open. If you see her showing an interest in the trash can, reprimand her. When the training is successful, she will ignore the food in the trash can until you tell her to eat like she does with all the other food.

The good thing about using the steps above is that you are not only concentrating on the trash can; you are teaching the dog not to accept food from strangers too. A dog that accepts food from strangers runs the risk of eating poison. Check out this YouTube video on teaching the dog not to eat dirty food or that offered by strangers;

I still remember there was a time when I really didn’t care what my dog ate. She was quite diligent and no one would get to the kitchen door without me knowing. However, she still accepted food from everybody who offered. One night she accepted meat with poison from thugs and she died. Since then, I train every one of my dogs never to accept food from strangers.


I hope that you enjoyed this tutorial. The one thing that I always find enjoyable about teaching the dog to avoid the trash using this method is that it just involves a few steps. Again, it is not limited to just the trash can. It ensures that the dog refuses to eat food it sees anywhere unless there is a specific command for her to eat.

If you enjoyed this article, as I hope you did, please feel free to leave us a comment about your thoughts. You could also let us know what methods you used to keep your own dog out of the trash. Remember to share this article with a friend on social media; it could save the life of your friend's dog.


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