Dog Behavior Problems: How to Train Your Dog to Stay Out of the Trash Cans

What may be gross garbage to you may smell very intriguing to your dog. After all, they do have a heightened sense of smell that can make out your half-eaten piece of pizza within the gunk. It’s simple for your dog, as he isn’t very covert at this “get in and get out” mission, but he will leave a ton of destruction in his wake – much to your dismay.

Is there a way to keep your fur baby out of the trash and away from potentially harmful substances? Yes, there is!

Make the Trash Can Inaccessible

The first way, and perhaps the easiest way, is to make the trash can inaccessible. There are a few ways to do this. You can employ the use of baby gates and pens to section off the trash cans. However, simply cordoning off the garbage cans may not work all over the house.

Unless you plan to the door to every room in the house that contains a trash can, you really can’t use baby gates for rooms such as the bathroom.

You can find ways to keep the trash can out of reach by hiding them in large cupboards under the sink in the kitchen. Again, this may not be the most effective method to nip the problem in the bud.

If you can make the above ways work, then that’s fine. But if you want a method that will work every time, try a dog-proof trash can, which you can click here to learn more about.

A Stimulated and Exercised Dog is a Good Dog

As with most behavioral problems, a well-exercised and stimulated dog is a good dog. If your dog is tired from exercising his brain and body, he will be less likely to get into mischief. You will notice a much calmer fur baby after long walks and training sessions or a combination of both. The same logic also works well to keep your pooch out of the trash.

A great way to stimulate your dog is to take him to try new things. Even if it’s just for 20 minutes, your dog will have his senses flooded with new smells, sights, feels and sounds. It will definitely tire him out.

Keep Your Fur Baby Full

This may seem very obvious, but it’s important to keep your dog full. As we hinted, your dog may be going through the trash for yummy treats because he is hungry. Make sure your pooch is well-fed, but only with the right amount.

Don’t be too eager to load up his food bowl because it could lead to weight problems. Giving him more meals throughout the day is also a way to make sure he is never hungry and there is no period between meals where he craves food.

For the best pooches out there, you can also consider giving them a snack or two here and there and a good dog food supplement that you can find at Perfect Poop’s resource to keep your dog healthy and free from infection. baby and teaching him new tricks, there is no harm in feeding him a freeze-dried treat every now and then. Feeding your dog the right food and the right amount can keep him full, away from the trash can and from obesity.

Good Ol’ Fashioned Training

You can also get your dog to quit going through the trash the reliable way – good old-fashioned training. Simply telling your dog no and making it known that you do not condone the behavior is also a way to get him to stop.

You can do it one of many ways, but what’s most important is to do it when you catch them in the act. Telling your fur baby no hours after you discover the mischief will be very confusing to your pooch. He will not understand what it is you are saying no to.

When you see him about to engage with the trash can, you can utter a very firm “no”. You can even dissuade him on his way to the trash can by nudging him aside and also forbidding him with a firm “no”.

Remember that reward is just as important as your persuasion. If your dog does leave the trash can alone after your “no”, tell him he’s a good boy and maybe give him a treat.

Keep Your Dog Busy

Even if you exercise your dog, he may still be rejuvenated and re-energized after a quick nap. Not many of us are blessed with time to always be at our fur baby’s beck and call, so what do you do if he wants to get up to no good even after stimulation?

The trick is to keep your dog busy. A bored dog is a destructive dog, and sometimes it can be pretty hard to handle depending on the breed. There are plenty of dog puzzles and toys out there that can lend a helping hand and help you gain some sanity.

For example, Kong toys are virtually indestructible and they come in different hardness ratings. Blue and pink are for puppies and young dogs, red is slightly harder, and black Kongs are enough to go toe-to-toe with even the biggest destroyers.

There are also a ton of dog toys that allow pet parents to stuff treats or freeze goodies in the middle to keep their dogs occupied for hours. Figure out what your dog likes and keep the toy handy.

Sometimes all your dog wants is a good belly rub or a pat-down, or maybe he just wants a quick game of fetch. Whatever it is, make sure your fur baby is engaged when he’s starting to look bored and restless.


There is no one-size-fits-all method for every dog. It may take some trial and error to figure it out and it will definitely take time and patience. You may find that combining more than one of our suggested methods may be the most effective. Every dog is different, so it’s important to take the time to get to know your dog and figure out which way is best.

Vivek is a published author of Meidilight and a cofounder of Zestful Outreach Agency. He is passionate about helping webmaster to rank their keywords through good-quality website backlinks. In his spare time, he loves to swim and cycle. You can find him on Twitter and Linkedin.