Labradors are mouths on legs.
Not all Labs put everything in their mouths, and there are undeniably other dogs that will ingest anything and everything.
But Labs are notorious for considering the sidewalk to be their own personal buffet.
There is a scale of ingestion by Lab color:
Eats 80% of stationary objects = Black Labs
Eats 90% of stationary + dead objects = Yellow Labs
Eats 110% of stationary + dead + moving objects = Chocolate Labs
Moses is a 9 month old Chocolate Lab. His owners recently got him neutered, thinking it might calm him down a little. It did, for the hour after surgery while he was still under the influence of anesthesia. When the narcotics wore off, he was just as rambunctious, and mouthy, as before.
Moses’ enthusiasm for life includes several hobbies. He collects toys (and flip flops and eyeglasses) and hides them in his crate. Every morning, he waits for his owners to come out of the shower so he can lick the water off their legs. And he is a connoisseur of mulch.*
Here is Moses’ Menu at the…CONCRETE CAFÉ
Wood chips Rocks Twigs Pea gravel
Red mulch Brown mulch Unidentified garden dirt Clod of grass clippings
Moldy leaves Gum wrappers Cigarette butts
Fast moving Daddy Longlegs Slow moving Bumble Bee Crispy June bug
3 day old rain puddle Light & sweet coffee spill Brackish scum on driveway
I was once the lucky companion of a charming elderly Yellow Lab named Pasha. Pasha will long be fondly remembered for having excavated a partially eaten, grass-encrusted hoagie. She was a true epicure.
Two commands we taught Pasha: Leave It and Drop It.
Leave It means “don’t even think about picking it up.” Drop It means “instant death – give it up NOW!”
Don’t wait until your dog – Lab or otherwise – has a morsel of toxic waste in his mouth to teach him these commands. With Moses, we practiced Drop It by using two balls or two identical toys, trading one when he dropped the other.
Moses learned the Leave It command and to focus on his owners on walks rather than on scouring the pavement for inedible – and dangerous – tidbits.
*Note: Cocoa mulch is particularly deadly to dogs – it smells good and dogs find it irresistible. Don’t buy it.