My older dog was broken of the habit early, and I had mostly forgotten this phenomenon until I got a puppy. She will disregard food, fetch, and treats in preference to a tissue, clean or used. She steals them from the box and from the trash can. She has stolen toilet paper from the roll. (Spreading it all over the house in the process. If she wasn’t so adorable, I’d kill her. ) I’m constantly chasing her to get them out of her mouth.
I took her to Puppy Kindergarten. The instructor was talking about “jackpot” which is when the dog does something incredibly good and deserves a super reward. She was getting ideas for jackpot treats from the participants. One said a piece of steak. Another said the dog’s favorite toy, and another woman said, “A tissue.”
The instructor just nodded and said, “Yeah, tissues,” and went on to the next person.
This leads me to believe this phenomenon must be quite widespread. What is it about tissues which make them doggy catnip? Is it the texture? The scent? The taste? It can’t be good for dogs to consume these things, but the people at Puppy Kindergarten seemed to think it was okay to give them one as a special reward.
I too find it bizarre, but my dog did the same thing.
If she has a tendency to root through the bathroom trash, it might be a good idea to either get a trashcan with a lid or keep the bathroom door closed–I once came home to find chewed up (used) razorblades on the hallway floor along with the mangled tissues. :eek:
The dog wasn’t hurt, somehow, but she easily could have been.
I’ve been putting a towel over the top and restrcting her access since I caught her doing this. (I try not to give her unfettered access to the house yet because we’re still working on potty training, but you know how puppies are-- they can teleport.)
Don’t assume this problem is limited to dogs. My kitten keeps knocking over wastbaskets, in search of goodies like tissues, q-tips, or anything that has an odor, or anything that rolls and can be chased. And one of my previous cats unrolled an entire roll of toilet paper, and ran with it all over the house.
My puppy was also obsessed with paper. She slept under my desk and I quickly learned to keep my trash can on top of the desk, and I also had to move my clothes hamper to a higher spot (she got tall pretty quick - and learned to open the lid).
One time she ran off into the woods and was coaxed back with a paper napkin.
I don’t think all dogs do this, though. At her school, I will occasionally use paper to get her to do stuff and all the other owners think this is weird. Their dogs apparently don’t have the same paper obsession as Dolly.
Now she’s 3, and she still loves paper. She will jump up in my lap when I open mail, just to get an envelope. She’ll excitedly grab the envelope away and rip it up. She doesn’t seem to swallow it anymore, just rips and spits. If she were eating tissues, I’d assume she wouldn’t be able to spit it out and would just swallow it.
I think you have to just be diligent and try to catch your pup in the act to keep it from the trash. Somehow we are able to leave bags of trash on the kitchen floor (you know, when it’s too full for the can but not full enough to put outside) and Dolly does not go in them. I think she has been successfully trained to not go in the bag because it’s somewhere we are able to see her and correct her right away.
Uhm…well this doesn’t quite answer the OP does it?
Why do dogs (and cats) like tissues and paper? er…I dunno.
Our dog not only eats tissues and Q-tips, but receipts.
She just loves thermal-paper receipts. Doesn’t matter if they’re from the grocery store, hardware store or an ATM. There’s got to be something about the smell of the stuff that’s just irresistable and prompts her to dive into the trash can and get them.
We only have this problem with one of our dogs. The older never has chewed that kinda stuff, the younger of the two however…She LOVES paper towels and kleenex. She dosen’t eat them them though, just tears them into little tiny peices. Even more then that is Bounce, which I have to assume can’t be safe. It’s kinda entertaining though, if she sees a laundry basket on the ground she’ll dive in head first and for the next 30 seconds or so all you’ll see is the back half of her body and all of a sudden she’ll pop out with the dryer sheet. We’re not sure how she does that, but she sure is good at it. And her all time favorite. Socks, she could chew on socks all day long. When no one’s looking she’ll go and grab them them from the bedroom, bathroom werever they’re laying around, she’ll find them.
My older dog roots under the bed to find lost socks and then brings them to me as a present. I never trained her to do this, and still don’t understand why she does it, but every once in a while, I’ll be peaceably reading or watching TV and she’ll bring a crumpled sock to deposit on my lap. I always tell her “Thank you”, and pat her on the head. Apparently feeling things have been set to rights, she’ll trot off to play with her toys.
The puppy has found a dryer sheet or two, but those she just shredded, rather than ate. I think she considers them cloth because she’ll try to do the same thing if she gets hold of a washcloth. Rather than fruitlessly tugging as with the cloth, the dryer sheet satisfyingly shreds on the first tug.
Thank God! So my dog is not the only canine who is an utter nutcase!
He loves to chew used tissues, clean or used socks, undies, hair elastics, Q-tips, clothes-pegs, kitchen sponges, and get this: If anyone tries to use the outside broom, which has a boar-bristle brush, to sweep the backyard patio, the dog will immediately try to steal the broom by getting the brush part in his mouth and running off into the gardern and prancing around with it! :smack:
He also tries to steal clothes from the dirty clothes basket.
As for the tissue fetish, if its a used tissue I just think the dog loves the taste and smell (ewww!) Dogs love anything that even vaguely smells of their humans; perhaps clean items of clothing that are habitually worn next to the skin (like socks and t-shirts) constantly smell of us to a dog’s sensitive nose.
One of the funniest things my dog has ever done was pull the tissues out of a tissue box on an end table. She pulled the tissue out, and another one popped up. So she dropped the first one and pulled out the next one. Another popped out, etc, etc. She stood there furiously emptying a box of tissues with this panicked look on her face. I couldn’t bring myself to stop her.
Ever since the tissue box lives on top of an entertainment center, pushed towards the back. Along with every other posession I own.