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-   -   Rocks!! He loves to eat rocks! (http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/puppy-behavior/425338-rocks-he-loves-eat-rocks.html)

A girl and her dog 03-16-2014 09:39 PM

Rocks!! He loves to eat rocks!
 
I'm so irritated with this right now :(

Nonny has taken a liking to eating rocks. My little dog has always managed to grab one on the way in from a trip outside and he would chew on it until I caught him and took it away. Nonny picked this behavior up from him and I did the same thing, but am more strict about it with him b/c he could easily swallow them.

Ffw to today- He's had loose stools for two days and I've been washing kennel bedding for two days b/c of that :sick: That is half of my irritation! I though it was from the transition back to raw b/c I increased the amount along with his home-prepped food.
Today I found copious amounts of rocks in his stool. For freakin real?? Yep. Turns out he's been getting them from the backyard which was recently secured so that they can't get out of it. So, I've been letting them out there for fresh air and to run and play a bit. They love it. I don't rely on that for pottying though- they still have to go out on leash for that to make sure they're going. It works, no accidents until he started gorging himself on rocks. I hadn't thought about them in the backyard! Our driveway is gravel and is unavoidable for walks and pottying. When we go through the driveway, I watch him like a hawk for rick picking and empty his mouth (like a crazed dentist) if I suspect he's picked one up. I wonder if he's been swallowing them before I can get them out of his mouth, like "Nope! it's mine and you can't have it!" The backyard used to have rocks lining the house b/c there aren't any guttars but the chickens scratched all of that away, SO, I forgot about those and really wouldn't have thought they'd be much of a problem anyway b/c they're pretty well dispersed throughout the yard now. Oh, and he used to (and probably still does) eat the chicken's poop.

Dear Nonny, please stop trying to commit suicide! Love, Mommy :wub:

I'm really worried that he'll impact himself with rocks and require a surgery that I cannot afford! Obviously backyard playtime is out of the question for now.

The rocks are, on average, about 1/2 sq". Obviously, as I cleaned up gravel-poop today, they are passing. But I'm really worried about future rock incidents. What if he goes on a rebellious bender and eats a gallon of rocks one day?

Why is he eating rocks anyway?? I get chewing on them... maybe it feels neat in their little mouths the way we like gum. But swallowing them?? :confused: He's supposed to be gaining weight, not losing it by eating rocks!

I'm committed to doing everything I can to prevent him from eating rocks but the driveway is unavoidable. All I can do there is make him hold his head high until we get to the grass, about 10 feet.

Anyone else have a rock-eater? Experienced a rock eater?

glowingtoadfly 03-16-2014 11:02 PM

Mine are both rock chewers, I always trade for treats. When Skadi was a puppy at her previous home she swallowed and passed some rocks, but now she realizes she can trade them for cheese.

katdog5911 03-16-2014 11:25 PM

When STella was younger she liked to try and eat rocks. I just watched her like a hawk and traded for other treats. I used the command "no rocks". Sometimes I swear she would pick one up just to tease me.....

She no longer seems to care about rocks. But as a young dog....I grew plenty of gray hairs from that.

Mishka&Milo 03-17-2014 01:04 AM

Mishka did this too. It drove us CRAZY!!! We worked on the "leave it" command... As well as walking on a lot of gravel. It seemed to help... She eventually got bored and realized that there were too many rocks in the world for her to destroy.


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llombardo 03-17-2014 01:19 AM

I'm finding that unsupervised yard time is not safe. There is so much they get into ...grubs, sticks, bark, corn cobs from the squirrels, and poop to name a few. If I'm out there they are fine, but otherwise it's a nightmare. I had to put netting over the bark and cover the firewood with plastic. This is a big reason I'm going for the attached dog run with the dog door, I know that area will be safe for them to play if I'm not out there, plus I can see it from a couple different places in the house.

wolfy dog 03-17-2014 01:22 AM

No longer walk your dog with the little one to avoid copy catting. Consider getting a muzzle in which she cannot pick up rocks but should be able to pant in until she is weaned from the habit.
I know that the more focus you on nasty habits, the stronger they get. Clicker training can work if you click at the time she sees the rock but before she picks it up.
I have done that successfully with leaving horse poop alone.

A girl and her dog 03-17-2014 04:03 AM

Wow! Glad I'm not the only one!

They're not allowed in the yard unsupervised anymore. The Chi stopped eating rocks as soon as Nonny started and got in trouble for it. It's really hard in the driveway! of course he wants to sniff everything- he's a pup and there are other dogs that get walked along our street and they need to be thoroughly investigated. I hate for him not to be able to sniff and to keep telling him no for something he's naturally inclined to do, but I can't take the chance on him eating rocks! I like the muzzle idea except that we go out no less than five times in a day and that would mean putting it on each time. I hate to sound whiney, but I've already got enough on my plate without having to get a muzzle on him every time. I don't even put harnesses on every time. The muzzle would definitely allow him to sniff around without putting anything in his mouth. :)

graciesmom 03-17-2014 12:32 PM

I hear ya on the rock issue. Our Jazz, now 3/12 months is really bad for this. I have to watch her like a hawk. Doing everything I can to discourage her ... leave it, out, etc. and fishing them out and trading for treats. Meanwhile, hoping like heck she outgrows it. To make matters worse, the previous owner had landscaped with lava rock. We will be replacing the lava rock with a larger river rock ... something too big for her to swallow. Our other issue is she is now going for the rhododendron leaves. I looked them up and found out they are toxic to dogs. Yikes! We have 8 rhodos in the backyard. So, between fishing out lava rocks and rhodo leaves ... good thing I have her on a leash!

wolfy dog 03-17-2014 01:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by A girl and her dog (Post 5214706)
I like the muzzle idea except that we go out no less than five times in a day and that would mean putting it on each time. I hate to sound whiney, but I've already got enough on my plate without having to get a muzzle on him every time. I don't even put harnesses on every time. The muzzle would definitely allow him to sniff around without putting anything in his mouth. :)

Then you put on the muzzle five times a day. If you want to change a habit, you have put yourself to work. There is no magic wand to cure this.

A girl and her dog 03-17-2014 01:59 PM

Today the poop was back to normal and rock-free what I can gather. Little twerp! LOL! I'm super lucky b/c Nonny isn't really a handful. He's extremely sensitive though. never been abused that I know of; we got him somewhere between 4-7 weeks old from our local shelter. He's always been a sweetheart and easy as pie to train. He just keeps trying to off himself by eating rocks and poop.

Kind of another subject, but his sensitivity to training can be a challenge. He picks things up so easily and is so eager to please that it is super easy to UNtrain him or inadvertently retrain him to some undesirable or opposite behavior.

ETA- Growing up, we had a purebred Weimaraner. That dog ate an entire couch. Down to the wood frame. I'd always wondered what couches were really constructed of. He ate the wall. Distinct teeth marks right into the sheetrock. He barfed up rocks and rubber bands once. He ate part of the concrete patio. Then barfed that up too. One day, I came home and he had a large pencil sharpener lodged in his mouth. When I tried to remove it, he yelped. He ate simmering food directly out of the pots on the stove. He is the number one reason I believe in kenneling and training :)


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