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Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can train my puppy (almost 12 weeks) not to pick up mulch, sticks, woodchips and attempt to eat them EVERY TIME we go outside? Keeping him away from it is not an option. I live in a n'hood where every house is mulched in some fashion, pine bark nuggets, triple shred, designer mulch, and the stuff is all over the place. A hard rain spreads it all over driveways, the street, sidewalk, through the grass, etc.

I know it is not ideal for the puppy to be eating this stuff and I say "off" (which he is reasonably well-trained to do unless he really wants it) and dig it out of his mouth every time but he gets some of it down before I can get to him. You would think the stuff is puppy treats the way he goes after it. He eats as much as I'm supposed to feed him and is gaining weight appropriately. Eating a blend of Wellness LBP and Orijen LBP. And he gets treats for training.

I've seen suggestions about bitter apple, but I can't exactly spray every piece of mulch I see with bitter apple.

Will he grow out of this?

Thanks for any advice!
 

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Saber's pretty much grown out of it (17 weeks) but for a long time I was doing the same thing, digging bark mulch, leaves, sticks, acorns etc out of her mouth all the time. I ended up raking a portion of the yard so it was relatively debris free and had her on a leash to potty. On walks I'd stick to sidewalks mostly and if I saw some stick or rocks coming up I'd either have her "watch" (focus on me) and treat as we went past, or say "leave it." Something else that worked great was to give her a stick, ball, or large pinecone at the beginning of the walk to carry. Then her mouth was full already.
 
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