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Discussion Starter #1
I am pleased to announce that I have successfully diverted Taedyn's obsession of rocks towards stuffed toys!

It has been one week since she has held a rock. Woot!

When I first got her, I didn't understand what was going on and would take all rocks and sticks from her. Once I realized it was an obsession, I would forcibly take rocks and sticks from her. This was pretty bad - it lead her to "feel bad" about holding rocks and avoid me when she had one.

Once I realized the psychology of what was going on, I stopped forcibly taking rocks away. Instead I would collect "good" rocks - those that were large enough to be taken away easily if needed, and unable to break apart - and I would give them to her whenever we were in a situation where she needed one. This made rocks come down to the level of treats, and it made her not feel as bad about holding one.

Over time her need to hold rocks started to wane, and she would drop them. She began to feel OK as long as the rock was around, but didn't need to hold it constantly. It was around this time that I started introducing other things. However, again, she didn't need to hold them constantly, so giving her things that could roll - like balls - was somewhat bad as they'd roll away and she'd freak out! haha. Also, many things didn't have an interest that would equal rocks, so she'd either need a rock in certain situations, or would drop the object for a rock when she saw one.

Eventually, I discovered she liked stuffed toys. Last week we were at a yard sale and she showed quite an interest in a particular toy. I decided to buy it for her, and she just adores it. It is equal to rocks in her mind, and she can carry it around everywhere. It has long legs like an octopus (but the body looks like a turtle, so we call it "turtlepus"), so I can hold the legs while she holds the body. Then she can drop it whenever she wants, and pick it back up whenever she wants because it's always dangling from my hands.

It's working out very well! She hasn't needed to hold a rock in a week. I'm feeling rather positive that this is a good step towards reducing her obsession and making her feel more secure.

Background Info: Taedyn is 6 years old, and I adopted her from the RISPCA 2.5 months ago.
 

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I thought I was the only one who had a dog with a rock obsession.

Did your girl 'always' pick up rocks or was it something else that prompted her to do this? I found that when we are out side woking in the yard, she will go and 'herd rocks' so she has a job to do. It's been frustrating to say the least!

I'm glad you worked through it. We are still working on it....

Lu
 

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Originally Posted By: luanneI thought I was the only one who had a dog with a rock obsession.

Did your girl 'always' pick up rocks or was it something else that prompted her to do this? I found that when we are out side working in the yard, she will go and 'herd rocks' so she has a job to do. It's been frustrating to say the least!

I'm glad you worked through it. We are still working on it....
Yes, whenever we are outside our home or the office she *must* be holding something. Before one week ago, it was rocks.

She would usually "upgrade" and ensure she was holding a relatively large rock. I would collect "good" rocks and give them to her before we got outside then she wouldn't have an interest to other rocks. After awhile, she would then look to me for rocks instead of outside.

I noticed, though, that she would begin to collect rocks. She would start putting all "good" rocks in a pile, and would loosely guard that pile (since no one else generally cared about a pile of rocks, she rarely had to defend it. haha). She stopped collecting piles of rocks when she began to have a high interest in playing catch with me. Then she started collecting balls instead.

The other thing I have started to do is giving her a back pack to carry (from Wolfpacks). I have heard from several sources that it helps satisfy their "task" desires, and gives them a feeling of doing a job. It holds different collars and harnesses (different jobs for different situations), water, a collapsible water bowl, some toys, poop bag refills, and, yes, some rocks just in case.
 
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