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Puppy picking up rough gravel from back yard

380 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  jolgo
I have a 9 week old Labrador puppy who picks up pieces of rock chippings/ gravel when he goes outside for a potty break, which is many times a day. Is he likely to swallow one or just doing his puppy thing of taking anything and everything into his mouth. Trouble is virtually all of my back yard is this gravel. Will he grow out of it. At the moment I can sometimes distract or persuade him to drop it or open his mouth with some difficulty. Any suggestions welcome.
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Labs are notorious for eating everything. My sibling's 11 yr old lab got very ill once. She called the vet and he said to bring him him and the vet would run a bunch of tests to see what was going on. My sibling brought him in and when the vet saw the dog he said " you didn't tell me he was a lab. He ate something. I'll do surgery and remove it and he'll be fine." The lab had eaten an oak ball and it was poisoning him and blocking his intestines.

When my sibling picked him up, she noticed the poster on the exam room wall - it was of a lab surrounded by the 100 tennis balls he had eaten and had surgically removed.

So always assume that whatever your lab puts in his mouth he will likely swallow. Teach him "drop it" (drop what he has already picked up) and "leave it" (ignore what he is showing an interest in). Do this by having him trade the rock in his mouth for a better tasting treat. Use the drop it command every time. He'll figure out that dropping the rock will get him something better. For leave it, as soon as he starts showing an interest in the gravel, re-direct him to something appropriate (toy, chew) and give him a treat when he ignores the gravel.

Make sure there are appropriate dog toys and chews for him to focus on instead of the gravel.

If he starts to obsess on rocks, you might want to de-gravel an area of the yard and confine him to that area when you cannot keep a close eye on him.
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