Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have a 12 week old puppy that I'd like to allow to play freely in my fenced yard. I'm not comfortable letting him be unsupervised yet, but I'd like to let him off leash. The problem I have is that he seems to want to eat (or at least taste) everything from bunny poop to leaves, sticks, rocks, and dirt. He does not respond to any sort of verbal correction, so without a leash I don't know how to stop him from ingesting something that could be harmful if I'm not right with him. I have a lot of shrubs like bush honeysuckle, so a long lead just gets wrapped around everything and tied into a giant knot. Not sure how to deal with this.

The last puppy I had was 12yrs ago and he was fully schooled by my adult pit mix. I don't remember having this problem with him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
641 Posts
First of all, be careful of large birds. They are known to swoop down and carry off small dogs and other animals. Other than that, be watchful of him eating rocks, sticks, etc
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
122 Posts
The real issue I see here is that at 12 weeks the pup hasn't had all his vaccinations yet - if there's wild animal feces in the yard or in the dirt and the pup happens to eat it, it could be a vector for disease.

I'd start by surveying your area and attempting to "puppy proof" it as much as possible:

- Make sure the fence has no gaps in it or under it to prevent animals from coming in and your puppy from going out.

- Look up the plants in your backyard and identify which are toxic to dogs.

- Remove anything dangerous you find lying in the yard - feces, sticks, bones, glass, trash, etc.


Instead of just letting your puppy wander free, I'd first introduce him to the yard on a leash - walk him all around it and let him smell and get used to things there. Do it many times. I wouldn't put him on a runner or tie him up with a long lead - as you mentioned, too many dangers for getting tangled or running & hurting himself upon seeing a bird, squirrel, etc.... Keep your dog amused in the yard by giving toys/bones - this will prevent him from chewing on sticks, plants, etc. Correct the dog if you notice he starts chewing on something he shouldn't be. Once he seems to be fine with the leash, start with short supervised trips in the yard (unleashed) to see how he does. It'll take awhile before you can leave him unsupervised. And keep the dog inside when it starts to get dark.

I just took my pup over to a friend's house last night - they have a large fenced in backyard - I let her run around but I couldn't avoid things like her eating grass, and sticks. They're dogs - to a certain degree, I let her be a dog. We sat around the fire with our pup sleeping at my feet - when our friend pointed to the corner of the yard - a *skunk* had somehow made its way through. So, I learned you can never just assume because a yard is fenced in that it's 100% safe.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
891 Posts
My puppy also loves to explore through her mouth. You might try teaching your puppy the "drop it" command for larger items that you definitely don't want her to have. It's a very helpful tool to have in your back pocket, especially when you're able to go out on walks, as I quickly learned with Molly when on her very first walk, she zeroed in immediately on a chicken bone someone had dropped in the wood chips in front of my house. After I pried it from her mouth, I resolved to come home and teach her to drop on command. This is the video I watched to learn how to teach it. http://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/teaching-dog-drop-it
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top