Put an End to Rock Eating

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First off, a visit to the vet is always a good idea. If he gets a clean bill of health then we need to focus on changing his behavior and his motivation for rock eating.  Since a puppy uses his mouth as an instrument to explore his world. If he’s confined to a barren yard with little environmental stimulation, and if the only thing he has to chew on is rocks then that might explain his compulsion for them.

The first order of business is a step you have already started working on which is to limit his access to rocks. Fencing off a small grassy area and combing the area with a garden rake should eliminate most if not all of the rocks. You can then use the grassy area as a safe training zone to help change his motivation.

Now the fun part! Take a variety of toys and simply play with him so he learns there are alternatives to rocks. Simple environmental enrichment can sometimes make them forget all about their old habits.

After a couple weeks, we need to see if it will be safe to allow him to have access to places where rocks are available. To do this, add a rock to the grassy area that is too large to pick up or swallow but still has sides where he can mouth it.

If he makes a beeline for the rock, make sure he knows this is not acceptable behavior, but reward and praise him whenever he picks up a favorite toy instead. He will gradually lose interest in the rock. If he needs extra encouragement, then spraying the rock with bitter apple or bitter orange or a similar noxious but non-toxic product can also help discourage the behavior during this period.

 

For even more training and behavior tips, visit The Pee Press!

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Dianne writes on a broad range of subjects for newspapers, magazines and journals, and continues to ensure her business clients are advantaged by her skills. Her ambition for her writing passion is the subject of dogs. Dianne was profiled in Progressive choices Ontario Women in Business “as having a blend of talent, skill and passion”. Featured in Dog-Sport magazine with her dog Tara and in Dogs of Canada. Dianne has forty years’ worth of loving, living, working and learning about dogs. Dianne resides in Ottawa with her husband, her three dogs and two parrots. Needless to say Dianne’s true passion is her love of dogs, which began at a young age. Dianne would train her dogs or neighbor’s dog’s silly tricks as a child. As quoted by Women in Business” her passion and skill with dogs is evident”. Dianne is a Behavior Therapist and a Master Trainer. Dianne enjoys learning and teaching what she has applied and learned to help others succeed with their dogs. Dianne continues to progress in her passion for writing and her enthusiasm for educating owners about dogs. My mission is to educate owners to see things from a dog’s perspective rather than a human’s perspective. This reduces and clears up misunderstandings between the species. This greatly reduces the amount of dogs being Surrendered, Abandoned or Euthanized, and creates a natural and appropriate human animal bond. Dogs have been my greatest teachers; they ignited a spark that will never die. If you have a wonderful relationship with your dog, that foundation will be expressed between you and your dog in all your days together. www.thepeepress.com www.pinterest.com/peepress www.facebook.com/thedailypeepost www.youtube.com/diannesarasin

1 COMMENT

  1. Our lab eats rocks if they were thrown or touched by us. I have been working with my young grandchildren to not throw them.

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