Help! I have a 12 week old chocolate lab I've had since he was 8 wks old. I try to take him outside to play to use up all his puppy energy and all he wants to do is eat dirt, grass, sticks, rocks, etc... I feed him Eukanuba Large Breed Puppy which he loved but recently he doesn't eat it right away and comes back to it later in the day. On the other hand if I take him outside he can't get enough of his "outdoor buffet". We live in the country so avoiding any of these substances is impossible. He's healthy, active and pooping still so I'm not concerned about a blockage of any kind. I've been told that this is "just a lab thing" but looking for some advice. I do take him out on a leash but he chokes himself pulling on it to get to the good stuff. I've been working with him on "leave it" command but it's just white noise to him right now. I just can't believe he'd rather eat dirt than play.....
Seriously, it might just be something lacking in his diet. I'd be talking to the vet about a change of diet or maybe a supplement. Of course you'll also get some great advice here too. I suggest you re-post this in Lab Chat. You'll get a lot more replies there.
You need to teach and reinforce the "drop it" and "leave it" commands. They are a labby owners best friends!
Sophie DOB 04/13/2011 6 mo
Sophie 15 months, with Skye
We had the same issues!! When we first got Bentley, he loved eating plants and dirt outside and was really picky about eating his food. He would eat it as a "last resort." After doing some research, we figured maybe he was trying to make up for something he wasn't getting in his food (just like what Garth said!). So we switched foods and started giving him daily vitamins and he hasn't wanted to eat dirt since! He still likes to chew on branches and stuff, but he doesn't actually eat it.
My Chester is 19 weeks now and he was a dirt eater too. He also was on Eukanuba large breed puppy and I had to change due to a stubborn urinary infection he had since weaning. It was potting soil he was after specifically and I think there may have been some kind of organic thing he was after and I am just glad he didn't develop some worm issues. It was just a passing faze thank goodness .
Thanks all! I'm in the process of changing his food. I was suspicious that might be part of the issue. Trying to teach "leave it" and "drop it" but feel like I'm doing it wrong... Cooper responds to those commands about the same way my 5 yr old son responds to "no" I get a look of "well then try to make me" LOL. I plan on puppy classes in the near future, more to train me than him.
If you search the forum I am sure there are suggestions on training drop it and leave it.
P.S. when I read the title I pictured a puppy playing in the yard, falling and getting a mouth full of dirt and deciding it was good,lol.
~It doesn't matter how smart the dog is,it matters how smart the owner is.
Maxx is now 13 months old and it seems that just recently I haven't had to spend the majority of our time outside saying "leave it" and digging all sorts of neat stuff out of his mouth. He will still occassionaly grab something but no where near as bad as when he was younger.
Maxx & Emma Jean
Ozzy - 10/16/02 - 06/28/11 - Always in my heart.
Sometimes the hardest part isn't letting go - but learning to start over.