9 wk old in backyard trying to eat gravel and plants as he explores
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Thread: 9 wk old in backyard trying to eat gravel and plants as he explores

  1. #1
    arlinevg is offline Member
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    Mar 2008

    Default9 wk old in backyard trying to eat gravel and plants as he explores

    Greetings All!
    Odie, our 9 1/2 week old black male pup has been home with us now for 8 days. Yay! He's doing great. But as he feels more bold and starts to explore the backyard more, he is picking up leaves and junk on the lawn to munch on. We have a couple of Lenten Rose plants in our beds and I know they are poisonous. Each morning I also do a sweep for any of the little mushrooms that can pop up overnight. I do not believe this variety of mushroom is poisonous, but to be on the safe side I pluck them right out of the grass first thing in the morning. The other issue we have is with a little patio area under an arbor that has a gravel base. Small 5/8" angular gravel that Odie will discover and try to eat. We're working at keeping him out of the patio area currently. That may become impossible in a few weeks time though. Short of sectioning off all my planting beds and this patio area with stakes and temporary plastic fencing, anybody have any other suggestions? We watch him like a hawk and sometimes put him on leash (which he likes to chew), but I'm wondering if I should be trying to teach him the "drop it" command now, or is it too early? I loudly say "Aaaach" as I take whatever the offending leaf or small piece of gravel, etc. it is that he has nimbly gotten into his mouth, but am anticipating that this situation will only worsen as he gets older and more bold. Because of the parvo issue, this is going to be his only outside exposure for the next 6 weeks or so.

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  3. #2
    dek is offline Senior Member
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    Jan 2011


    It's not too early to start on "drop" or "give" and "leave it". Keep treats with you and trade out whatever he has for a treat. Worked very well for me.
    I can't remember how long the put everything in their mouth phase lasts, but it seemed like a long time. Even after mine stopped picking up everything from the street there was an extended shell and rock chewing phase.

  4. #3
    HersheyK's Dad's Avatar
    HersheyK's Dad is offline Senior Member
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    Feb 2009
    Minnetonka, MN


    It sounds like you are watching and trying to do your best.

    (1) If you know the plant is poisonous, I would get rid of it. I wouldn't even think twice about it. If he likes it, there will be a time when you aren't watching and he is the one that will be harmed.
    (2) Gravel: Work that one hard, or think about getting rid of it. If he accumulates enough of it, you are looking at death or surgery to remove the blockage. Replacing the gravel will cost a lot less in $s and pain.

    Good luck making the right decisions and efforts.

    I would really get rid of any plant that you now is poisonous.
    Hershey Kisses, In charge of getting Ed out to the dog park so that he gets some exercise.

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  6. #4
    Belles mom is offline Senior Member
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    Feb 2009


    Excellent suggestions so far. Poisonous plants I would get rid of, or put a permanent fence around it. Gravel is a hard one. Hoss used to mine for. Rocks and swallow them. I was very fortunate that it never caused a blockage, as paying several thousand dollars would have been financially devastating. It is not easy at first!

    Karen and the gang
    BBI Kodi's Journey To Anotch (Journey)
    BBI Kodi's Blackpowder Striker (Flint)

  7. #5
    J.R.&JNE's Avatar
    J.R.&JNE is offline Senior Member
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    May 2013
    San Diego


    Excellent suggestions. They move so quickly that it is nearly impossible to stop them from eating dangerous objects. In my humble opinion, it is best to eliminate the risk all together.

    J.R. and June

  8. #6
    dstyer65 is offline Senior Member
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    Mar 2013


    Teach "drop it, leave it" with a high value reward. Start indoors while he is playing with his own toys. It works!
    Todd, Yellow Lab, 1/4/13
    Mr. Utley, Welsh Corgi, 2/20/02

  9. #7
    Lilprincee's Avatar
    Lilprincee is offline Senior Member
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    Feb 2009


    Wow.....thinking back it seems to last forever - Gus was the worst he picked up everything he found - I've had my hands in him mouth at least 100 million times I am sure. Mostly when we were in this stage he was kept on a leash because I could not catch him and he would run from me if he got something he was not supposed to have. I worked real hard on leave it and drop it and he does it now - most of the time - so it is an ongoing lesson - good luck and I'd agree get rid of the poisonous bush - just not worth the risk.

  10. #8
    tammyhuffman is offline Senior Member
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    Sep 2011
    SE, PA


    Ditto on removing poisonous plants and gravel. It is definitely not worth the risks. It is not to early to teach "leave it", etc but it will be some time before you can trust that he is reliable. This stage of everything in the mouth lasts a good amount of time, Maxx is 2 and I still watch him like a hawk. Unfortunately there are just some things that will always tempt them.
    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.

  11. #9
    Sophiesmama's Avatar
    Sophiesmama is offline Senior Member
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    Jun 2011


    Yep...no way to having anything poison where a pet can get to it. Too risky. When Sophie was a baby we put up a temporary fence. We left it till she was trustworthy. Teaching commands is so important. Drop it can be a labby owner's best friend. Always supervise when outside.

    Sophie DOB 04/13/2011 6 mo

    8.5 mo.

    Sophie 15 months, with Skye

  12. #10
    Dog Paddle is offline Senior Member
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    Jul 2012


    Probably many of the plants in your yard are poisonous to some degree. One part or another of them but usually an awful lot of them has to be consumed before you will see adverse effects. It's good to know the degree to which they are dangerous. Yes, I know, hellebores are a bad one. They taste bad so may not be swallowed but may cause blistering in puppy mouth.

    However, if you're getting rid of the Lenten roses can I have them?

    You may have to be on the alert for a year. Mine got past the stage of eating everything in sight and I did work on LEAVE IT and DROP IT but no way was I going to trust to training at that young age. If vigilant diligence is not possible then yes, you will have to cover up or get rid of some things.

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