I just got my brand new black lab puppy Tug 1 week ago and I'm incredibly nervous about letting him outside. I don't have a very plush lawn, it needs to be raked and reseeded. Anyway...it contains a lot of little rocks, dirt, and dandilions and Tug is obsessed with all three. I chase him around the entire time he's outside taking rocks from his mouth, or dirt, or dandilions. Is it normal for him to want to eat rocks and dirt, etc? Can I calm down a little when he's outside? I'm just worried that he's going to get sick, or worse, from eating something that's harmful to him. ???
Allie LOVES finding rocks in the back yard. She sometimes brings them in thru her doggy door to let us know she has something she shouldn't. She will even attempt to chew play with the rocks in her mouth until I can get to her and get it out. Your dog is mostly wanting to play a game of "chase me, because I have something you want."
Your dogs behavior is normal, they think its play time with these things, and they think you want what they have... Allie does it with pine bark as well, but she can have all that she wants...
Yes, it's normal. This is a LAB. They want to put EVERYTHING in their mouth. That is the nature of the breed. You will find that Tug will put much worse things in his mouth as he finds them, too! ;D
That said, I wouldn't let him get to rocks ... I would be afraid he would swallow them and it would lead to an obstruction or damage his intestines. It is essential that you teach "leave it". The way I did this was to keep Sami on a leash and put a desired object a few feet away. When she went for it I would pull her away from it by saying "leave it". And then I praised and treated her saying "good leave it". She picked this up incredibly fast. Another way to teach it is to put an object just underneath your shoe, but don't step on it. When your puppy goes for it, just cover it with your shoe and say "leave it" and again "good leave it" when they are successful.
It is not too early for you to begin teaching these things. Labs are smart and pick up commands pretty quickly. Just spend 5 minutes a couple of times a day working on it and you'll be amazed.
Thanks so much for all the wonderful advice. I'm so excited now to get home from work tonight and try the "leave it" command with the rocks and such. I'll keep you posted.
Abby was a rock lover too, she even found a bag of landscaping rocks and spread them all of the deck. As for the Dandilions they will not harm him, Abby has eater her fair share of these too.
I taught LEAVE IT the same way ThatsMyGirl taught Sammi, and it worked very quickly with CoCo! She'll either stop sniffing or drop whatever it is that interests her, and then look at me like "where's my treat"? I'm trying to wean her off the treats by giving her praise now, but I do keep kibble in my pockets to reward her for doing the right thing from time to time.
As for the dandelions... I consider it CoCo just doing her part to weed the lawn!
~Jo & CoCo
And put him on a leash, then you don't have to 'chase him around.'
Here is another comand for those times "Release!!!" I work with Petals everyday on that. I take a toy that she likes to retrieve and I start by saying "No! Release!". The first couple of times you might have to open their mouths and when you get it you praise them like crazy. Eventually they will just drop whatever is in their mouth. (Petals is not that good yet, but my last lab was great about that)
I actually have broken this up into two separate commands -- one is "GIVE" when I want it in my hand. The other is "DROP IT" when I really don't want to get the object in my hands (think goose poo!) Conversely, the command to put something in her mouth is "TAKE IT". But I worked on the "LEAVE IT" command first -- really at the same time I worked on sit, down, stay, wait, and heel. I added in the others a little later.Originally Posted by shamrox
Oh Buck did the same!! I'd always go out with him on a leash since we didnt have a fenced yard at the time infact I still go out with him now just not with a leash on...anyways...I would just constantly pull everything he shouldn't eat out of his mouth...I didn't know at the time that I could have used the opportunity to teach him leave it or release so I'd just shove my hand down his mouth yank the stuff out and say NO! NO! but he got the hint and stopped trying to eat rocks...eating dirt was a whole another deal...but long story short! they do grow out of it and calm down about it...Buck has stopped trying to eat dirt and rocks but occassionally he will pop one into his mouth but it is no where near as bad as it used to be...he's 4 months old right now...
I definitely recommend that you do not leave him outside unattended for a while cuz you never know what they will find and try to eat...they are just babies and don't know any better...
<3 01/01/2006-03/18/2017 <3