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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
every time he goes outside to potty, he picks up tiny rocks in his mouth and i take them away. he knows i am going to take them, i am thinking that is why he does it :)
could he choke on one and does anyone else have a pup who does this?
:eek: oh gross! yesterday, he found a piece of old chewing gum outside!!
 

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Hoss used to do that all the time. In fact he ate a lot of them and I was very fortunate that he never had a problem. Seems like he out grew the habit by the time he was about 10 months old
 

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He's a RETRIEVER. They pick up things. Anything they can get their mouths on actually. He doesn't know that these things can harm him. He just knows it's instinct to pick them up.
 

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Less likely to choke than to get a blockage if he swallows them/ They find the low spot in the intestine and sit there, don't pass. As they swallow more a blockage occurs. Expensive surgery if caught, death if not.

Don't let him play the game with you. No Rocks! Teach Leave IT
 

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He's a RETRIEVER. They pick up things. Anything they can get their mouths on actually. He doesn't know that these things can harm him. He just knows it's instinct to pick them up.
Yeah, that. It's your job to teach him what he can and cannot pick up. When he picks up a rock, tell him no, take it, give him something he is allowed to have and praise him. That is what we did with our lab and it worked quite well. If we saw her on her way to picking up something we would tell her "leave it!". Eventually she got to the point where she only picked up items she was allowed to. It took a lot of persistance, but it was worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
give him something else to carry instead.
he has TONS of things to carry! but you know how that goes...he wants everything that is not his.

he is only outside when he is going potty right now and he is supervised, so i think i have been really good so far about seeing him pick the rocks up and taking them right away. i figured it had to be a retriever thing :) however, he also picked up a dime off of DS's bedroom floor!
 

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Yeah, that. It's your job to teach him what he can and cannot pick up. When he picks up a rock, tell him no, take it, give him something he is allowed to have and praise him. That is what we did with our lab and it worked quite well. If we saw her on her way to picking up something we would tell her "leave it!". Eventually she got to the point where she only picked up items she was allowed to. It took a lot of persistance, but it was worth it.
Ditto all of the above ! I never had a problem with constant picking up of stones but I did have a lab with a blockage.

The surgery cost me $1200 at the time - worth every penny but that's not the point.
 

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Besides the "leave it" command, it's a good idea to teach "drop it" or "spit it out" for something already in his mouth. Once it's out, give a treat and praise.
 

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Besides the "leave it" command, it's a good idea to teach "drop it" or "spit it out" for something already in his mouth. Once it's out, give a treat and praise.
Yes, this is important too. We used "drop it" when she had something she shouldn't have, "give" when she was retrieving.
 

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I agree 100% with Samson and Labradorable.

Teach "Drop it" and "Leave it" -- you can do this easily at mealtimes using a NILIF (Nothing in Life is Free) feeding/training protocol (you can google NILIF to get instructions online). Jean Donaldson's "Culture Clash" (about $12 + S&H from Amazon) is also an excellent, widely endorsed training guide.

Use a ball or vinyl training dummy for fetch games and playing (but never available just to chew on, only for fetch play) as something far more fun than picking up rocks. Also far cheaper and healthier than the consequences of swallowing rocks.

I use 2" x 12" Lucky Dog vinyl training dummies from places such as www.gundogsupply.com

 

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Jeb (2 y.o) has a "rock collection" that he has had since puppyhood. He has never swallowed tham and still occasionally will pick up gravel. His "collection" includes a smalll piece of brick, a small piece of concrete form a post hole, and several larger rocks. Every now and then he will pick one up, roll it around in his mouth, then drop it. Just watch your feet!
 
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