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Puppy eating rocks!

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by bonnie1, Sep 1, 2017.


  1. bonnie1

    bonnie1 PetForums Newbie

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    Hi all, I'm new to this forum and glad I found it! I have an 11 week old lab/shepard puppy named Lucy that has rock eating issues and it's hard to potty train her. If I could just open the door and let her out to potty, I would, however I have to take her out on a leash every time so she doesn't eat rocks. She also has to pee and poo a couple times in the middle of the night. Is that normal? She (and her siblings) were fostered for 1.5 months before I adopted her. Her foster mother told me that she had a "designated" spot in her yard that she let the dogs dig, and she would give them "sticks" to chew on! Lucy will also pick up wood chips along with the rocks and chew it till I can get it out of her mouth. She already has a broken fang on her lower jaw. I think she learned bad habits while living with her foster mother and it's hard to break her of it. The day I picked her up, (she was 9 weeks old then), she had been spayed that same day by the Humane Society. I really need suggestions on what to do with this rock chewing/wood eating issue! Thanks in advance
     
  2. steveshanks

    steveshanks PetForums VIP

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    This may not be what you want to hear but we had the same problem and we had to get rid of the rocks, well gravel in our case. And what a back breaking pain it was, if you feel you might go that route let me know and i'll give you some tips to save you some hard work.
     
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  3. bonnie1

    bonnie1 PetForums Newbie

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    Yes Please! What are the tips??
     
  4. bumbarrel

    bumbarrel PetForums Senior

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    Peeing and pooing at night is normal for a puppy of that age. They have small capacity bladders and can't hold on. Set your alarm to get up a couple of times in the night to pre-empt any mess. Make the whole thing matter of fact - praise for dog emptying outside then put back to bed.
     
  5. steveshanks

    steveshanks PetForums VIP

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    Cover it up don't dig it up LOL.....We had gravel borders and a huge gravel area at the side, first time we dug the gravel borders out and laid turf, the little tinker dug through the lawn to get the few bits of gravel that were left so we ended up putting fake turf down, that solved the border area but we still had the large area to the side, which now had more gravel from the borders. I wanted to get rid of it but there was so much it would have killed me and i don't want to pay a grand to get rid so what i did was flatten it all down and cover it in about 8 bags of sand, then a weed membrane and then cheap ebay fake grass, looks nice and is safe. I wish i'd known how much easier this way had been when i started the lawn area.

    If you look at the before area the grass part is the lawn with the border and whats left of the fence was keeping him from the gravel, but as you can see looks awful and looked worse when it was piled high with muddy gravel LOL. The chair was just a temporary thing:)
    Before.JPG
    After.JPG
     
  6. Jamesgoeswalkies

    Jamesgoeswalkies PetForums VIP

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    I have a big garden with a host of stones and sticks and pebbles and earth ...all waiting to be discovered...and all my dogs as puppies used to explore and everything went in to their mouths ...and my day would be spent looking, checking and saying 'give'. And if I wasn;t there to keep an eye on them they used to be in a 'puppy safe' area indoors.

    I would carry a handful of her kibble around in your pocket and every time she picks up something, say the magic word' (drop/give) and offer her a piece of kibble in return. And if kibble doesn't work used tiny slices of sausage! Eventually you can teach the word 'leave' as well. But at 11 weeks you just have to have eyes like a hawk!

    And make sure she has a host of things/toys that she can chew/play with/gnaw at etc ......

    In regard to toilet training, use a long line to give her more freedom in the garden (yet you can still call her to you if she is eating a stone or something).

    And allowing her an area to dig in is a great idea ......we have areas in the garden which the dogs can destroy if they need to and areas which they mustn't dig/
    etc.

    J
     
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  7. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

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    For toilet training you need to go out with them any way to start to establish a toileting cue, and also praise and reward usually with a treat to re-enforce they have got it right and encourage them to do it next time. At 11 weeks there bladders are still pretty small so they haven't got great capacity still to hold large amounts for long periods, so pups do tend to pee a lot more frequently then older dogs. At her age she will
    still need to pee in the night too its normal, it all improves with growing age and toilet training so doesn't sound from what you have said there is anything abnormal.

    You will have to watch the picking up stones and rocks because if she does swallow any they can easily cause a blockage. Dogs should be given sticks to chew they can also cause injuries to the mouth, throat and pallet.

    You do need as said to go out with her anyway, have you tried using distraction with toys or other things to stop her being so interested in the rocks. Its never too early to teach things like leave and drop commands either, encouraging her to swop items she goes to pick up with something better and rewarding when she does. If you get these commands in place indoors as a training exercise it should help her keep focus and interest more on you when shes out and hopefully less on the rocks and wood.
     
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  8. bonnie1

    bonnie1 PetForums Newbie

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    That really looks nice, and there is an area in my yard that this would work! Thank you!
     
  9. bonnie1

    bonnie1 PetForums Newbie

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    I've been rewarding her with little treats when she listens to me outside. (she already gets treats indoors) and I picked up a training clicker, and she knows she'll get a treat when I click that (when she does what I ask), but she still doesn't get it when I say "leave it!" when she picks up a rock.
     
  10. bonnie1

    bonnie1 PetForums Newbie

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    I'm bringing treats outside now, and I should have mentioned that my sons dog is here all the time and is a distraction. So, today I made the other pup stay indoors while I tried to work with Lucy outside. I also picked up a training clicker, and she knows when she hears that sound, she'll get a treat. Tonight, she actually went to the back door by herself because she had to go potty!
     
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  11. Jamesgoeswalkies

    Jamesgoeswalkies PetForums VIP

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    She's 11 weeks! Give her time (another few months by my experience of puppies!:D) she'll get it.

    J
     
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