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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Help! my 5 month old male Dobie will not stop eating rocks! No matter how hard I try, he will scarf them down the first chance he gets. I assume this could cause serious health issues. How can I prevent this behavior?
 

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My boy loved rocks for a while, now he is over them. Unless you have an area of your yard that is rocks (some people do), I'd suggest canvasing your yard and just picking up/removing all of the rocks. If that's not an option you could take away the rock that he's chewing on with a firm "No" and then give him something that is more appropriate to chew.
 

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Mine did the same we had a gravel driveway and every chance she had she got them down her that quick before I could stop her. I sat up all night with her whilst she sicked up 18 gravel stones. I am so lucky she didnt get a blockage. We fenced off the area so she couldnt get to them. Even on the lead she would grab them. I used the leave/drop it training technique which actually works now but a good 5 months after training first began but it doesnt work straight away. My dobie was a puppy and she did this at 10 weeks for about 2 moths. Practice makes perfect. Best thing to do is keep her away from rocks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
shock collar?

Unfortunately my house is surrounded with rocks (drip edge), so keeping him away from the rocks altogether is seemingly impossible. There have been a few recommendations to try a "shock collar". Although I dislike the idea, I would rather him get a few zaps than risk serious health issues. has anyone had any experience with these collars? do they work? are they cruel? brand recommendations? Thanks
 

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Unfortunately my house is surrounded with rocks (drip edge), so keeping him away from the rocks altogether is seemingly impossible. There have been a few recommendations to try a "shock collar". Although I dislike the idea, I would rather him get a few zaps than risk serious health issues. has anyone had any experience with these collars? do they work? are they cruel? brand recommendations? Thanks
This is a bad idea. he's a young puppy doing something natural that can be easily fixed with training and consistency. You don't just throw a collar on a dog and zap away. First of all IF you use a collar you only correct for a behavior the dog already knows. It's not used to TRAIN a behavior.

Keep him on a leash, keep him supervised, consistently work on keeping him from eating the rocks.
 

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You absolutely can use an e-collar to train him to leave rocks alone. It will require your complete focus and decent timing. It is (probably) not necessary to set the collar to more than a mild, interrupting level and the correction should be made when he makes a decision to go for a rock, which is hard to do and where your focus and timing come in.

Like lots of other stuff, you get what you pay for. I would spend the money to get a good collar, since it will have a greater range of levels and probably be more consistant and reliable. Tri-tronics or Dogtra would be my first choices. If you spend the money, you might as well get your money's worth and learn how to incorporate an e-collar into your training... they are far too versitile to limit to simply punishment training.

It is possible that your pup has realized that his obsessing over rocks is a great way to engage you. The e-collar will allow you to disengage and remove the possible payoff of your rushing to deal with the situation.

It is also possible that your pup has OCD tendencies. If this is the case, ANY kind of behavior that falls into this category needs to be noted and corrected as early as possible.

Lots of other cool stuff outside helps... stuff that is better than rocks might include a huge honkin' raw beef femur bone, a block of ice made in a milk jug with all sorts of yummy things frozen throughout, one of those giant exercise balls to chase around... and, YOU! What do you do when you are outside with him? Stand around and wait for him to try to eat rocks, or play? Play tug, play fetch, play tag/chase... just play!

This absolutely is a health and safety issue. He cannot be allowed outside unsupervised unless he is muzzled. If you opt for a muzzle, you want a well-made basket muzzle.
 

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I would not move on to the e-collar unless you have exhausted all other options. I'm not against them, I just prefer to try everything else first.

Teaching him a drop it/leave it command is your best bet as others have suggested. Keep him on lead while he's in the yard and when he goes to gobble up a rock, give a quick pop on the collar and say "Leave it" in a firm tone. As he's only 5 months, I would suggest a martingale collar for training.
 
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This,too, shall pass. My boy went thru this stage. Know I spent at least two months digging thru poo. Never found where he passed any rocks, aluminum or plastic I thought he had swallowed. The plastic milk jug and beer can he came by with had chewed out sections, never found them in the house. So I assumed he swallowed them. It is a stage of exploring and all they can use is their mouth, so everything goes in, but not neccesarily down. You have to be careful the pup doesnt turn it into a game of keep away cause that is when things can be swallowed. I used distraction with a toy, food, whatever will get your pups attention and cause him to forget and drop the rock. Meantime start teaching him to drop it and leave it during training times. I will say I called my vet in a panic one nite wanting to bring Parker in and he had me to wait it out. Saved me $100 after hour fee and Parker did throw it up or that could be one of the poo digging missions. He did throw up a rock once. Best wishes!
 

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OMG I feel your pain. We moved into a new house with two large rock gardens in the back yard. Shortly afterward we got Beckham. Well, he thought the rocks were there just for him to consume. I lost sleep and obsessed over it for about 3 wks. Finally we called the yard men and ask that they come out and removed every rock. Now this was ALOT of rock so the removal wasn't cheap. Then, thinking we would be smart and put in more landscaping..........sooooooooo........we had them haul in hundreds of dollars of black mulch. I agree with Linda H that "this too shall pass". He would eat the mulch like a doggie treat but now at 8 mos. he has stopped eating up my yard or so I think. Good luck, be diligent, and be patient.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
He has actually had a movement that consisted primarily of the rocks he has been consuming!! I know you say diligence is the answer, but he seems to think of this as some sort of game we are playing.
 

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Oliver had a thing for rocks, in fact he would put anything in his mouth. He thought it was a big game too. He loved it when we would chase him. I don't know if he ate any but I do know he ate a sock, he did puke it up. After that we had him xrayed and an ultrasound to make sure there wasn't anything else in there. We had everything removed and EasyTurf installed and that put a stop to the rock eating. I would suggest the training method others have done to stop the rock eating, it's alot cheaper too.
 

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Help! my 5 month old male Dobie will not stop eating rocks! No matter how hard I try, he will scarf them down the first chance he gets. I assume this could cause serious health issues. How can I prevent this behavior?
Ok, once they start its hard to stop. I had this problem with my german shepherd so I bought many tennis balls and she reduced it.But she damaged her teeth after a while and since 7-8 years she is still chewing rocks sometimes but now less. Find a solution to the problem asap..
 

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MoJo was a rock eater from day one. I avoided the driveway, and made sure there were no rocks that happened to be in the yard from mowing, or horses carrying them in....AND, I taught him to carry a toy on our walks...which seemed to take away the need to eat the rocks along our way.

p
 
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