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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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