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Old 09-25-2010, 04:46 AM
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Eating and chewing stones

Charlie is just over two years old. He's a very slim chap, very energentic so he burns off a lot of energy and is ALWAYS hungry! He'll eat anything and everything.

Lately he has taken to chewing stones and sometimes eating them - at least, I know he's eaten one as he brought it up a few days ago. Must have been the size of a golf ball.

There are stones EVERYWHERE on my land so it's impossible to stop him getting to them, short of muzzling him.

I should also add that he gets worms (roundworms) every so often - he's regularly wormed but I mention this in case it's somehow relevant to his seemingly insatiable appetite.

So, how can I stop him eating and chewing stones? I'm concerned about his digestive system AND his teeth.


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Old 09-25-2010, 09:04 AM
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1) Get a thourough vet exam ot look for any underlying issues. Sure it's fairly normal for dogs (and goldens!) to like to eat. But dogs that are eating everything.... may have some sort of health problem.
2) Teach him to wear a basket muzzle. Teach him to love it, that it's his best friend. DO NOT use a mesh type muzzle... with a basket muzzle he can drink and pant.
3) Take him out on leash in the mean time, do NOT give him any opportunity to eat a rock.
4) Get in a basic training class or a private... and learn how to train a Leave it. It's tempting to say 'ARGG, off! Leave it, nargg!" when you see a dog about to eat something he shouldn't... but I would NOT use punishment... these dogs quickly learn to eat things only when you aren't looking and that is almost more dangerous.
5) Monitor him carefully. He could still have rocks in him and may need surgery at some point for removal......

If you're feeling really inspired (and wanting to prevent that surgery!), see a veterinary behaviorist. They would be able to bring up possible health issues resulting in rock-eating much more than your regular vet.

Thanks for doing something about this!
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Old 09-25-2010, 03:13 PM
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totally agree with RedDogs. There was a member here that their dog had surgery fom eating rocks and another for eating pebbles so you want to make sure to break that habit.
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Old 09-25-2010, 03:39 PM
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Thanks very much for the advice. Much appreciated.
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Old 09-28-2010, 12:26 PM
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Spencer our male has done the same thing, eaten a rock and brought it back up later. I have been watching closely and I remove them from his mouth whenever he picks one up and say leave it. He seems to be losing interest in them, I hope it stays that way.I wonder if they are salty tasting or something.

I also knew a couple who had a chocolate lab that would go swimming and dig up large (like I mean the size of a softball or bigger) rocks from the bottom of the lake and bring them back to shore. The retriever instinct I guess.
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Old 09-28-2010, 12:47 PM
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A vet visit to check for underlying conditions, constant vigilance to break the habit, and more exercise and working games that involve fetching in order to weaken the desire.

For difficult to break habits, you have to go after the habit itself (i.e., teach a positive "leave it" command and monitor him carefully in the yard), but it really helps if you can come at whatever it is that's making the dog desire to engage in the bad habit in the first place.

For chewing, mouthing, carrying problems, I think it's an absolute must to give the dog a positive chewing, mouthing, and/or carrying job. Awesome toys that you play with together and then give him to chew would help, as would learning an appropriate fetching game together and playing it until the dog is tired, a couple of times a day.
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Old 10-05-2010, 08:19 AM
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Here is an article that might help you.

Does Your Dog Eat Rocks? Here’s What to Do | The Real Owner

The most important thing is to make sure he is medically okay, bring him to the vet and have him checked.

Best of luck!
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Old 10-05-2010, 09:42 AM
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Thanks very much. He hasn't tried to eat or chew any for a while now, so let's hope it was a temporary blip.
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