Puppy suddenly finding stones strangely attractive? That's a bad, bad thing. It's easy for an overexcited puppy to chew on a rock and break a tooth or hurt his gums. And that's without worrying about him swallowing it. Teaching him to give up on his rock obsession might take some training, but if you persist, he will eventually get over it.
Tip #1 - Replace each rock he picks up with a toy. Simply remove the stone from his mouth and hide it in your pocket -- don't throw it away or he might think it's something to chase. Then give a squeaky toy or a rubber ball in its place. He'll start to get the idea that toys -- and not rocks -- are for playing.
Tip #2 - Spray any rocks you have in your yard with pet repellent or vinegar. If you have stones in potted plants, pebbles in an area of your garden or small rocks spread around the yard, make sure every single inch of them smells and tastes disgusting to your dog. The next time he's out for a walk and tries to grab a stone, he might remember how disgusting stones taste and decide to hold off on it. You can reinforce the idea by saying "no" as soon as you see him going for it.
Tip #3 - Teach Puppy what the "no" and "leave it" commands mean. Practice with fun things, such as toys or sticks, in your own yard. Once she's mastered these commands, you can use them to have her drop any stone she picks up. Say "no" as soon as you see her going for anything on the ground, whether it's a stone, a piece of paper or a stick. No screaming and don't go overly crazy about it. Just a quick, firm "no."
Warning: Check your dog's feces if you suspect he swallowed a stone. Big stones might not pass through and could cause a blockage in the intestines. Not sure? A visit to the vet is in order.
By Tammy Dray
About the Author
Tammy Dray has been writing since 1996. She specializes in health, wellness and travel topics and has credits in various publications including Woman's Day, Marie Claire, Adirondack Life and Self. She is also a seasoned independent traveler and a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. Dray is pursuing a criminal justice degree at Penn Foster College.