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Thread: Breaking a rock fetish

  1. #1
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Default Breaking a rock fetish

    My springer loves to carry stuff in his mouth. When he is out running he picks up anything, a bumper if allowed, a piece of cut lumber, a stick and unfortunately rocks from the driveway. Most items don't bother me much but the rocks have to stop! He doesn't seem to chew on them or anything just likes to have one in his mouth. I have been taking them away and scolding him but it doesn't seem to be sinking in very well. I am sure there are tricks out there and I am more than open to hearing them!

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    Hopefully he will outgrow this habit, or else use of the e-collar as he goes to pick up a rock may be called for. Some dogs will eat rocks and this can be deadly. Best of luck to both of you.


    Jim

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    Member TWB's Avatar
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    Is your pups thing to grab anything into his mouth? Or is he specifically going after rocks even to the point where he's digging them up?

    I mention this because I had a gorgeous 110# black lab, he loved to fetch- but his pride and joy was going for rocks- even digging them up in the yard. It got to the point where he began swallowing them, and eventually he took in a rock 3x bigger than a golf ball and he couldn't pass it.

    Commonly referred to as Picah (sp)

    Unfortunately his bad habit took his life.
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

  4. #4

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    What you are going to want to do is replace the rock with something else. Scold or correct and then replace with a high value toy(kong). After a while you can lower the value of the toy, or you could start with a low value(rope) toy and see if it works. I will look further into this...
    "When the time comes for a man to look his Maker in the eye, where better could the meeting be held than in the wilderness?"

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I have been scolding and replacing them with pig ears which he then carries. I am afraid that he has swallowed a rock or two so far. If so he seems to have passed any that were in his system. Perhaps going with the E-Collar would be the best route. Probably easier to correct the action of picking them up than having them in his mouth. Especially because he will carry small rocks that you cant readily see.

    Any suggestions on a budget minded e-collar?

  6. #6
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    LuJon,

    I highly recommend getting with a dog trainer ASAP. I wasn't able to correct the problem in my lab before it was too late. If he swallows a rock he can't crap out- your looking at $2300 vet bill at a minimum.
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

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    Member bnkwnto's Avatar
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    Look at the dogtra line of e-collars. They have them at sportsmans but you may find a better deal on line. Teach him the leave command and every time he picks a rock up tell him to leave it and follow with a light shock if needed. I wouldn't reward him in anyway by giving him treats.

  8. #8

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    You need to define what you are trying to teach in a more presentable drill. An easier way for pup to learn what you are asking.
    For starters you need to find an open floor space. Large kitchen, den, garage floor or smooth floor patio. Collect some of the toys you want to encourage your dog to retrieve and carry around. Then bring in some of those annoying rocks. Spread them about on your floor area with about 5 to 8 ft apart. Maybe toy.... Rock.... Toy...... Rock and etc. Either in a straight line or in a circle.
    Go get fido and have them on a lead. Walk them by each item encouraging them to play with the toys praise them if they do. Then take it from them put it back down and move on to the next. If at any time they pay attention to or even pick up the rock you correct them verbally. Maybe even a leash correction. What ever correction you choose it really needs to make an impression. To emphasize that was a bad behavior. (after all there life could be at risk) Continue on going from toy to rock walking from one to the next. Really rewarding when the pup picks up toys.
    Repeat this as needed over several days or until desired results are met.
    Once good in the open floor area then go to your driveway or the place where problems have occurred and do the same drill.

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    sent you a PM

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