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Q: How do I keep my black labs from eating rocks?

June 4, 2008 | By Kepiku | 6 answers | Expired: 2227 days ago

How do I keep my black labs from eating rocks?

Both of my black labs eat rocks. The male eats more than the female. He doesn't eat all of them thet they dig up only some, And then he gets sick and can;t eat. HELP

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Skeeber
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Jun 11, 2008

This sounds like it could cause some very serious health problems so addressing this bad habit soon seems like a priority. Robin had a good suggestion to teach your dogs the command "Leave It". To do this, work with them on a leash to start with. Each time they try to eat or even smell something on the ground, use the command "leave it" and give a gentle correction with the leash. As soon as you see them look away from the object, give them lots of praise. Continue to practice this on the leash and they will soon learn the command and you can use it when you see them start to eat rocks, or anything else that is undesirable in the yard. Hopefully both dogs will learn that rocks aren't to be eatten. I would also discuss this habit with your vet.

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Katnboots1976
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Jun 08, 2008

Bitter apple and fooey are two of the products that make things taste bad. (but it will eventually wear off from weather, Fooey seems to be the longer lasting better product of the two) Labs usually chew on stuff or dig because they are bored. If your dogs are outside for extended periods of time, one thing you can do is set up their own special "play area" where you bury bones and hard rubber toys, giving them something more interesting to dig up and chew on. If they are digging holes to get to the rocks, you can put their fecal matter in the holes and bury it. They shouldn't go back to that spot to dig any more.

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Corey A.
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Jun 04, 2008

Maybe it is a combination of factors. It may be a nutritional deficiency as well as a bad habit, or they just need something hard to chew on. It seems that the other dog "learned" the bad habit from the other one. It is the same with my dogs and our pop-up sprinklers. They now both attack and break them periodically.

I would try giving them more suitable hard things for them to chew on, and also give a vitamin for dogs to supplement the diet. If you are feeding a supermarket or low-end dog food like Alpo or something like that, you may need to supplement. However, if you are feeding Eukanuba or Science Diet or any holistic type food, then the supplement is not necessary. Basically with the food, you are paying more for vitamins (of which it might not matter since the food is superheated to kill mold and bacteria, thus making the vitamins inert). I try to get the kind of food that the vitamins are added after the superheating.

Also, it could just be a bad habit. You need to discipline the dogs when you catch them in the act of eating the rocks. Perhaps it would be better to get their interest in chasing and retrieving balls, or simply catching them. Perhaps tiring them out with balls and other play would curb this rock eating behavior.

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Robin
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Jun 04, 2008

I thought a little bit on this topic, and I remembered that you can buy pet-safe things at the petstore that taste bad. I can't remember the names right now, but I do know that they are available, as we have used them before. You could spray a few rocks with this in an area that seems to have your dog's "favorite" rocks. They may decide to stop when the rocks are bitter and no fun to taste. Hope it works!

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Robin
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Jun 04, 2008

I would train your dog a command like "leave it" or "drop it" so that when you see them eating rocks you can tell them not to. I would also work with them on a leash when you can. Just walk them around, paying close attention to what they are doing. If they start to eat something, just gently pull them away and move on. I wouldn't let them outside unsupervised.

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Jill R.
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Jun 04, 2008

eating strange things like rocks is called pika. Some dogs do this if they are missing something in their diet. Some dogs just eat rocks. So, if you have your dog on a well balanced diet, you should be okay. You may consider supplementing him with a general vitamin. AND, of course, if he's just doing it, you are going to have to keep him away from rocks and try some training sessions to train him to "drop" rocks when you request him to do so.

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