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Dr. Joey
Dr. Joey, Board Certified
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 4941
Experience:  15 yrs in practice, specialist canine/feline medicine
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My puppy picks up and chews stones, wood anything that fits

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My puppy picks up and chews stones, wood anything that fits in his mouth actually, I cant stop this can you give me advice?

Dr. Joey :

Hello I am Dr. Joey. Thanks for trusting me to help you and your pet today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 15 years of experience. I look forward to working with you.

Dr. Joey :

Oh, this is such a frustrating problem. And very good to get on working on this issue right now. We do not want him to actually swallow the rock since those may not pass through very well.

Dr. Joey :

If you do not want to strictly avoid the situation (restrict access to inappropriate items), then you need to teach him to WANT to relinquish things to you, not simply to allow you to take things from him. This is done by teaching him to drop things on command for rewards. Like all training or behavior modification, you need to start simple (set him up to succeed). This means starting with things that are very low value or even things that he will want to relinquish, such as a ball or toy that you will then toss for him to fetch. It also means that you do not add to his anxiety about high value things (like rocks or socks) by yelling at him, if he has something and if he has relinquished something high value for you, especially this early in the process, you do not give it back, and then try to take it again. That feels too much like teasing, even if he is being given treats.

Dr. Joey :

As a side note, denying access to all rocks is certainly the best option in the short term. The risk of digestive tract foreign bodies blockage is high.

Encouraging appropriate chewing is obviously extremely important at this age when everything goes into the mouth (this is the highest point of teething for most puppies). If he is not keen on kongs, then try freezing them with gravy/mince or plain yogurt inside which can make it more appealing for teething puppies.
Other forms of environmental enrichment can also help him to be focused on activities other than chewing rocks. Part of this can be teaching him to give any item up on cue and possibly a "leave it" cue as well (see above).

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