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Ruby has been a good girl since we got her one week ago (14 weeks today), but she has become very frustrating out in the back yard. We have to keep her on a short leash because she eats everything...grass, mud, rocks and cicadas, alive and dead. This habit has created a notable problem on the leash during walks as well. Her tracking is so intense she cannot regularly followthe heel and sit commands. I know she's a pup and this stuff happens, but I feel like I am dragging her around by the neck and/or overusing the "pop" on the heel command. Comments?
 

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Chicagotjs, I understand your frustration we have a 7 month old and a 4 month old doodle. Before we began walking our 7 month old on a leash we did what was called the steady exercise. This is done just standing not walking. When they begin to pull on the leash you do the correction say steady and immediately praise, we were told not to use treats for this exercise. You may have to do this for a week or more before you can go on a walk. When you begin walking you use tha same correction and praise. We had to go to a pinch collar with Lani (7 month old) she was too strong for me and was it causing me back problems. When we got Toby at 11 weeks and tried to walk him he would walk about 10 steps and flop down. I waited a month and now he walks really well on a leash. Have you tried the gentle leader or halti? They go around the head maybe it would work? Hope this helps. :) Where are you in Chicago?
 

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We were just on vacation, camping. Kenai ate rocks, charred wood in the fireplace, gravel, dirt, leaves, acorns, dead frogs, etc. It was GROSS, I was constantly pulling stuff out of her mouth. I'm hoping she outgrows this tendency. She does the same as you described when we take her outside to do her business too! I'm hoping it's just another puppy thing....and she will outgrow it!
 

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Toby loves to chew rocks and mortar pieces he finds in the backyard and anything else he can find. I found Lani chewing on a piece of glass she found in our back garden. Our yard was used as a dumping ground 50+ years ago before the house was built, so when we did our addition in 2001 we found all kinds of stuff. Now the puppies are finding their treasures, we never leave them out alone for that reason. :)
 

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Yep...the Lab in your puppy is pretty strong...Labs eat/chew/dig/mutilate just about everything they can. They are like babies and have to explore everything by putting it in their mouths.

Probably the best commands you can teach, and I'd start now, is "drop it" and "leave it"...I also agree that a pinch collar or gentle leader might help...still, the two commands above are life savers, literally!
 

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Gus is the same way - part goat. He'll gobble up anything and everything nasty, but, will inspect his treats and food for anything that I might have hidden in it. I've forcibly removed too many nasty things from his mouth, so, I try to carry something that I know that he is crazy about, like bits of hotdog, and, if he drops it or leaves it he gets a bit of hotdog instead. I'll be honest -it doesn't always work, but, it is better than forcibly removing some sort of small animal poo or something else nasty from his mouth.
 

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The things I've pulled out of my dogs' mouths: banana slug, dirt, poop (deer, goose, fox, doodle), long dead bird. The yuckier it is the more they like it. Luckily it seems to be settling down a little now that they're 13 months old. But nothing surprises me anymore.
 

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We call Archie the Vaccuum or Hoover!
Glad to see he's not alone in this curiosity. But...ugh! So gross!!!
 
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