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  • Results 1 to 9 of 9
    1. #1
      Puppy
      adam's Avatar
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      Eats EVERYTHING outside

      From the moment our 14 month puppy steps foot outside, her snout goes down and she begins putting everything in her mouth - pebbles, acorns, leaves, twigs, dirt, grass, bugs etc. I've tried "drop it," substituting treats, toys, and redirecting her. Usually, I just pry things out of her mouth. She seems happiest outside and being that we have a large yard, I want to spend as much time as possible with her outside. Yet, it's hard to watch her every second. We've already been to the vet after she swallowed 2 small pebbles (no blockage). I really don't want my lab to be an indoor dog. Any suggestions?

    2. #2
      Senior Dog
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      You don't want your dog to be an indoor dog?

      Labs are a mouthy breed. You just need to be persistent with your leave it training, and substitute the stuff your pup is picking up for super high value treats.

      If your dog spends a lot of time alone outdoors, the gathering of inappropriate items in her mouth could be due to boredom and lack of stimulation, also.

    3. #3
      Senior Dog
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      Yes, labs love being outside. However, they are a family loving dog who wants to be with the family, thus an inside dog.

      Teach leave it along with drop it. Labs are mouthy and puppies are the worse. As you've already found out, they will put anything in their mouths and swallow way to many things that could become deadly. Keep up the training, leash her when outside or when you can closely monitor. When she does leave it or drop it, tons of praise, treats and positive reinforcement. Another advantage of having her inside is she wants to please you and the closer she is to you, the more she will respond.

    4. #4
      Senior Dog
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      What's the point of having a dog if you're just going to keep it outside and away from the family? Labs are definitely not the right breed for that type of life. They are very family and people oriented and when left alone they can become bored and destructive.

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      jake&Tex (08-01-2014)

    6. #5
      Senior Dog
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      By 14 months mine were well over that. Going for walks was too interesting to spend time eating pebbles and when we got home they were content to lie down and watch me garden or shovel snow or whatever. Did you maybe mean 14 weeks?

      Months or weeks, if she does it you've got to be there to make sure she doesn't. I don't think I'd trust LEAVE IT training to work if she's outside all alone. I don't like DROP IT either, that means it's already in her mouth where it shouldn't have gone in the first place.

      If she's going to be outside alone the only option I see is a run where she doesn't have access to those things. She'd be happier in the house with you, I bet, than in the run.

    7. #6
      Senior Dog
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      looked back at their posts and they mean 14 weeks not months.

      It's pretty typical, you just have to be on top of things and ensure she gets tons of physical and mental stimulation each day.

      Labs are not good outside dogs, depending how you meant that. YES they like to be outside with their peeps and play, have fun. But when the humans go in, they want to come in with you (short of maybe a bit of time outside to meander). Labs, like many other dogs, are known to get into tons of trouble when outside alone, dogs find ways to entertain themselves which unfortunately means dog-fun ways...not "human appreciated" ways.
      Last edited by Tanya; 08-01-2014 at 04:33 PM.

    8. #7
      Senior Dog
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      You can't teach a puppy that young not to pick stuff up if you're not there to monitor them and puppies need constant monitoring. Older dogs might lose interest in some of the stuff out there eventually. A puppy left alone in a large yard will want to explore and make their own fun, barking, digging, ripping the leaves and stems off plants, eating things they shouldn't. Some have eaten garden hoses, chewed siding off the house, dug up and destroyed underground irrigation systems, pool covers, if it's outside, it's fair game.

      Labs have a well-deserved reputation for eating things and requiring surgery for obstructions- you can probably ask any vet. I've had 7 dogs, 2 labs and 5 not-labs. Both my labs have had surgery for an obstruction, none of the non-labs ever ate stuff like the labs. Many labs on here have been on poop watch for various items or vomited up the leash/toy/brillo pad/sock/wad of rawhide that the owners might not have even realized were swallowed. I wouldn't leave your lab outside alone, especially not when he's young. Depending upon whether he becomes more reliable about not eating or destroying things, maybe not for a long, long time.
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    9. #8
      Real Retriever
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      I agree, a 14 week old lab should NEVER be left ANYWHERE unattended!!! That is trouble looking for a place to happen!!! Lab pups are fast and need your undivided attention. Even if you just walk in circles, calling her, she should follow you. Break that up with some acceptable toy play.

      Lab pups ARE going to pick up everything and try to eat it, part of their loveability. Try making a game out of it, pups LOVE games! Anytime she picks something up, have her bring it to you. Rocks and bad things I would praise her for bringing over and give her lots of praise, replacing the item with an acceptable item from my pocket. Leaves and other general stuff, I gave back to her.

      Also get her interested in something else, distraction! If she is eating lots of stuff, she is bored and making her own fun. Run around, calling her and just go somewhere else in the yard. If she has a rock, perhaps just wave a handful of leaves in her face. She should drop the rock and go after the more exciting thing. Find what works for both of you. I've never prevented my pups from eating acceptable stuff, it is what they do but they outgrow it.

    10. #9
      Puppy
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      Thanks so much for all the great suggestions and ideas. Though I think some people may have misinterpreted my post as someone who leaves their puppy unattended for hours at a time (it' more like a minute or two, but as many indicated, that's enough time for them to get in trouble!). I pretty much spend every waking hour with her and as my post indicated, my preference is for our family to spend that "together" time outdoors in our beautiful (but potentially dangerous) yard, instead of being cooped up with her inside all day. Putting together some rally equipment for the yard this wknd, so that should help. This is definitely a learning experience - but it's a lot of fun too.
      Last edited by adam; 08-02-2014 at 10:59 PM.

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