My 5 month old Rottie eats rocks.

by Jane
(Bozeman MT)

Why does my five month old male rottie eat rocks? He is very well behaved and listens to and follows commands but when he is off-leash in my yard and I am not working with or playing with him, he goes to the flower beds, picks up and eats rocks.

Most of the time I catch him and tell him to "drop" which he does and then I give him a treat. He vomited up three small rocks the other night. Obviously, I did not catch him and get him to drop them. This is worrisome as I know it can be fatal if he gets a rock lodged in his intestines.

I want him to have the run of my yard but I fear leaving him alone when he is older if I don't nip this in the bud now. Advice????






Hi Jane
You're right to be concerned about this, and it is actually something that is more common than you would think. It's definitely not only Rotties that do it either, many breeds do, and Labrador Retrievers are particularly prone to this.

However, it's rarely a dietary deficiency or anything like that, it's simply an inherent personality trait that appears in some dogs. You will need to be very vigilant while he's a puppy, and hope that he 'outgrows it' as he gets older. Some pups do, others continue doing it for life, but generally are less stubborn about it as they mature.

It's really not safe to allow him free range in the yard if he does this, as he could indeed end up with an intestinal blockage. I'd recommend fencing in a particular area of your yard specifically for him and making sure it's as 'rock-free' as possible. Also continue to correct him every time as this will eventually have an effect, and get him to exchange his rock for a treat whenever you can. Some dogs will learn to bring the rock to you for a treat, but obviously this can get out of hand, so tread lightly!

Sorry I can't help more, but it's one of those puppy behaviors that you just have to work with and be patient. Best of luck.

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Jan 25, 2011
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The Drop Command?
by: Karen

Hi, we have a 3 1/2 month old rotty - akita cross. She is definitly mainly rotty, and aswell loves rocks. So far we too have been lucky, as she seams to pass everything. I also have a 3yr old Aussie and we taught the drop command at a very early age with her and now the pup as well. Just by offering a really good treat when she takes a rock, she drops the rock for the treat. Eventually, as with my older dog, this becomes an awesome retrevel game. We always have treats and kibble on us, and when either of them bring us ANYTHING, we treat them, so they learn to bring you everything instead of chewing it. They learn that dropping it on your lap while you watch tv or at your feet on a walk rewards them with something much better. It may or may not work for your guy, and usually they won't completely stop until after the teething phase (up to 6 months) but I find it helps to ensure that as maturity sets in they'll get past it. I know my trainer's collies bring him every crumb on the floor including the corner snips from the milk bag. If it becomes that they are getting good at this and getting too many treats, portion meals smaller and let them have that kibble as rewards.. or when they are past the oral phase, start using toys as rewards.

Oct 11, 2010
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Rocks
by: Anonymous

My female Rottweiler is 10 mo. and used to chew on stones. U have to be very careful because that can be dangerous. If u can't watch your dog u better keeper it in a cage becaue she is a baby and babies eat everything. Now my Rottie is into blankets. She has to sleep on the metal of her cage because we had to many close calls with bedding and string hanging out of her butt. U can't pull it out because it hurts them and may be wrapped around their intestine. After she has another bowel movement it comes out but we don't want to take any chance so when in the house and we can't watch her which isn't often she must be in her cage for her own safety. She will grow out of it like all my dogs have including my last Rottie.

Oct 10, 2010
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every thing but the kitchen sink
by: lee castle

yep thats about right i have a rottweiler that brings in to me house bricks tree branches apples and pears of my trees
but her best trick is pampas grass into the living room or kitchen and shakes the life out of it
its a nightmare to clean it up
some people say use a muzzle if you cant watch the dog when they are in the garden
its a tricky subject but i have had rotties for 20 plus years in that time 2 dogs did much the same but soon grew out of it good luck

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