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Old July 10th, 2006, 10:49 AM
surveychick surveychick is offline
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Location: Nova scotia
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i have a dirt eating puppy

my 13 week old golden retriever thoroughly enjoys carrying & eating clumps of clay soil & carrying rocks. I have been teaching him "Leave it!" and he is getting quite good at "come" and "drop" but we just can't for ONE second take our eyes off him---he'll have a clump of dirt or a rock in his mouth! I always trade his treasured mud pie for a toy & he is happy for a second then off again on a quest for dirt. Our "lawn" is a work in progress and dirt is plentyful. I have tried putting pepper on a clump of soil but it didn't phase him one bit! Any other ideas for enjoying play time in the yard? I prefer to avoid a muzzle until i have exhausted all other ways (i'm not against them--just a personal preference) Mayeb tonight i'll try cayenne pepper.....
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Old July 10th, 2006, 11:21 PM
Prin Prin is offline
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What food are you feeding? Maybe he isn't getting enough nutrients?
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Old July 12th, 2006, 06:37 AM
surveychick surveychick is offline
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IAMS smart puppy
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Old July 12th, 2006, 07:00 AM
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mastifflover mastifflover is offline
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Change the food to a high quality puppy food. Rule of thumb if your vet or the grocery store sell it don't buy it. They are filled with corn and other fillers no nutritional value. I have not used puppy food for years but I am sure Prin or one of the other members who really know there foods can make some suggestions. I would say wolf king or canidae. Read the pet food section and you will learn a ton about foods and peoples opinions of them.
A dog has so many friends because they wag their tails not their tongues.
R.I.P. Buddy 2002-2008 The best Mastiff ever.
Now owned by Clark the Crazy American Bulldog
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Old July 12th, 2006, 12:50 PM
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papillonmama papillonmama is offline
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I agree with mastifflover. I don't know if it's the same for dogs, but for pregnant women, some experience a craving for sand, they say that the craving is due to a lack of iron in their diet. Perhaps your pup is lacking something nutritionally, I'm assuming it's protein, Iams is not exactly the greatest, in my opinion.

You're doing a good job with training him, don't worry, with a 13 week old puppy you can't take your eyes off of them for one minute anyways. They are just naturally curious. Does he play fetch, maybe playing fetch with him will get his mind off the dirt for a bit while you're outside.

Good luck!
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Old July 12th, 2006, 04:00 PM
Prin Prin is offline
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Here are a couple of good puppy foods:
Solid Gold Wolf Cub

Wellness Super5MixPuppy

Canidae All life stages

Innova Large Breed Puppy

Take a look at the ingredients in them and compare them with the Iams..
If you don't want to switch, you could always supplement the food with either a canned food or another kibble.
Here is a company with great canned foods:
They have a few types that are soft enough to be easily mixed into the dry food.

There are also supplements like Solid Gold Sea Meal and others that you can add to the food to be sure they're getting all the vitamins they need.
Sea Meal

Otherwise, as a last resort, there are some cookies on the market that give them different things too. One that comes to mind is Wellness' cookies. Boo was eating a lot of banana and I thought, maybe he's not getting enough nutrients (like potassium) that come from bananas. So I looked and sure enough, Wellness has cookies with Banana. Maybe it's a good idea to give treats that have no common ingredients with the food, so on top of just being a tasty reward, they might fill a possible nutrient void.
Check out the Wellness ones-
These are the banana ones: http://www.omhpet.com/dogs/wellness_...tDogWbarFrtYog
But they also have fishy ones and peanut buttery ones, too.
Other brands like Canidae and Northern Biscuit make healthy cookies that can provide a bit of extra nutrition to an unsuspecting drooler.

Good luck.
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Old July 12th, 2006, 09:18 PM
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coppperbelle coppperbelle is offline
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Dirt eating puppy

Being that he is a golden retriever he could just enjoy digging up your lawn and then bringing it to you. He could also be missing nutrients in his diet. I know someone whose dogs were RAW fed. She was feeding mostly chicken and her dogs were both eating dirt. Her father suggested that she add a variety of meats to the dogs diet and the dirt eating stopped.
If it is a behavioral thing then you can continue what you are doing or take a pepsi can and fill it with pennies. Put tape over the top and when he begins to dig, hide somewhere and shake the can.
I have two goldens and one of them loves to bury his ball. He will dig a hole that he could fit into trying to bury it. Today I caught him tearing grass out of the lawn. He wasn't eating it just ripping it out dirt and all. He has thoroughly destroyed two beautiful Dogwood bushes also.
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Old July 13th, 2006, 08:43 AM
surveychick surveychick is offline
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Location: Nova scotia
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thanks for the replies...i've been working my way through the site and reading about the higher quality foods.. I'll try them out for sure. I think that Barrett just ALWAYS needs something in his mouth mainly---he doesn't seem to injest much, but even a little is too much for my peace of mind!

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Old July 16th, 2006, 06:53 PM
puppy4ever puppy4ever is offline
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My dog does the same thing but I'm convinced it is just because he likes to dig up the grass to get to the mud. Not sure if that is true in your case or not.

I used to use a typical hot sauce to prevent my dog from chewing & it didn't really phase him - he became pretty immune to it. I tried a drop of Dave's Insanity hot sauce (super hot stuff) and my dog now won't go near anything with that sauce on it. I think he can smell how hot it is from a distance! It works really well.
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