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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I'm new to the forum, but have been reading a lot of posts since I got my Vizsla puppy in January this year. I have a question...Reggie is 7 1/2 months old and has developed an obsession with rocks. He's been doing it for the past couple months. He will find rocks wherever he is (especially the back yard which is unlandscaped and full of them) and carry them in his mouth or even chew on them. I think I might have caused them by making the mistake and throwing them for him one time when we went to the river. He would chase them and then just look back at me waiting for me to throw another. Now he places them at my feet and just stares at them until I throw them for him. He will retrieve rocks perfectly every single time dropping them right at my feet, but with balls or toys anything else he always gets distracted and doesn't bring them back. I'm afraid he might be doing some major damage to his teeth...he doesn't swallow them, but sometimes chews on them. I'm careful when I throw them to make sure its far enough where he can't catch them in his mouth. What can I do to break this habit I started? It's turned into his favorite thing. :-\
 

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My V hasn't tried this out but as a kid we had a kelpie that used to chew rocks - to the point where he flattened his canines! Fortunately it never caused him any harm and he was always able to eat.

If you want him to stop you're going to have to stop throwing him rocks or paying him any sort of attention whatsoever when he brings you rocks. I know its hard when they sit and stare at you trying to telepathically make you throw it but you will have to resist it. Walk away and start playing with something else like it's the most amazing and fun thing you have ever seen and if/when he comes over to see what you're doing give him heaps of praise and play with the new toy for a minute. The trick with toys (that it took me a long time to get the hang of) is to stop the game while they are still hyped up about it. That way the next time it will be really really fun because they haven't had the change to get bored with it yet.

If you keep throwing the rocks, or probably even touching them is enough at the moment to get him excited, he will keep bringing them to you because he is getting what he wants from it.
 

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thanks for the advice! I will try totally ignoring him anytime he brings a rock and go find a stick to throw instead. Hopefully it will work, I've also started trying your idea with his new toy I just bought him and it seems to be working. I only let him play with for a short time and take it away when he still really wants it, he gets really excited everytime i bring it out!

Thanks for the link Vespasia! That dog acts exactly like mine does with the rocks. He gets completely fixated and will not respond to anything. I'll have to find somewhere I can watch the whole episode and try to attempt Caesar's techniques...easier said than done!
 

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I agree, replace the rock with a suitable thing to retrieve. Vizslas have been breed to be versatile dogs, retrieving is one component. I also look for retrieving toys that do not promote chewing, since it is not a useful behavior after teething.
 
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