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Discussion Starter #1
I recently got a 8 weeks old golden retriever and we have a yard where he can run around in but he keeps putting his nose in dirts and eating grass, leaves, tree barks, etc. I keep having to get it out of his mouth so he doesn’t swallow it as I know, young puppy’s stomach is quite sensitive. The thing is he likes playing around in that area but I want him to be able to run around and have fun without me trying to get things out of his mouth all the time...

I’ve been researching a lot about it and came across this forum. I’m hoping for some advice here as I am new to this. Should I stop him from going there until he gets older? Or should I just continue what I am doing and have patients? I don’t want him to develop the habit of eating random things like that. I’m just a bit overwhelmed with having to potty train him (sleepless nights) and making sure he gets his exercise. Any advice would help, thank you!
 

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Yes totally normal 8 week old puppy behavior, he's just discovering the world which is really important for pups to build confidence.

Eventually you could work 'drop it' into his training sessions, he will be happy to do so when he realises it's something that pleases you and he gets a reward for, a trade for a treat really works! Or when playing tug, you could get him to drop it periodically and then resume a few seconds later as a reward. Just hold the tug toy limp (make it boring) until he lets go, big praise, and resume the tug game. Once he is consistently letting go, you can start adding the cue 'drop it'. It also teaches self control or impulse control. Dogs thrive on structure and want to make you happy.

Is he obsessive about eating grass in particular or is it everything that he is mouthing/eating?
 

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Yes totally normal 8 week old puppy behavior, he's just discovering the world which is really important for pups to build confidence.

Eventually you could work 'drop it' into his training sessions, he will be happy to do so when he realises it's something that pleases you and he gets a reward for, a trade for a treat really works! Or when playing tug, you could get him to drop it periodically and then resume a few seconds later as a reward. Just hold the tug toy limp (make it boring) until he lets go, big praise, and resume the tug game. Once he is consistently letting go, you can start adding the cue 'drop it'. It also teaches self control or impulse control. Dogs thrive on structure and want to make you happy.

Is he obsessive about eating grass in particular or is it everything that he is mouthing/eating?
Hi! thank you for the reply, I will definitely start that training soon. He mouths everything not just grass, it's just particular grass when we go outside to the yard.
 

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Normal puppy behavior. Just redirect and offer toys which are more appropriate, He will eventually outgrown this as puppies explore the world with their mouths.
Thank you! I feel much better now knowing he will eventually grow out of it but I will of course continue to monitor and distracting him :D
 
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