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infatuation with sticks and twigs

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    As ridiculous as this sounds, my 8 month old pit, Louie, is completely obsessed with sticks, twigs, and stray tree branches.  I have tried to teach him that these things aren’t food a million times but haven’t had any success.  It’s actually become an exciting sport for my boy because he playfully runs around with the branches hoping I’ll chase him.  This has become incredibly frustrating because Louie is generally a quick learner and is typically very easy to train.  I wouldn’t be so concerned about this but I imagine a sharp twig could damage his intestines if it poked the wrong spot, or in the least cause some serious discomfort.  In being unable to find a way to stop this behavior I have obviously put extra effort into removing the sticks and twigs from the yard.  Unfortunately the giant tree we have out back doesn’t make life easier because no matter how many twigs I throw away, more just keep falling; it’s like a never-ending supply, I don’t know where there coming from but hopefully the stock pile runs out soon!  My concern about Louie consuming debris from this demon tree has gotten more serious recently because on several occassions I’ve noticed him gagging because he’s swallowed the wrong way and he sometimes comes in from being outdoors coughing to clear his throat because, I’m guessing, a stick scratched or irritated him on the way down. 

    I will admitt that I have a tendency to overreact about some situations and can be a bit of a worry-wart, but in my defense this is my first time owning my own pup and the fact that I am so in love with my little Louie may also have something to do with my over-protective behavior.  I’m hoping to learn some techniques to teach Louie to stop eating fallen branches  or maybe just be assured that there isn’t any real danger involved.  Hopefully others have had similiar issues because I would love to hear about their experiences!

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