Puppy’s constant scavenging is ruining our walks

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Hi again, puppy101!

I wrote about my male corgi puppy's dominance issues on leash a while ago, and thankfully, those have been solved. He now lets me dictate where we're going without throwing tantrums!

He's now 16 weeks old, and something else has started causing problems when we go out – scavenging. He's one of those dogs who has to sniff every single blade of grass, rock, and wet spot on the ground, and I'm okay with that. He's a dog and dogs sniff, and he's still very small. The problem is that he tries to EAT all of those things, too.

It's autumn now, and we can't walk under oak trees without him going from acorn to acorn, convinced he can eat every single one. He poops out bits of gravel daily. He's chipped a tooth on a rock. We can't go to the woods, because he'll chew and swallow sticks until he pukes out sawdust. He licks every spot of bird poop on the ground. If he smells an apple core or a bird carcass, he will not budge unless I carry him out of range.

All of this is annoying by itself because it means he's either chewing or sniffing for something else to eat 95% of the time we're out, but the biggest problem is eating non-edible things, like plastic, napkins and metal. I have to dig these out of his mouth, so if he spots something before I do (I have to be on a constant lookout), he'll bolt and try to swallow it whole, usually gagging. I also hate having to physically restrain him so I can grab whatever he's trying to eat, and I can't imagine it's a stress-free situation for him, either.

He knows leave it and drop it when we're at home and he's got a toy or a stolen sock in his mouth, but he values all of this stuff much more than any treats I have with me outside, and will not listen to me. We've been working on leave it exercises outside with clean napkins and other things, but it just seems like he either can't or won't apply what he's learned to treasures he finds outside… and the fact that EVERYTHING outside is edible to him doesn't help.

I'm feeling pretty hopeless, to be honest. Not looking forward to puppy's first intestinal blockage…

EDIT: Just thought I'd add that he has plenty of things to chew at home (rawhides, pig's ears, Nylabones…) and eats a mixed diet of high-quality puppy kibble and raw meat, with a dietary supplement oil to make sure he gets all of his vitamins and minerals.

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