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Discussion Starter #1
So I don't know if it's the area I live in or the weird winter we're having or my dog being a hound, but I'm having a lot of trouble keeping Goldilocks from eating dead animals. I was walking her the other day and somehow she picked up a dead bird without me seeing even thought was paying attention to her. There was no way to get it away from her and she ended up finishing it off in about 5 minutes.
Not only do I find this gross, but I worry she'll get into something that died from unnatural causes or disease or something. Any ideas how to keep her out if crap when we go outside? It's hard enough inside.
 

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If you're in an area where dead animals are easily hidden, like the woods, I would maybe try to choose some other areas to walk her. Normally I would say carry some high value treats to distract the dog (which you can do) but generally roadkill and the like is considered highest value to dogs! Otherwise just keep a close watch on her during walks.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah, it's happened now on the sidewalk and at the park. Haven't even gone in the woods with her much. And the frustrating thing was that I was watching her really closely on the sidewalk and she still found it without me seeing.
 

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Teach leave it and drop it. I'm working with Freyja to not pick up things she finds outside. When she was younger I was always pulling something out of her mouth. Rocks, sticks, acorns... Acorns are the worse, she loves them. Once I pulled a dried up dead snake out of her mouth at a state park. She is good at leave it. But it's a work in progress.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks, that looks really good. We've been working up to leave it, but she's so smart that she pre-empts any attempt to train her. If she knows we have treats or the clicker, even if we were super sneaky about getting them, she'll do whatever it was she thought led up to it. So when I'm teaching her to come, and call for her when she leaves the room, she'll leave the room, and then immediately come right back, expecting a treat. I only reward it when I give the command, but she tries to make it happen anyway. I'm worried that teaching her leave it will just encourage her to pick things up so that she can put them down and get a treat...
 

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You need to wean off the treats, and not treat every time. Also use praise and toys for rewards if she likes that. I use all three for Freyja, she loves playing tug so that works great to reward her.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I do, as well. We've been having her sit/release for play time to help her with self control in that area. We also have her sit/release to go outside, and often use just praise when we ask her to do things she's already learned. She's not very motivated to learn new things, though, without a treat.
 

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I'm worried that teaching her leave it will just encourage her to pick things up so that she can put them down and get a treat...
I'm not sure what method you are using to teach "leave it" but the dog should never have possession of the item in the first place. If the dog picks up a "leave it" item, the dog has failed and there is absolutely no bonus or reward if the dog puts it down since it has picked up the "leave it" item which is a big fail. Teach the "leave it" command completely separate of the "aus" or "drop it" command. Also, never use an item ( lure) in "leave it" training which the dog can ever have, ever! Simple example, many pups will eat their own poop and this is an item which you will never allow the dog to have. "Leave it" training has to be consistent and never confused with training a dog to "wait" and then take possession of an item upon your release. I see this all too often and it is a set up for failure down the road when it might make the difference in the dog's well being.

Bottom line, the dog is only rewarded if it never touches the "leave it" item therefore the dog cannot manipulate the handler into getting a reward by the behavior you previously mentioned.
 
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