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Hi everyone! Does anyone have advice? My puppy has been picking up rocks, twigs, leaves, garbage, anything since we brought her home, which I knew was normal so I would go and take it out of her mouth with a firm "no" and I had no complaints but now, she picks up something and then takes off and I can never catch her and by the time I do she either dropped it or swallowed it :yell: I know she is probably just playing but I really don't want her swallowing things she's not supposed to or getting into the habit of it, is this just a puppy thing or could it go into adulthood? any advice would be awesome, thanks :thumbsup:
 

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You've conditioned her to think that if she finds something she wants, that she knows you do not like, she has to take it and run, because you are going to take it and yell at her.

Bring a pocket full of treats when you go outside with her, and maybe even attach a leash to her so that is she starts to run, you can grab her. When she grabs a leaf, get her attention and offer her the treat instead. When she drops the item, grab the item and then reward with the treat. She learns that, although she may want that stick, what you are going to offer is worth a lot more then that stick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you so much that sounds like a great ideaI will use that! I just wondered what if she starts brining me leaves and rocks so she can get a treat? or is there a way to wean her off treats eventually or will she keep running away after she realizes she doesn't get a treat anymore?
 

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It could definitely go into adulthood. Absolutely. This is when training a 'leave it' will be handy, but it doesn't happen over night. You can start practicing though by playing games that involve impulse control!

For example, hold out a low value treat in your hand.
When your puppy tries to get the treat, close your hand - when they stop nosing, pawing or nipping at your hand to try and get it open - open your hand again.
If your puppy goes for the treat - close your hand and repeat the wait.
If your puppy doesn't try to get the treat though, then you can reward her with that treat with a "Yes!" and then holding it between your thumb and forefinger and saying "take it" as she moves to take it from you.

Once she has some impulse control, you can start practicing 'leave it' by dropping things and then covering them with your foot or hand much like you would with the impulse control games.

(Note: You will want to increase the value of the treat as she gets the hang of things, so that even super high value items like... I dunno bacon?... (don't give her bacon, pancreatitis = bad, just an example) are on the ground for some reason, she'll be more likely to not just dive and gulp and you'll have time to ask for a 'leave it'.)

You'll be able to transfer this behavior to outside objects in time, but it's best to practice indoors and when outside - supervise closely. Any dog who ingests inappropriate items such as rocks or otherwise can suffer from a blockage. :(

Pairing impulse control with @jclark343's suggestion will probably be of most use to you *right now*.
 

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You can also use toys or anything that has a high value on it. Like maybe a ball. If she does grab a leaf, she her the toy and then engage her with a game.
 

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Also recommend working on impulse control and leave it. Honestly, Leave it is one of the biggest tricks that I use. I use it for everything.

Here's a great trainer that helps teach leave it
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNAOe1djDyc
 

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One of my pet peeves, training a leave it command with any type of food or item which the dog will eventually get. Leave it means never as in never ever not a simple wait until given the okay to eat it or take it. Is a dog ever going to eventually get to eat the poisonous mushroom? or an electrical cord? or your shoes? Nope, so don't train a pup to leave a food scrap until you say it is okay and then reward with the very same food scrap you just commanded the pup to leave. Using that process weakens the leave it command effectiveness and confuses the dog. Try this approach, have the pup on a lead and go out in the yard where all these items are which you don't want the pup to mouth or eat, intentionally walk near the items and the second the pup shows interest, issue the leave it command or whatever command you choose and using a slight bit of leash pressure, guide the dog towards you or away from the leave it object. The instant the pup changes course or its head looks away from the object use your verbal marker and reward the dog how you choose, a food treat would certainly be adequate as well as praise of course.

Devise another command to stall a dog from taking a food treat or other items which the dog will ultimately take possession of. There is a big difference between the two behaviors you are trying to shape.

As far as chasing the pup once the pup has possession of an item you don't want, chasing the pup just reinforces the behavior because it's a form of play to the pup and the pup is not just initiating the play but is also training you on how the game is improperly played. One other thought, start working on your recall and really put some effort into it, it's one of the most important behaviors you can teach a dog. Doesn't matter what the dog has done or is doing, there is nothing but good when a dog comes to you and it should be a party every time the pup obeys your recall command. Start off with the deck stacked in the pup's favor, the old set the dog up for success axiom. Don't bother recalling your pup if you are not pretty certain the pup will execute and then slowly build from there. Patience and using your smarts with an incredible amount of praise will win the day.
 

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Ditto the above advice from DriveDog. I never teach leave it and allow the dog to have the food he's being asked to ignore. I reinforce the leave it with a higher value food reward.

I also agree about chasing a pup or dog with something they have and you want. That's a game dogs love and play with other dogs and humans that the dog has trained.

Nothing much to add to DriveDog's advice.
 

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Here's a great trainer that helps teach leave it
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNAOe1djDyc
I watched the video and within the first minute she made the classic mistake of issuing the same command twice, especially since the behavior is already demonstrated by the dogs. This is the more the mark of someone who is not a "great trainer" and a mistake of the average dog person with limited training experience and training education. Issuing the same command more than once ( once the dog understands the command and executes) for the desired behavior either shows a lack of confidence in the handler or in the handler's confidence in the dog(s). Either way, it undermines the quality of exhibited obedience. I wonder if the person in the video is even aware of the mistake she made? or if it is her normal operating procedure?
 

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I don't see how this one little reiteration is enough to warrant her as not a 'great trainer', nor does this make her only an average dog person. I think if anything this makes her human. Still a great video that helps teach the steps to teaching leave it.
 

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For teaching "off" which is what we use (mainly because "leave it" sounds too much like "Levi"), I alternate with the reward. Sometimes he gets what is on the floor or wherever it happens to be, and sometimes he gets a treat from the bait bag. I like it, it seems to keep him guessing as to where the reward will come from.
I like Kikopup a lot, and I enjoy watching her videos. I would highly recommend her videos to you @Lola the GSD . I think she is a great trainer, and I think if you watch her older videos compared to her newest ones, you'll see she has gained immense confidence as a trainer. She was also a speaker at the ClickerExpo, I can't say enough good things about her.
 

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When teaching drop it I train with items that I can give the dog back so that the dog learns that 99% of the time he gets a treat for letting me have the object and gets the object back. It's useful for when he has a high value item that he may not want to give up, like a chicken bone. If I was taking items and not giving them back after he gets his treat he may decide that the chicken bone is better then the treat so he'd better keep it since he won't be getting it back, whereas if I normally give the items back after he gets the treat I have a better chance of him dropping the chicken bone since he'll think he's going to get it back.

I use "wait" when I want him to leave something alone but I am going to be letting him have it, and leave it for what he's never going to be allowed to have.
 

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I don't see how this one little reiteration is enough to warrant her as not a 'great trainer', nor does this make her only an average dog person. I think if anything this makes her human. Still a great video that helps teach the steps to teaching leave it.
She probably is, for all I know. it's just that when I watch these videos of dog trainers in action with already well trained dogs rather than unruly untrained dogs, I get a bit critical obviously. Most anybody looks "great" when working with a well trained dog and this is where I scrutinize the handler. I was taught many years ago that once a dog has obeyed the given command and is continuing the skill, one should never utter the same command again as long as the dog is obeying. The problem which arises from this is, one it confuses the dog because the dog might be thinking " Hey, I'm already sitting/waiting/staying aren't I ?" and more significantly it teaches the dog that maybe the handler really didn't mean it the first time because they say it twice, so the dog might be reluctant to abide when the command is given the first time. Actually if you watch the video, at 5:24 she actually says not to continue issuing a command if no result occurs. So, she does know the premise, practicing it is the hard part. I step in it as well at times.
 

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I know as far as my training goes (and I am not perfect and never claim to be) I will reiterate a command if I had turned my back, for me especially at starting lines in agility as I know sometimes there are a lot of things going on and I want to keep my dog focused and remind what I am asking. So maybe she had seen her eyes dogs glance at the plate of food for just a moment or 2 longer then she liked and felt like she needed to reiterate what she was asking. I don't feel, at least not in MY training, that reiteration is bad. I would rather reiterate then have the dog break and loose the chance to reward.
 

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Well, I am certain you know what works best for your dogs. For me anyway, I remember a basic obedience trainer working me over with my first dog during an extended down stay exercise. There's me, thinking the dog is going to break at any second and I'm saying " stay, good girl stay, stay...." of course the dog is staying all along but the trainer looks at me and says " quit nagging your dog, she's just fine and most likely more relaxed than you." I was then educated as to the benefit of calm, cool and having faith in one's dog. Actually, once I got over my doubting attitude and repeated commands our training and her execution picked up a notch or three.
 
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