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Old 02-18-2016, 11:17 PM   #1
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hi everyone
so I've posted before about our puppy, Buddy (he's around 3 mo and a bit right now) eating sticks, leaves, rocks, etc.
I've been training 'leave it' and 'drop it', like really really training. like I probably spend an hour or so a day on each skill (not straight! broken up into 5-15 min sessions). we set up all sorts of scenarios, train with his favorite things (shoes, crocs, bring leaves inside, etc), inconsistently reward, all that. he's great indoors. still so-so outside. and that's only with me. its gotten to the point that my kids refuse to take him out because they are afraid he's going to die on their watch (we've pulled stuff out of his mouth and he occasionally vomits up a chewed up stick that we didnt realize he had).
Its so stressful taking him out. its impossible to clear the yard, we've got tons of trees and lots of wind. he wont pee/poo on the patio.
he's just completed all of his shots so we're going to start walking him and I'm totally stressed about keeping him from eating everything.
vet recommends a muzzle, the basket type that will allow him to pant.
I hate the idea, but at the same time, I like the idea of being able to relax a bit while on walks and while taking him out to play (or do his business) out in the yard.

thoughts?

I'm hoping this is just puppy behavior that he will grow out of, my vet says its likely 'labrador behavior' that will require lots and lots of training and will still likely always be an issue. I'm up for training, but I really dont want him to get hurt.

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Old 02-19-2016, 04:44 AM   #2
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Is he actually ingesting things like stones, as opposed to just putting them in his mouth?

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Old 02-19-2016, 06:30 AM   #3
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There is obviously more distractions outside! I think you may need to step it up a gear when outside with plenty of redirections/rewards (start using rewards like chicken/hotdogs etc.) Unfortunatley he won't grow out of it It's unwanted/undesirable behaviour! You may need to enlist the help of a trainer who can come out with you on walks! It will seem like a difficult task that is impossible to change. Keep going you will get there
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Old 02-19-2016, 10:42 AM   #4
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Is he actually ingesting things like stones, as opposed to just putting them in his mouth?
Yes, given the chance he will ingest everything!

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Old 02-19-2016, 10:46 AM   #5
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There is obviously more distractions outside! I think you may need to step it up a gear when outside with plenty of redirections/rewards (start using rewards like chicken/hotdogs etc.) Unfortunatley he won't grow out of it It's unwanted/undesirable behaviour! You may need to enlist the help of a trainer who can come out with you on walks! It will seem like a difficult task that is impossible to change. Keep going you will get there
I give him awesome rewards outside, chicken, steak, all the good stuff.
I wasn't going to give up on the training but until he gets there I thought a muzzle might help keep him safe. Just wasn't sure if it would make it worse long term or if it might even help break the habit. I took him for his first 'walk' this morning, just in front of the house to get used to keeping the leash loose and I just kept popping treats in his little mouth every two seconds. Which of course kept him from going too far and pulling on leash but also kept his mouth busy.
Will start looking for a trainer to come and work on this with me

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Old 02-19-2016, 11:18 AM   #6
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Hmm The best course of action is to only redirect when there is a problem like he is interested in some thing on the ground and before he has chance to pick it up then you redirect to the already high value treats which you are giving him Timing is SO important on this too!
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Old 02-19-2016, 11:45 AM   #7
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Have tried using a Gentle Leader? It's sort of like a horst harness. Search for it on the area in the upper right.
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Old 02-19-2016, 05:08 PM   #8
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Also take the kids out with you on wak and get them to help you under your supervision, and don't forget you must all sing from the same page so there in confusion on Buddy's part Glad to see you are getting a trainer in to help too!! Good luck and keep us updated on his progress please.
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Old 03-04-2016, 05:40 PM   #9
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techie...we have a harness but not that one, will look for it

bigboy...I do take the kids (one at a time for now so I can best supervise both child and dog) along for walks. am trying to train both the dog and the people

am still looking for a good trainer/class. we started a class but I canceled bc it turned out to be really bad. was good for socialization (only two other dogs in the class, both labs and around the same age as Buddy) but the trainer was all over the place and giving multiple commands at once (here buddy, come sit down!) and flustered when the dogs wouldnt listen to him. and even novice me could tell his timing with treats wasnt always spot on. spoke to a few more people today, have a few more leads.

Buddy's much better with 'drop' even outside, provided I have high value treats. I think I must've messed up 'leave it' because he totally ignores that one now. will probably be the first thing our new trainer (when I find him/her) works on!

and, really this isnt surprising when I stop to think about it, but when we take a new route on our walk, he doesnt stop to eat sticks. so .... boredom probably plays a role as well.

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Old 03-05-2016, 07:30 AM   #10
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Progess is taking place it may be not as fast as you want! Both Drop it and leave it are 2 seperate commands but both are as important as each other!
For Eg: when I am on a walk with Nipper and i see a large branch and I mean large i will pick it up and say to Nipper carry home she will then when i get to my front door I will say drop it and she does so in this case leave it isn't mentioned So hope fully the new trainer will work on leave it again with you Thanks for the update!!
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