It just occurred to me that I should be using this sub-forum rather than the flab chat.
Bess is a 14 week old LAB. We have had her for 8 days. She is a wonderful dog. Our biggest challenge is around the fact that during walks I am constantly pulling things out of her mouth. Unlike the jumping and nipping this could be dangerous.
During each walk she tries to pick everything up in her path. I do say 'no' but she is fast. Once she gets an acorn or a small rock, she tries to back away so it can turn into a wrestling match to get it out of her mouth. Yesterday I opened her mouth and found $1. Tonight I pulled out 2 rocks, 3 acorns, a small stick and a twisty tie.
I make a point to say the words 'drop it'. I am hoping that she figures out what 'drop it means'. This is more challenging in the dark.
Any comments and suggestions are welcome.
Practice "leave it" and "drop it" at home, before you take a walk
Start with one treat in each hand. Let her paw/mouth one hand .. just wait her out. When she backs off/breaks focus/turns from the treat, immediately mark that (with a clicker or a "YES" or another short marker word) and give a treat from your other hand. When she immediately backs off when you offer your hand, introduce the word "leave it" (or "off", or whatever) as you offer the treat.
step 2, is to put the treat on the floor and cover it with your foot. Again, wait till she stops trying to dig it out, mark and reward. Remember, the treat always comes from your hand, not the ground.
step 3 is to put the treat on the floor and not cover it immediately.
-try to avoid using the leash or collar to pull her back - you want her to CHOOSE on her own to move away.
-if the treat always comes from your hand, you have a better chance to get past something edible but dangerous on the ground.