Tanner is 4 months old and he loves to grab things he's not supposed to have, or paper out of the printer and run. Paper ends up shredded before I can even get to him. I know that if I chase him to get it out of his mouth, it becomes a game. If I trade for a treat, it becomes another fun way to get a treat. Ignoring him doesn't always work as he has to learn not to do these things. Is there a way to get the forbidden object away from him without making it so exciting that it becomes a game? He's a great incentive to keep the tables and counters clean but we can't put anything down even for a second.
He gets a lot of exercise but I wonder if we need to ramp it up. Still, baby needs to learn some manners.
What you need to keep in mind is that your Labrador is a retriever, and you actually need to encourage them to retrieve. The challenging part is to teach them what they are allowed to have. For this reason, whatever your Labrador takes, whether it's one of their toys, the TV remote or your most expensive frilly underwear, you need to praise them when they bring it to you.
The first thing you need to do is teach them the take it, leave it and drop/give it commands. They are all subtly different:
Take it - Obviously, take whatever you are offering.
Leave it - They don't have it yet and shouldn't take it.
Drop it - They have it and should let go of it.
Give it - They should give it to you (Easiest way to start is to have them hold an object and drop it into your hand, then praise)
'Leave it' is paramount, because you can use that to prevent them from taking an object if you can see the intention. Teaching take it and leave it is fairly simple with treats. My dogs were pretty reliable with leave it within a couple of days when it came to treats, and now after about 4 weeks I can even tell them to leave their supper until I tell them to take it (Obviously provided I'm watching them..)
The best way to get something away from them, is to swop them a toy that they are allowed to have. If they run away from you, run in the opposite direction. Don't chase them, make them chase you, and when they catch you, hold them by the collar and tell them to drop it. The moment they do, praise them in a happy voice and offer the toy with the 'Take it' command.
When you aren't around to tell them leave it, it is incredibly difficult to teach your puppy not to take things. They are inquisitive and will chew on anything they can reach.
I think the best aproach is to make sure that they have enough toys and that you play enough fetch games with them, but know that it will take a long time before they are quite reliable, and I don't know if you can ever completely trust your Labrador not to take your things. If they shouldn't have it, it should be out of their reach. They're like little children, but with a better reach and probably more determined...
A very accurate description of Labradors I've heard: "They'll steal your heart, and if they can get at it, your shoes too"
Thank you so much I'm going to print this out and share it with the family. That is if Tanner doesn't get it first. lol
It's definately hard work at first, and you need to be careful about leaving stuff lying around, but provided you're consistent with the 'leave it', it should get better fairly quickly. Also, something else I just thought of, the 'Off' command has also made my life much easier. Whenever my two put their paws on the table to try and steal something, I can just tell them 'Off!'Originally Posted by Tannersmom
here is how i train DROP IT:
i try to keep in mind that i do not want to start a game of chase.
dogs usually love this kind of attention, so until training has taken place,
i will place valuables out of reach, and try to withhold attention when
the dog manages to grab a non-dog toy.
i practiced DROP IT a lot with my dogs. the goal being that the dog
was dropping items of their own free will.
when someone tries to train DROP IT by physically forcing the dog to spit out the
object, usually the dog just learns that DROP IT means drop it when
the human can touch them. so, in a situation where the dog is out of
reach, they might ignore the verbal cue.
at first, i used tasty treats to have them learn that spitting things out when i say, DROP IT,
is highly rewarding. i used food as a lure at first, just to get the
behavior started. then, put the food some distance away, so
when they gave the right response to DROP IT, i give lots of verbal praise
and walk towards the treat jar to reward them. it's very important to
present the reward only after the correct response is given. that
way, they get used to doing things without seeing/smelling the
after a lot of repetitions, the dogs just got in the habit of spitting
out items when they hear DROP IT. they don't even think about what to
do, they just do it, because that's what they got used to doing. it
become a conditioned response, and it is very reliable now. of
course, i always try to remember to praise them and give them a reward
if one is available.
dogs love a good game of chase, so when you see your dog pick up a dog toy,
get excited and announce a game of chase have a good time together.
or pick up one of his dog toys and play keep away. if your dog picks up an inappropriate object,
ignore him, and if he is trained, just tell him to drop it. pretty soon, your dog will lose interest
in objects that are not his dog toys, and he won't feel the urge to try to play with them.
"Properly trained, a man can be dog's best friend." ~ Corey Ford
Heh. Pardon my scoff, but this has NEVER worked for us. Wesley will merely watch me fade away into the distance: "So long, sukka. And in the meantime, I've got your checkbook right here in mah mouff!! And itff DELIFFIOUS"Originally Posted by riaancornelius
I use a recall to get him to me. And then a DROP IT. And TONS of praise. Thankfully, his training is solid enough for this to work.
Different strokes For my puppies recall works fine most of the time (Unless they get the car keys), but running away from them never fails. If recall is good, it will obviously be easier. I assumed that recall / drop it doesn't work very well for Tanner, since the question would probably not have been asked then.Originally Posted by dweck
Tanner's recall is not consistent. In fact when he has something he doesn't want me to get, he forgets it all together. We are working on that. I need to find a treat he really likes. I think he's grown sick of string cheese and Wellness soft treats.
He's developing a stubborn streak, for instance when I throw a ball, he'll get it, ,put it by my feet and I give him a treat or praise. Yesterday, he would come up to me, run away with it in his mouth, , and then put it about 5 feet away. I think maybe he's developing another variation of "keep away/catch me"? I wouldn't go for it. I tried to get him to bring it to me. Eventually he did - once- but then he would do the same thing all over again. I tried a different toy and then he did the same thing with the different toy. That ended the game.
He's really smart. He went through puppy kindergarten and did ok, but seems to be resisting what he's learned now that it's over. I'm looking for some other classes for him because when he's good, he's really good. The school he went to is closing.
Just a question:
Does everybody in your house "play" the same with Tanner? For example, I am teaching Sophie to be gentle...but my husband comes home and gets into a "rougher" game with her...he can tolerate the biting pain a bit more than me or the kids...so basically, all the work I did during the day is undone when he gets home. Don't get me wrong, I play with her, we play chase and tug and other "rough-ish" games..but I finally had to have a talk with DH about how he was playing and how it is different than what I was doing. Does that make sense?
I am trying to say that maybe Tanner is testing you to see if he can "get away" with the same things that others let him get away with. Sophie is starting to learn how to play with me and how to play with DH...and how to play with the kids. The kids love a good game of chase with her...
We go through the same things..she's 11 weeks old and her recall is about 50%...if she knows she'll get a treat and if she's not doing something she doesn't want to stop...she's about 50% on drop it...but if she thinks it's a game of chase...there's no getting the item away....it's a work in progress
A long lead is your friend! Get the recall solid, then teach "drop/give."
HRCH Ellie Mae MH CGC
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