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Baymax, b.Nov2020
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Baymax is a sociable, stable, curious puppy and overall I am very pleased as to his behaviour in the family, with other dogs and strangers.

There's ONE situation though in which he's a bit frustrating and I am not finding the way to correct it.

This happens when he's loose off the leash and picks up from the ground something HE likes and thinks it's a coveted prey ;) Last time it happened at the park where he found a delicious dirty anti-COVID mask.

In this case he knows that I am not happy and will take his prize away and therefore does not respond to "come here" or "drop" commands (which in other situations he complies with). He trots away defending his catch and I need to physically reach him and pry the disgusting trophy from his jaws.

If I just wait he may tear it up and/or eat it ...

Happened also with a bit of food leftover he found on his trail (and I am very worried since there are reports that a lunatic runner is dropping poisoned treats to kill dogs in the park).

Ideas on how to address this situation? I guess that gun-dogs might have to go through something similar after they catch downed fowl and need to return it to the hunter and not gobble it up, or is it a different thing?

Thanks for any insights
 

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Just ask yourself, if you were out walking and found something you thought was fabulous, would you let someone take it off you and leave you with nothing? The retrieve is natural, they are bred to retrieve items, but when they retrieve something and it is taken off them and there is no reward, then they want to hang on to that prize.

I only have to have a tennis ball in my pocket to get a good recall and solid attention. They don't get a tennis ball other than out on walks, so when that comes out it is a coveted treasure, more than anything they might possibly find either edible or not. Instead of just taking it off him, pretend to take it off him and let him win, make a game of him winning by coming back to you with whatever it is, obviously if it's dangerous then you need to take it away as soon as you can, and by rewarding him with huge praise and letting him win the game with objects that are safe, he will come back to you every time. I do this every day with my girls, with every day objects, and rolled up socks are an absolute favourite, along with a variety of toys and other objects.
 

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Baymax, b.Nov2020
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Discussion Starter #3
I do understand and agree. Thank you. I think you nailed the problem in the "objects that are safe" bit :) He does come back with balls, socks, slippers etc :) But it's the nasty things such as dirty, unsafe, potentially poisonous objects that I can't wait for his to show his sunny side :) Guess he'll improve with ageing.
 

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I think another key is to treat all objects the same. I have found, to my cost, that if I panic, chase, try to get it off them, they will inevitably run, chew and swallow.....resulting in vets bills! Now I try to remain calm and give a reward once the item is delivered back to me. Much like Tarimoor is suggesting with the ball. The number of times my dinner has taken a spin round the garden (usually frozen meat in a vacuum packed bag) I’ve lost count of 🤣🤣 but I’ve got it back, undamaged. (But I’ve not told my husband that his dinner has been for a walk 🙃😉).
 
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Baymax, b.Nov2020
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85 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
That's so funny. So far he hasn't stolen stuff but yes, despite being a sweet pup he does have a slightly mischievous streak :) He patently likes "forbidden" objects more. Aren't humans a bit like that anyways? :) Thanks for sharing!
 
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