Handling "chase me" with dangerous objects. - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-18-2016, 08:18 AM Thread Starter
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Handling "chase me" with dangerous objects.

Hello. My puppy Fane is almost 12 weeks old and learning fast. She has picked up on when she had an object in don't want her to have, I go to her and a game of "chase me " ensues.

I'm trying to train that out of her by redirecting or ignoring the behaviour. If I was silly enough to leave a shoe in her reach i have to sacrifice it.

My problem is when she does this with stones. She is obsessed with eating stones and I have a million stones in my garden. I've tried to get them all but she still finds them in the clods of grass.

I am worried about her becoming blocked if she eats them. Her "leave it and drop it" is good in training sessions but when she is outside her hearing is selective.

I know I need to reinforce these commands more but feel like it might be a while longer before they are perfect and don't want to not allow her in the garden until then.

Any advice on dealing with this? If she is on a long line and I force her back to me when she has a stone couldn't this be seen as unwanted force? Or is that a good alternative?

Thank you guys.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-18-2016, 08:51 AM
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If you're training with treats, I'd make sure she really liked them and when you're in the backyard, I would rewards instances of her initial compliance heavily as well. I also wouldn't start with a long line, as you have more control with a leash. If you have access to a pen, you could even set up a "test" condition, where you have a single stone on the other end of it and train her to "leave it" that way.

Other alternatives, some of which can be implemented together with time, are to:

Immediately engage her when she's out there, so that she doesn't have time to sniff around for rocks.

Having a specified area in your yard for their duties helps with this, as you can lead them over there, have them do their business, and then open up the rest of the yard to their enjoyment. You could ensure that area is stone free, and then while you're playing, any instances of stone biting would be met with immediately returning into the home/kennel etc
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-18-2016, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by AzureRose86 View Post
Hello. My puppy Fane is almost 12 weeks old and learning fast. She has picked up on when she had an object in don't want her to have, I go to her and a game of "chase me " ensues.

I'm trying to train that out of her by redirecting or ignoring the behaviour. If I was silly enough to leave a shoe in her reach i have to sacrifice it.

I've always taught my puppies to trade with me. If they have a stolen object, I trade for something "better". They do seem to go through a phase then where they'll steal something on purpose just to get a treat or a better toy, but that fades away after a while.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-18-2016, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by AzureRose86 View Post

Any advice on dealing with this? If she is on a long line and I force her back to me when she has a stone couldn't this be seen as unwanted force? Or is that a good alternative?

Thank you guys.
It is a good safe alternative if you're concerned about an obstruction.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-18-2016, 10:37 AM
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12 week old puppies should be 100% supervised - managing them is key. You can pick up you shoes, but when outside, don't let her roam around and pick up stones. When I had a pup that age, I would just carry him over to grassy areas and put him down to let him explore instead of making him walk through gravel/stone areas when he was in the stone-eating phase.

Teach your pup to chase YOU!! Always make it a fun game with a reward at the end (play, treats, more play, more chasing YOU!). You should NEVER NEVER NEVER chase your dog, whether it is 12 weeks old or 12 months old!

Build a foundation of the pup coming to you because she WANTS to and good things happen! Manage and supervise to prevent behaviours you don't want or that may be dangerous for her - avoid creating constant conflict with your pup by putting her into situations where making the wrong choice (eating rocks, taking shoes) is too tempting and too easy. Instead, make the right choices obvious and a no-brainer, so she learns what the right choices are: take dog toys, play on the grass, come to you with treasures, and is rewarded for it. Not only does it take stress away from you, but it builds confidence in your pup because of your positive response to her actions.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-18-2016, 01:55 PM
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I've always taught my puppies to trade with me. If they have a stolen object, I trade for something "better". They do seem to go through a phase then where they'll steal something on purpose just to get a treat or a better toy, but that fades away after a while.
Yes - this worked with a Rottie we used to babysit. We'd take him in the afternoon when the owners were at work. A couple times he got into the owner's laundry basket - seemed to like bras. We'd trade the bra for a sock. I figure its better to lose a sock than a $50 bra. This "trading" worked for our current dog when she was a pup too.
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