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We (my husband & I) have a 12-week old Westie mix puppy. Everytime we take her outside, she finds something in the grass to pick-up with her mouth! It can be a leaf, piece of mulch, anything (she stays away from poop...thank goodness)....we only walk her by leash, and are constantly taking things out of her mouth. (She does it inside too...but we rarely have anything on the floor that she cannot have...we've puppy-proofed the house quite well).

Does anyone have any suggestions on how we can train her to leave things alone while outside? We're afraid that she's going to pick-up & eat something that's going to make her sick.

Thanks for any help you can provide.
 

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Puppies are curious, they're going to test things out. And since they don't have hands, the next thing to test it out with is their mouth. You could use the "leave it" command or just say "no" firmly. Then when she releases it, praise her. That's what I do with Luke and it works, but you have to be consistent about it.

The "leave it" command works at first, like get two treats in your hands, present your pup with one treat. Say "leave it" firmly and wait till she moves her nose away, praise her and give her the second treat in your other hands. Soon she should realize that if she leaves whatever you tell her to (when Luke was a pup, I'd practice with anything too), she'll get a reward. Hope that helps and welcome to the forum!
 

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Kabota's the same way- and he's at least 3 years old. Some dogs don't outgrow that.

I'm having more success with teaching "leave it", but it is slow going. Maybe you'll have more luck with a puppy, as the habit won't be as ingrained. I've been using this technique:
 
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