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This morning our dog came running into the house with a spare rib someone had thrown in the fenced backyard. (I am hoping it was child who knew dogs love bones...) She ignored my wife's order to "leave it". She ignored treats. She had a remote training collar on; the warning signal is enough to keep her out of the flower bed, but she ignored the warning. I got there after a couple minutes and pushed the training signal; that got her to drop the bone. Apparently my wife couldn't bring herself to do that, but will in the future. (lest you think I am a monster for having a remote training collar; I have done it on my forearm several times to test the settings. It is not that bad compared to the invisible fence collar we used to have. That really hurt.)

Anyhow, the "proper" procedure is to offer something of greater value. That has worked up to now, but I don't think there IS anything of greater value than a sparerib.

Any suggestions for what to do in the future? I mean besides moving somewhere where neighbors don't throw stuff into our yard?
 

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Train a leave... train again ....and then train a bit more until its perfect. A shock collar does not train it just causes a shock response.
And yes I do think its monstrous to use such devices.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
She does a good leave on most things. I seriously doubt she could be trained to leave a spare rib by anyone by simply train a leave... train again.. and then train a bit more.

My last dog was eager to please and would certainly leave a spare rib when told to. In fact, she wouldn't pick it up in the first place unless she was certain she had my permission. They are Toller opposites. (the two dogs in my picture)
 

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"Training signal" is a stupid euphemism. If you're willing to shock your dog but not willing to say "I shocked her" then maybe you shouldn't have a "training" (electric shock) collar. If you can't own up to the reality of what you're doing, maybe you shouldn't be doing it.

How is her "leave it" already and what have you done to train it? Knowing that would make it easier to give advice on where to go next.
 

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Have you included trading games in her leave it training? That tends to be the best foundation for getting something away from dogs in this situation. The trick is, when training, you work with objects of increasingly high value that you're willing to give back to the dog, so she learns that she not only gets a reward for giving you the thing, but gets the thing back 95% of the time as well (should be 100% in training, the rest of the time is real-life situations like this). Tends to lead to a dog being much more willing to let go of what's in their mouth.

We get weird food items in our yard as well. It's almost always birds that scavenged it from somewhere else (big corvid population here). Sucks, but these things happen and there's really nothing you can do to predict or control it, aside from maybe patrolling the yard before you let your dog out.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
"Training signal" is a stupid euphemism. If you're willing to shock your dog but not willing to say "I shocked her" then maybe you shouldn't have a "training" (electric shock) collar. If you can't own up to the reality of what you're doing, maybe you shouldn't be doing it.

How is her "leave it" already and what have you done to train it? Knowing that would make it easier to give advice on where to go next.
This could be the most useless reply I have ever seen. Well, aside from the one I am making now.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Have you included trading games in her leave it training? That tends to be the best foundation for getting something away from dogs in this situation. The trick is, when training, you work with objects of increasingly high value that you're willing to give back to the dog, so she learns that she not only gets a reward for giving you the thing, but gets the thing back 95% of the time as well (should be 100% in training, the rest of the time is real-life situations like this). Tends to lead to a dog being much more willing to let go of what's in their mouth.

We get weird food items in our yard as well. It's almost always birds that scavenged it from somewhere else (big corvid population here). Sucks, but these things happen and there's really nothing you can do to predict or control it, aside from maybe patrolling the yard before you let your dog out.
That seems reasonable, I will give some thought how to make that work.
She was into some serious guarding as a 1 year old, but we pretty much extinguished it.
Only thing besides the spar rib she guarded in the last year was a paper food dish with left overs on it that she wanted to eat after eating the left overs. Got that away from her by trading up for some treats.

When she water retrieves she will run away with the stick rather than bring it back to me; takes me a while to get it back. That is more playing a game than guarding, but perhaps if I give her a treat for actually bring it back and then throw it again, it will help?
 

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Not sure if this is a factor for you or not, but "leave it" and "drop (it)" are usually 2 separate behaviours.

"Leave it" is used to prevent or stop the PURSUIT of an object, such as rabbit poop, a dropped food morsel, another dog, or pulling towards a fire hydrant etc. "Leave it" also tends to be extremely over-used, in which case it often becomes powerless.

"Drop it" is used to relinquish objects that are ALREADY in their mouth.

Teaching both cues is beneficial. Ensure that your dog completely understands and is clear on which particular behaviour is being asked of her.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Not sure if this is a factor for you or not, but "leave it" and "drop (it)" are usually 2 separate behaviours.

"Leave it" is used to prevent or stop the PURSUIT of an object, such as rabbit poop, a dropped food morsel, another dog, or pulling towards a fire hydrant etc. "Leave it" also tends to be extremely over-used, in which case it often becomes powerless.

"Drop it" is used to relinquish objects that are ALREADY in their mouth.

Teaching both cues is beneficial. Ensure that your dog completely understands and is clear on which particular behaviour is being asked of her.
I say "leave it" where you say "drop it". For your "leave it" I say "uh-uh".
 

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FWIW, personally, I use "let go" because I've taught my dogs to always release the object directly to my hand. ie: dumbbell / scent article / glove during formal competition exercises. Again just me personally, I typically don't want my dogs to be spitting out objects onto the ground.

But hey, use whatever cues work for you ... provided they're truly effective, and you use them consistently, and under distinctly differing circumstances.
 
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