"Leave it" on walks

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bendog
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"Leave it" on walks

Post by bendog » Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:40 pm

I kind of know the answer to this already (carry better treats, be more exciting etc etc) but:

On our block there are a lot of cats and ergo under every hedge is also lots of cat poo. Which is apparently a real delicacy to the dogs :roll:

I can kind of predict the places there is usually poo and have even resorted to walking in the middle of the road to avoid the worst patches. But basically the dogs love to sniff on walks. Being terriers they can also be quite persistent and if there's something they especially want to sniff they won't budge until they are quite finished sniffing it (this is also a problem off lead for recall, they come back great, but only after they've finished sniffing whatever they wanted to smell). I am quite happy with them sniffing as its obviously important. But all too often what they are "tracking" is cat poop or dropped food and unfortunately I don't often realise until the stuff is in their mouths because they also sniff because they are looking for a good wee/marking spot, sniff because something smells interesting (eg pee mail) and this looks the same as sniffing for food/cat poo. "Drop it" or "leave it" won't work because its a quick snatch and grab before I've even seen anything at all. And if i am honest their leaves and drops are not brilliant even in "set up" situations. They will leave perfectly when I am nearby, but will make a grab for it if they think they can reach it first.

This can also be a big problem off lead. A lot of farmers have left carrots out on the fields and Charlie particularly is enjoying a nice snack of carrot everytime we walk on the fields. And recall goes to pot until they have finished munching.

I would love a default leave, but I'm not sure it's achievable with the dogs I have (stubborn, independent little sods)

Labsrule
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Re: "Leave it" on walks

Post by Labsrule » Sun Jan 27, 2013 4:59 pm

Hello, poo is yummy-yuk!! I have a friend who has a dog that will eat literally anything that smells vaguely like food despite extensive training. The dog has suffered so many upset stomachs that she has finally had to resort to a Baskerville type muzzle when the dog is off lead and while this is a pity, the dog does not seem in the least bothered by it and is able to enjoy free running walks.

I know you probably don't want to go down that route but to avoid illness, my friens was left with little choice.

Sure others will be more helpful, best of luck.

Dawnflight1984
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Re: "Leave it" on walks

Post by Dawnflight1984 » Sun Jan 27, 2013 11:08 pm

bendog wrote:Being terriers they can also be quite persistent and if there's something they especially want to sniff they won't budge until they are quite finished sniffing it (this is also a problem off lead for recall, they come back great, but only after they've finished sniffing whatever they wanted to smell). I am quite happy with them sniffing as its obviously important.
My Oreo (mini schnauzer) is also a terrier breed and she spends a lot of time sniffing on walks too. I find it most effective to do a count down. I will usually count "3, 2, 1, let's go" and start moving off when I say "let's go". It's kind of a compromise and she gets to sniff for 3 seconds and I get her to move off when I want to. After a few times, I realise she usually starts moving off and is done with the sniffing spot even before I count to 3.
bendog wrote:I can kind of predict the places there is usually poo and have even resorted to walking in the middle of the road to avoid the worst patches.
2nd technique I use is to stop Oreo from sniffing which you may find useful with your dogs is to allow her to sniff only when I say so, pretty much like how guide dogs are trained to not sniff when they are faced with so much yummy food stuff in a supermarket. Especially since you know where the cat poop/dropped food areas are, that will be where I will concentrate if I were you. On our walks, Oreo particularly likes sniffing around the refuse collection centre, I imagine it's because of the rich smells there. Unfortunately, the smells are too ripe for my liking, and I know some of the food there are laced with poison as baits for the rats. I can't imagine having Oreo gulp down one of the baits in her greediness and her too-swift-for-me-to-stop-her reactions.

What I do is this. I will walk her pass the area, even before we reach that station, I remind her to "leave it". She will still strain to try and have a sniff/lick/bite, but when she realises that I'm holding on to the leash firmly, with repeated reminders, she typically leaves the place with no more than a sniff in the air. Naturally it frustrates her to no end, so immediately after we pass that area, she gets a good bonus sniff with no countdown for however long she likes.

Of course, at the beginning, that will not be the best place to start. I will start with a random "pee mail" post where she will want to stop and sniff and instruct her to "leave it". We'll walk off without pausing for a sniff. She'll get a treat and we'll repeat that for as many consecutive points as she can tolerate without getting frustrated (if she wants to, she can go up to having an entire 5km walk without stopping for a sniff now) and then have a good sniff when I allow her to. It'll take time to train, especially since it really goes against their desires but I think it's useful for the dogs to learn that.
bendog wrote:This can also be a big problem off lead. A lot of farmers have left carrots out on the fields and Charlie particularly is enjoying a nice snack of carrot everytime we walk on the fields. And recall goes to pot until they have finished munching.
Will bringing your own carrot and offering that in place be an alternative? Why do the farmers leave their carrots in the field? And how about leashing them on a long line as an alternative to help with the recall? =D

bendog
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Re: "Leave it" on walks

Post by bendog » Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:52 am

So I have been working on this, but its become even more urgent since Charlie had to go to the vets because of it.

Big things, if they are on lead, I can mostly swap for treats. But they very often manage to pick up things that are swallowed before I have a chance to see them! Stuff like cat poo, chewing gum (toxic I know but you try and stop them!), etc.

Off lead poppy has got much better at leaving things (although again will swallow as much as she can before I tell her to leave it).

Impulse control, and its yer choice etc work well at home up to a point, but its very clear the difference between a set up situation and the real thing.

Please help? I NEED to eradicate this because I do not want any more £600 vet bills and walks are hell because they are just snacking missions. Loose lead walking goes to pieces when they smell food and they will dive into the road if they smell something too, so it's really dangerous. Muzzling will stop them swallowing stuff but it definitely won't stop them trying to find stuff.

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Sanna
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Re: "Leave it" on walks

Post by Sanna » Tue Apr 02, 2013 12:55 pm

I can totally relate, having had my Hoover-dog to the vets twice in two months after he swallowed a bag and some latex gloves.. And walks are not much fun when you spend all your time trying to spot/ pick up/ swap stuff constantly.
I was eyeing up this thread hoping you'd get some magnificent advice, so I won't be much help I'm afraid :lol:

But for me, after giving it some thought, I have decided to get Precious a muzzle as a temporary solution, the idea being that I can then use my time and energy to focus on teaching a reliable leave it out and about (which we can work on regardless of him being muzzled) rather than just getting stuff before he does.. I don't know if it'll work as planned but fingers crossed that with enough time and practice he will get it and muzzle can come off ;)

katej215
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Re: "Leave it" on walks

Post by katej215 » Tue Apr 02, 2013 2:04 pm

No advice i'm afraid but totally empathise!!!! Hattie will do the most wonderful leave its at home - but out on walks she's like a cruise missile when it comes to food and [email protected] in the street! she knows if she's straining at the end of her leash and cant reach and i say leave it she has no choice and walks away but generally our walks are a battle of who sees it first! God only knows how you manage with 4 of them!!

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ClareMarsh
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Re: "Leave it" on walks

Post by ClareMarsh » Tue Apr 02, 2013 3:29 pm

I've no helpful advice because I know we've talked about long lines before and it's too much with multiple dogs. I will sayit took me months and months to get to a reliable off lead leave it and given this was combined with recall etc training on a long line and was only one dog it really didn't matter. Although I felt like some walks it was all I said and I was dolling out treats like Willy Wonka :roll: I now don't know if I've got a non scavengy dog (although if you saw him round my mum preparing food you'd think otherwise :roll: ) or whether it was just hammered into him but he will now spit stuff out even if I am away away if I ask him to.

The only thing I did think was could you play around with feeding times whilst you are working on this. It must be "easier" for them if they are full pre walk, not to say feed them and take them straight out and risk bloat etc but just don't take out really hungry dogs?

Is it all of them or just Pops and Charlie. And I kind of assume Miss Sasha is a law unto herself and is excused?
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bendog
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Re: "Leave it" on walks

Post by bendog » Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:03 pm

Kate - exactly! The other day I got to the end of the road with all four then turned round and took them home and did half hour individual walks instead because I was in a foul mood! Decided better for them to have half an hour each with the "nice" me, than an hour and a half with "grumpy" me.

Clare - I think Ted is probably just perfect. Want to swap?!

It's all of them unfortunately. Ben is pretty much ok on lead. And will leave stuff off lead, but very often if i am far away he will have another couple of bites of whatever he has found before he will leave it! It's the fact that loose lead walking goes out the window that's most annoying, they will walk lovely most of the time but then smell something and strain for it and try to snatch it.

Sasha is a law unto herself as usual but this is an issue I would still like to work on with her on lead at least as its important for all of their safety.

And fair enough, take out full dogs. But then I will have dogs that won't recall because chasing the pheasant/cat/duck/whatever is more interesting than my treats!

Even with long line it is hit and miss as they will look like they are going to leave it and then lunge for it and snatch it taking me by surprise!

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