To "Leave it!" or not?

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To "Leave it!" or not?

Postby mastercaster » Wed Jan 24, 2018 4:17 pm

I take my 13 month old griff into a large 10+ acre dog park near by for daily exercise. I always spend some time in a quiet area doing dummy retrieve work before letting her romp around with the other dogs she sees there frequently in a different spot in the park. She has always enjoyed grabbing short sticks in that area trying to engage the other dogs to play keep away with her or tug of war. It's been good exercise for her but lately I've noticed how much she likes to chew on the ends of these batton-like sticks and eating the wood she breaks off,,,,sometimes it's a lot.

Well, last night for the first time in almost forever she woke me up twice in the middle of the night to go outside to go to the bathroom,,,,,it was diarrhea. Pretty sure it was because of the semi rotten wood she's been chowing down on. In any event, my griff knows the command "Leave it!" quite well. So what I'm wondering is whether or not to use it when she has these pieces of wood or would this cause some confusion? Afterall, they are about the same size as the rubber dummies I use for fetching practice.

So far she's been very predictable when it comes to fetching or going out on retrieves to get them out on the field or on the water but would it be overly risky to start telling her to "Leave it" to the wood pieces if she starts to chew it since they're so similar in size to the rubber dummies. I sure would not want her to think she should leave or not respond to a rubber bumper if she's had to do it to the sticks she might chew on.

Is this something to consider or worry about?
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Re: To "Leave it!" or not?

Postby AverageGuy » Wed Jan 24, 2018 4:58 pm

Telling the dog to leave it relative to chewing wood will no adverse effect on its retrieving work with bumpers.
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Re: To "Leave it!" or not?

Postby Willie T » Wed Jan 24, 2018 6:12 pm

AverageGuy wrote:Telling the dog to leave it relative to chewing wood will no adverse effect on its retrieving work with bumpers.


^^^^ x2 ^^^^
Playing grab a$$ with a stick has nothing to do with retrieving bumpers or birds.
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Re: To "Leave it!" or not?

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Wed Jan 24, 2018 6:35 pm

Just use NO! It is probably THE most powerful command you can give a dog. No confusion with No!
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Re: To "Leave it!" or not?

Postby mastercaster » Wed Jan 24, 2018 8:15 pm

Thanks for the comments/advice. I'll give the "No!" command if I see any chewing tomorrow.
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Re: To "Leave it!" or not?

Postby orhunter » Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:53 am

Leave it is two words. Dogs should get single word commands. I’m with gonehuntin’. I’d also use the e-collar for a stubborn dog.
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Re: To "Leave it!" or not?

Postby booger » Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:57 pm

I tend to think about "no" more when they've already done something wrong and "leave it" as a measure of prevention before they do something wrong. I use both. Also "leave it" pertains mostly to my dog picking something up, while "no" has many meanings. I also use "ought" in an ascending fashion as a softer no.

I also think one word commands ideally are better but it doesn't matter IMO. If you want to use "go sit down on the ground" instead of "sit" you can, what matters is that the dog does the desired command and you're consistent using and enforcing it.
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Re: To "Leave it!" or not?

Postby mastercaster » Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:12 pm

orhunter wrote:Leave it is two words. Dogs should get single word commands. I’m with gonehuntin’. I’d also use the e-collar for a stubborn dog.


My dog isn't an English major so commands like "leave it, on your bed, and kennel up" all sound like a single word to her. LOL You probably mean one syllable commands are better and they definitely are but my pup knew all these 2 and 3 syllable commands super well before she was even 3-4 months old. That being said, besides her name (which is 2 syllables), they're the only ones I use.

Today I backed up the command with the e-collar. She grabbed a few stick off the ground which I'm fine with but the second I thought she was going to chew on the end I told her "no" with "leave it" since she knows both commands well and backed it up it with the e-collar. She reacted accordingly and hopefully with a day or two more of training/practicing it I'll see the end of it eating the wood bits.
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Re: To "Leave it!" or not?

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:06 pm

booger wrote:I tend to think about "no" more when they've already done something wrong and "leave it" as a measure of prevention before they do something wrong. I use both. Also "leave it" pertains mostly to my dog picking something up, while "no" has many meanings. I also use "ought" in an ascending fashion as a softer no.

I also think one word commands ideally are better but it doesn't matter IMO. If you want to use "go sit down on the ground" instead of "sit" you can, what matters is that the dog does the desired command and you're consistent using and enforcing it.


good post.
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Re: To "Leave it!" or not?

Postby Hunters Edge » Tue Jan 30, 2018 11:37 am

Never, I repeat never allow pup or dog to chew any wood. This practice could lead to sliver perforating stomach or digest tract (bowel). If this happens usually leads to expensive emergency surgery and/or death.

The behavior usually starts when pup is teething, if allowed or continued eventually becomes behavior and is harder to curb especially when out of sight. If allowed to continue habit/behavior, it is like playing russian roulette. There is always those who have allowed it and have not been a victim yet they're are countless others who have experienced this expense or heart ache.

Also like to express another concern do not use tennis balls for retrieving or dog toy. The sides act as dish scrubber and eventually removes enamel on teeth exposing nerves very painful for pup.
Dogs have shown us how short life is. Enjoy every day and God bless you
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