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Abby is obsessed with sticks. Sticks of any nature, fat, thin, long, short, etc.

She loves to chew on them, swallow some pieces, then throw them up or poop them out (with much difficulty) later.

We made the mistake of using her love of sticks to our advantage when she was younger. At that point she loved retrieving them and just holding them while walking. Now she won't give'em up and getting her to come when she has a stick is almost impossible. As soon as i get close to her, she'll dart away. Sometimes i think she'll pick one up in hopes of starting a chase.

It would be impossible for me to limit her exposure to sticks so I need a way to make them less appealing. Treats will occasionally get her to give up a stick but she'll quickly go back to chewing on them when the treat is gone.

Any ideas/advice?
 

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Work on the command "drop it" bring a stick inside attach a leash to her, so she can't go far. Tell her to drop it and pull it out of her mouth. When you pull it out say the command "drop it". I only had to do this 3 or 4 times with Gracie before she got it.

I guess all I can say is good luck. I hope some of my advice helps a little.
 

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Well the only advice I can give you is similar to Gracies.

I guess the thing that strikes me right away is that when you call her she doesnt return to you, that clearly shows a problem with her OB training. I dont care if she is in the middle of eating a fresh piece of filet mignon, when I call she better come or there will be hell to pay. That may seem harsh but guess what when she is running towards an oncoming car or in danger you need to know that when you call she comes no if's and's or butt's.! So my advice is to work on her recall first. Then work on her "Leave it" command with the stick. I know it is tough but you have to know that when you tell them to do something they are going to do it.

Good Luck
Td
 

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I feel your pain...





I've started strengthening "leave it" and "drop it" with him, and I also think that's probably the best idea. Those are really great commands to teach anyways because you never know what puppies will attempt to eat.

He'll sometimes also play the chase-me-game, but I've found if I just turn around and start walking away from him he'll drop the stick and follow me.

Good luck!
 

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My advice is like the others... Although Chi doesn't love sticks nearly as much as she likes dish towels and socks, occassionaly an empty soda can and always Jordan's favorite stuffed bear, Kiki... For a few weeks every time she would grab one of these items a chase ensued and she would be in absolute doggy heaven. Once I realized she liked the game of chase much more than the item I changed my tactics. Now when she pilfers something she shouldn't have I stay real calm and ask her to bring it to me (mind you in the beginning I had to ask many times) when she comes to me I will trade with her, I get the thing and she gets a toy or her favorite treat. Funny thing is she's realized that this is a great way to get my attention, so now if she wants to go out and I tell her to wait for a minute or if I'm busy doing homework or something (ie. something=putting off homework and playing here at dobermantalk :) ) She will grab whatever she can find, kind of woof and wait for me to ask her to bring it... She's such a kook and very clever... But her recalls have really improved throughout this game... Maybe, in addition to working on the formal recall as suggested earlier, if you were to start this "game" with things less appealing than sticks you can work up to sticks and she can ultimately be a great help when it comes to cleaning up the yard :)
 

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IloveMyDobie31 said:
I feel your pain...



Wonderful pics!!! When we lived in Germany and before the wicked breed bans I was part of a group that would meet every week at some predetermined trail through the forest to let the dogs run. They were almost always off lead and we would have anywhere from 3 to 10 dogs on any given day. But there were two - a pit bull and a gsd - that always ended up bringing someone to their knees. They loved sticks and would get huge ones like the one Apollo has in the first pic, one on either end and then run up behind us and keep going after they'd reached us!
 

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IloveMyDobie31 said:
I feel your pain...





I've started strengthening "leave it" and "drop it" with him, and I also think that's probably the best idea. Those are really great commands to teach anyways because you never know what puppies will attempt to eat.

He'll sometimes also play the chase-me-game, but I've found if I just turn around and start walking away from him he'll drop the stick and follow me.

Good luck!
I have to use "leave it" with GKar all the time. If he can get his main toy out of the house it means play time and he loves play time so to get his undivided attention I make him leave it in the house. I get the aw shucks look but he does it. He has never been big on picking things up that do not belong to him so I do not know if he understands it means anything in his mouth thou.
 

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Ava has a stick fetish too. "Walks in the woods are never as fun without a stick in your mouth...The bigger, the better" That's her motto.

She has never been allowed to chew them and if she tried, the stick would be taken away from her. Like others have mentioned, teaching her a command to drop it is very helpful in a situation like this.

She used to try and play keep away when she had a stick(or a ball, or a frisbee, or something she pulled out of the garbage) so I leveled with her. If she had something that I didn't want her to have, I would offer her something better. This could be a tennis ball, a treat or a squeaky toy, ect. It doesn't matter what it just has to be more desirable than what was in her mouth. It didn't take her long to figure out that giving me what I wanted, resulted in her getting what she wanted. Suddenly, keep away wasn't so fun anymore. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all of the advice!

I have to admit that her recall skills are not ideal. We'll definitely keep up the obedience work.
 

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Oh the photos are great..LOL.. Spirit was the same but we got a piece of pvc pipe for him and it worked wonders.. he would play with it more after a while and would leave my bushes alone.. Good luck.. but it is still cute.. Hee hee
 

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I love the Apollo pictures!

Funny story! We use to have a grape vine in our back yard. When we looked at this place that was the first thing on our list to get rid of. Well after we got Gracie, she decided it needed to go. She would run past it jump up and grab a branch and keep running. After we got the sucker out of our yard we had a little clean up to do. Every time we pull a root out of the ground which one root was almost 5 1/2 foot tall. She picked it up and ran around the yard with her head up like she killed the root all on her own. It was so funny. Lol.
 
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