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I'm going to post this in 2 questions in an effort to not take over the entire board!

1) Coco continually picks up the mulch from our garden in the back yard and chews on it. When I go after her, she starts playing keep away like it's a game. If I sit back down after I get it, she gets another piece and keeps playing. I try to replace with a toy, but she isn't interested. Should I ignore this behavior altogether? I don't want her to be harmed.
(we are getting rid of the mulch over the weekend, but she does this with other items she finds as well, so would like some sort of advice :))

2) Coco has become quite good with me. Knows to sit and stay, she doesn't chew too much (occasional loose shoe, but nothing overboard). I am home with her all day. The second my husband comes home, and if I walk out of the room (shower, cooking, go to bed earlier than him), she becomes a terror. Steals the floor mats, runs around with them, chews on his hair, his cell phone, basically anything she can get a hold of. Why is this behavior solely with him? What can he do to fix it?

Coco is currently 15 weeks, which may help assess certain behaviors.
 

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Tess and Liza
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Both things you describe I recognize...Tess is 12 weeks, and becoming more of a handful! About the mulch: Tess also picks up mulch, plus little stones, dirt, anything you can think of. I work with her on "leave it" and "drop it". Everytime she listens,she gets a little treat. I'm not out of the woods yet, but she is getting the picture.
Your second question: sorry, no answer. Yesterday I went to the first puppy class meeting ( without puppy), and when I came home my sons told me she had been a holy terror from the moment I left home...Unfortunately they didn't give her a time out, so now I've got to find a way to repair the moulding near the fire place, where she has been chewing!
 

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chew chew chew
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You can teach a 'leave it' command. Best way to do this is to have something that she's likely to pick up, but that tastes really bad. A cracker with hot sauce or even some of the stronger mint candies (make sure they don't have chemicals that are harmful if she does swallow them) will work. Have some GOOD treats on hand too, and then drop the yuckie item on the floor. When the dog goes to sniff, say 'leave it' and then 'here' and hand them the good treat. If they insist on eating the trick item you may have to up it, or try something less attractive, like a cloth or a spoon, etc.. you want them to learn that when you say 'leave it' you have something MUCH better for them so it's a good idea to ignore and look at you.

If it's something like the mulch, then just use some black pepper and sprinkle the area with it, so it's less attractive. Same with items they aren't supposed to have, either put them up till they're older or bitter apple them BEFORE they get into the habit of chewing them. And if you are leaving them with someone that doesn't know exactly how/what to do with the pup, then don't leave them with that person. It makes a lot more work for you if you have to go and retrain because they've figured out they can get away with things with others.

Enjoy the puppyhood!

Lana
 

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The mulch is a huge issue for us - we have it all over our yard (my husband loves to landscape). Thanks goodness its covered with snow right now, but I'm in trouble come spring. Josie just loves to chew it, and I know it can't be good for her. I'll have to buy an industrial size container of pepper!
I've found that Josie is very responsive to trading - anything for a treat. It works with mittens, rocks, kids toys, you name it. I just say "Trade Ya" in a happy, fun voice & she just drops what she's got. Sometimes I'll do it with one of her own toys, then give a treat, and give the toy back - just to prevent any future guarding issues. Its good to keep them guessing, right?
 
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