Hello everyone! Bandit is doing fantastic (can't believe she is already 13 weeks old!), but I have had some issues the past few days with her while we have her outside to go potty. 

The area outside my apartment where I take her to do her business has some mulch around the bushes, which was fine, but when the landscaping people came this past week they somehow managed to get little bits of mulch all over Bandit's usual potty area. The problem stems from this. She will pick up a piece about the size of a half dollar and chew on it. This worries me, so I try to trade her (yummy high value treat for the mulch). The trade will work if she had just picked it up and was sitting there with it. When it doesn't work, she decides to play a little game of keep away and I end up having to reel her in and open her mouth to remove the tiny bits of mulch. During this process she will growl and snap at me and bite my hands if possible. 

I have never had issues with resource guarding (that's what I'm attributing this behavior to) with food, toys, chews, people, etc. what can I do to help? Am I doing something wrong? Many of these pieces of mulch are broken and break down easily, so I worry about her ingesting them. 

ANY AND ALL ADVICE WOULD BE MUCH APPRECIATED!!!

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Comment by Judith Andre on December 13, 2013 at 11:06pm

I'm not sure they're ever too young to teach "leave it".  That was one of the first things I taught Murray.  Everything went in the mouth!

Comment by susan on December 13, 2013 at 2:24pm

Its never too early to start teaching the command "Give".   I worked on Give right away so that Jeli would gladly trade things she shouldn't have for a treat.  I make it one of the biggest best rewards because it can be so important.  I don't remember exactly how old she was when I started that, but right around Bandits age.  She is 10 months now and will bring almost anything to me for a treat.  That chase me game is so tempting for them though so you have to be really persistent with it. 

Comment by Vicky Hay on December 13, 2013 at 8:57am

My son's dog (non-corgi, unfortunately...) liked to to chew on pieces of bark mulch and twigs as a pup. Son ignored it. When pup was at my house, I fenced off the mulched flowerbeds. He would do the same thing -- try to keep the human from getting the Prize away.

Now that the dog is grown, he's pretty much lost interest in wood-like stuff, & mercifully never developed a taste for chair legs.f. Don't think this is an overreaction on your part. It's just good common sense to take her to the new mulch-free locale.

Comment by Jane Christensen on December 13, 2013 at 12:07am

I agree with Bev and also you are not overreacting but she is too young to start teaching "leave it". Glad you found another spot for now...

Comment by Marissa, Bandit, and Bacon on December 12, 2013 at 8:48pm

I did find a spot on the other side of my building that doesn't have mulch, so I'm going to try taking her there. Am I over reacting? I just feel like this isn't a habit I want her to get in to.

Comment by Bev Levy on December 12, 2013 at 8:43pm

First off, can you pick a different spot for now? She is so young that she probably doesn't really understand and is just fighting back as she would with another puppy.

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