Tuesday, January 20, 2009

27A Picking/Retrieving up Metal Objects

Some dogs dislike the taste or texture of metal objects and it can be a challenge to train them to pick them up or hold them.

Here are some ideas to get dogs more comfortable in retrieving or carrying them.

*Start with lightweight metal things. Heavy ones grate on the teeth more.
*Then move to heavier, or larger objects.
*Layer a couple of thicknesses of masking tape, or vet wrap if the dog really hates the metal, then peel layers off one by one.
*Get the dog used to mouthing hard materials by placing a metal object inside a sock and play with it.
*Use things that are partially metal
*Smearing food in metal bowls, on spoons etc helps. Even letting them get dry and crusty encourages the dog to really have to dig in with teeth and they get accustomed to the feel.
*Add material tabs or plastic fobs to key rings. With time you'll find the dog will pick them up by the keys, not the tab.
* Place objects on a dog bed, pillow or carpet. Picking smooth or small objects off a hard floor may be difficult at first.
*Be patient!

List of metal objects:

-metal canning jar lids
-lightweight metal spoon, fork, butter knife
-ball of tinfoil
-aluminum pop can
-tin cans, sharp ends taped for safety (or use the safety can opener)
-key ring
-metal seive
-larger serving spoon
-metal ladel
-metal food bowls
-small unopened soup can
-muffin tin
-larger unopened can (such as tomato sauce)

-short length of chain
-old hubcap

Go through your kitchen (cupboards and drawers) and garage (workbench and tool kits) to look for other objects that are safe for your dog to put in his mouth. You may need to clean them first to make sure there are no toxic or distasteful chemicals on them.