Loki and I went for a walk around the nearby lake and wetlands this morning as I know we’ll always spot a couple of rabbits there, and failing that, there’s heaps of these swamphen birds that are like black balls on legs that run around like rabbits (kind of) so they’re a good substitute.
We did very well with this- Loki picked up very quickly that if he looked at the birds and then looked back at me, he got treats. Same with the rabbits. What a clever puppy. Bird = treats! Rabbit = treats!
So we got to the off-lead area and there was a magpie on the ground.
He started getting all stalky and hunty.
Stalk…stalk… WAIT! BIRD = TREATS! Turns and looks back at me, comes in for a treat. Ok! Now, where was I? Stalk… stalk… WAIT!!! BIRDTREATS! Comes back in for treats.
We walk around nearby the bird with him not going to chase it. Good, good puppy.
Meanwhile, in the off-lead area we’re wandering around and come across some white things on the ground. “What’s this?” he says, “Oh! Yummy!” And he takes a bite out of an unknown mushroom/toadstool.
There is one thing in our household that no animals will touch and that’s mushrooms. Both the Aussies turn up their noses: “Seriously? It’s fungus. Yuck.”
Loki tries to eat the things while we’re out – it’s not the first time he’s tasted them. Whyyyyyy?
So somehow I need to do some ‘leave it’ work while not making him want food any less- I’m figuring he’s clever enough that he’ll learn that not eating ground food = getting even better food.