Thanks everyone, the high value toys thing seems to be helping. I've also been just sitting stroking her when she's got something in her mouth so she knows she can be calm with it. Next week when DH is off he's going to do some more training with this too. Glad to know it's not just PuppyMonster that's up to these tricks too!
Our otherwise calm and placid dog is exactly the same. The bribery doesn't work. He sits and looks at the treat and then works out if he can get it and back to the offending article before you can reach it. We are best to ignore him, he will lie on top of it but not destroy it. If he thinks you want it then he wants it more.
My calm placid 8 mth old Lab snapped at me yesterday when i tried to take a bone away from her. It was an old one and it had started to splinter so i thought she might choke on it. I was very surprised by her reaction. I am now reinforcing the 'leave it' command and taking her bone from time to time. You should be able to take things from your dog at any time without risk of injury.
Why are you taking sticks out her mouth? Isn't she allowed to play with them. The rule in this house is that she's left alone with her finds ( particular favourite is a tissue, preferably used) unless it's dangerous or a favourite item, in which case I'm the only one who can retrieve it as everyone else would likely lose an arm (cocker btw).
I'm the only one not phased by her and she knows it, hence she pushes her luck with the others.
PuppyMonster has never liked having things taken out of her mouth (11m old labradoodle) but with the use of treats and training etc we've reached a balance where she growls a bit but then gives in.
It's a different story when we're outside, if she gets a stick and you try to get it she goes mental with growling and snapping and sounds like a rabid horrible monster. She's just done it this evening and when I put my hand in her mouth to get stick out she bit my thumb, left a tiny hole but drew blood. I didn't have treats with me to bribe it out and it was a sharp little stick so really didn't want her eating it.
Just not quite sure how to handle this. Should I carry treats with me, make her drop it and then give her a treat when she does? Slightly concerned as I don't want her to think she's getting a treat for the snappy growling badness.
What do the collective wisdom of The Doghouse think?