Utility articles question
So we are now working hard on the utility exercises. Most of them are coming along as I would expect, but I have one problem that I am not at all sure about how to solve. I have been working on scent discrimination since late last summer on and off. I am at the point where I think Lily really mostly understands the exercise. She is pretty reliable on the leather articles, but will sometimes just pick up any one of them or not work the pile at all if she is tired, so I can't say her understanding of the exercise is 100%.
My problem is with the metal. She has never picked up a metal article. I can do take, hold, give with metal articles. I can give her a metal article to hold and have her heel with it. I can give her a metal article, back away from her and call her to front. If I scent a metal article and send her to the pile she will indicate the correct article, she sometimes pushes it, but will not pick it up. She frankly usually gives me a look like "lady, are you kidding, no way am I picking that thing up." If I throw a leather article she will retrieve it, but I can't fool her into taking a metal article by throwing it. This isn't a strategy i really want to push since she has very strong retrieve drives and I don't want to confuse her by making it into a retrieve exercise.
I am willing to do whatever I need to do to work through this problem. I have J & J double bar articles. I will change them if I need to but don't really want to invest in a new set unless I know I will get results out of doing so. She is a really nice working dog who loves to retrieve, jump and even to heel. She nearly always scored in the mid 190s in novice and recent judges have made very nice comments about her in open, so I don't want to be too coercive and take away her lively attitude in the ring. Any suggestions from those of you with utility experience will be greatly appreciated.
Lily AKC: CGC CD HIT CDX RN RA RE RAE NAJ; APDT: RL-1; CPE: CL1-R, CL1-H
Peeves AKC: CGC BN