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Retrieving

Retrieving

Postby Shiva » Wed Mar 23, 2011 5:03 am

This article was posted on a service dog mail ilist that I am on, but it'- not SD-specific, so I thought I would share it here.

Retrieving in Play

From the Veterinary Partner Canine Behavior series of Articles by Kathy Diamond, author of Therapy Dogs - Training Your Dog to Reach Others.
~Shiva , Chief Troublemaker
If this post was edited, it was probably for spelling.
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Re: Retrieving

Postby JasperKat » Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:10 am

I did not like this part of the article:

Once the dog is comfortable having you handle the mouth, you can start teaching "hold it" and "give." To train the "hold it" command, you simply start with your dog sitting, wearing a collar, and you have a comfortable dog dumbbell. Gently slip the bit of the dumbbell into the mouth without causing any discomfort, and say "hold it," as you support the dog's chin.


I don't know many dogs who would sit calmly with something in their mouth while you held their head still and their mouth shut. I know if I tried that with Molly she would thrash like a fish. It would scare the hell out of Sprocket.

That said... I'm trying to get Molly to hold objects until I ask her to release them without a whole lot of luck :( She'll retrieve the ball and drop it when she returns to me, and will pick other toys up in her mouth but drops them immediately. Any suggestions? Does Grace hold things until you ask for them?

-JK
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Re: Retrieving

Postby Shiva » Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:38 am

We are working on it - some things she'll hold, others she won't. I've decided to back up and work on more mouth handling - touching her mouth, holding her mouth open or closed briefly. etc.

If you want to try that, then you move to holding/touching for longer. See if you can get Molly to let you put a couple of fingers in her mouth while she sits calmly with her mouth closed, and then name that "holding." That can build up to the part that you quoted. But you're not holding her mouth closed - just keeping her chin up so that the urge to drop the object on the floor is curbed. And use toys!Unless you have dumbbells. Whatever. :shrug:

Does Molly do "take"? If she'll take take something from you, then you can quietly praise her and scratch her chin (which will help her keep her mouth closed!) while you say "good hold" or whatever words you use. And when she doesn't hold (drops it or spits it out) it's better to tell her that was a "good drop" than to correct her, IMO.

In TEAMWORK (which is a dog training program for PWD) take-hold-and-give are all taught together, or rather in succession and overlapping. I can scan some stuff for you if you want to read more about it. :)
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Re: Retrieving

Postby Shiva » Fri Mar 25, 2011 6:41 pm

JK, we were working on this yesterday, and I thought of something else that might be useful:

We're following a progression that goes: touch-take-give-hold. Touch is pretty easy, and I assume that you and Molly have that down. To go from touch to take, try practicing touch for a few days (use a specific object/toy that you aren't using for anything else, put it up when you aren't working on this) and then start moving the toy when you offer it for her to touch. How much and how fast you move it depends on Molly, so you have to feel her out on this - the idea is to do it playfully, and for her to instinctively move to grab it -and then you excitedly say take it and reinforce (click, whatever) as soon as she does. Then you're basically shaping the behavior towards actually taking it.

Make sense?
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