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Thread: Help w/playing w/dummies on a retrieve

  1. #1
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    Nov 2008
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    Question Help w/playing w/dummies on a retrieve

    My Lab recently started playing with/shaking her dummies after a retrieve how can I correct this while still encouraging her to HOLD? She gets over excited but this just started this week, I don't want to do the wrong thing and start a new bad habit, etc.

  2. #2
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    Apr 2008
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    Take the dummy from her as soon as she arrives. Of course the problem may be that she is not coming to you well enough. In that case, do a lot of reinforcement of coming separate from retrieving.

  3. #3
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    She comes to me quick shaking it the entire time then stops and sits at heel and holds it. So just grab it from her as she arrives w/ no correction? Will that interfere with her delivering to hand?

  4. #4
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    Gently take (not grab) the dummy as soon as she arrives. That is delivery to hand.
    Then heel and sit.

  5. #5
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    cturn,

    There are three schools of thought on the proper way to receive a bumper/bird from a retriever. The british way is the one described by Robert. As the dog approaches you, you reach down and take the bird from his mouth as he arrives, then you ask him to heel. American field trial folks feel that this two part delivery is not as efficient as having the dog deliver from the heel position where you have him lined up for the next retrieve. Obedience folks receive the dumbbell with the dog sitting in front of them facing them squarely. I don't know if one is necessarily better than the others.

    As a beginner with nobody to teach me, I trained my first dog, Blaze, the obedience delivery. Five years later when I became involved in UKC hunt tests, I switched to the American field trial style delivery with no problems. Blaze knew heel and not to drop the bumper/bird, so it was no problem to switch.

    I'm not sure that the problem or the solution has much to do with the delivery. You have a hot young American field-bred girl who is enjoying her job. The retrieve is really a part of a sequence of canine prey behaviors. Through selection, different breeds may emphasize or de-emphasize different parts of the canine prey behavior chain. For example, pointing dogs have an exagerated PAUSE before a greatly under-developed POUNCE which is extinguished through training, thus creating a steady pointing dog. Some breeds like the terriers have an exagerated KILL once prey has been seized, while our retrievers typically have a very under-developed KILL behavior so they refrain from being overly violent once they have captured the prey. Your girl may be demonstrating a little more prey KILL in her chain than the average retriever. That may come from American field trial breeders selecting dogs that are very highly driven to retrieve.

    I don't know if your dog has been force-fetched and if so how it was done. However, I believe that the solution to her undesirable bumper shaking might be to revisit the HOLD command. I know that her problem is not dropping the bumper, but when I teach the command HOLD, I teach the dog that it not only means "don't drop the object", it also means "hold the object still in your mouth". While in the field if the dog displays poor mouth manners with a bird or bumper, the command HOLD is usually enough to communicate to the dog that such behavior is not desired. If the command is ignored and the behavior continues a quick review of the FETCH, HOLD, GIVE sequence with the object is usually all that is needed to instill some manners.

    Swack

  6. #6
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    Just another suggestion. Make her heel next to you on a lead as you walk around with the dummy in her mouth. Teach her how to walk/jog with it in her mouth without shaking it.

    Just a suggestion that has worked for me.

    Kg

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    I put PVC caps on the end of my bumpers. This helped with 2 things.

    1. helped curb the cigar-ing of the bumper
    2. prevents the dog from getting rowdy with the bumper

  8. #8
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    Nov 2008
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    Thank you, actually just from trying some of what everyone suggested she has stopped by our second training day completely. Shes a quick learner, I'm so new to it that I'm afraid I'm a few steps behind her and so any help is great Thanks guys!

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