Training a longer hold?

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by DJEtzel, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. DJEtzel

    DJEtzel New Member

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    So I'm working with Recon on obedience stuff... never shown before, don't know anyone that has. Trying this all on my own.

    Heel stuff is coming along great. Now I'm trying to refine the retrieve. Only problem is, I can't get him to keep the damned dumbbell in his mouth longer than a few seconds on retrieval. I'm not sure what I'm missing or lacking. Everything has been shaped so far... picking it up, waiting and going to get it, etc. And he'll retrieve from about 10 ft if he's not too distracted now, but he won't EFFING HOLD IT.

    GRR. I thought it was going so well and then he threw this at me.

    So any ideas? I'm using a clicker, fyi. I've tried clicking for longer holds obviously, but they really don't exist anymore. He does it for the same length of time each and every time, I can't differentiate between them. :(
     
  2. CharlieDog

    CharlieDog Rude and Not Ginger

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    I had this same problem with Enzo. She doesn't have any retrieval instinct (shocking for a lab I know, but I don't know if it was squashed when she was a puppy or if she just didn't have any. I got her at 9 months old) and I ended up giving up lol, so I'll be interested to see the answers. My other dogs naturally don't want to give the toy/item up, so they'll hold it as long as I let them.

    You may try building drive for the item, as that seems to be the largest difference in my dogs. The ones who will hold the best have waaay more drive than Enzo does, so they naturally want to keep the item. Enzo will hold things she WANTS, but things she doesn't have a natural interest in, she won't, and it's super hard for me to build her drive to play/tug with items, so I'll take what she'll give me. The others I can get to be interested in ANYTHING, and therein lies the difference, at least for me.
     
  3. SpringerLover

    SpringerLover Active Member

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  4. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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  5. Finkie_Mom

    Finkie_Mom It's A Red Dog Revolution

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    The thing that worked for me was NOT letting her retrieve it at first. I originally did it the way you did (we had never and still haven't been in any type of formal obedience class), and Kimma would bring it back and drop it in my hand or at my feet immediately upon returning to me. So I started over. Shaped the hold until she was at the point where I waited a long while for my marker word, then TOOK IT FROM HER, then gave the treat. The retrieve/come front/sit came long after.

    I also never do this when she's not amped up (sort of goes along with CharlieDog said), but it's not really getting her amped up for getting to retrieve/hold/whatever, it's getting her amped to play a game and essentially perform a trick.
     
  6. release the hounds

    release the hounds Active Member

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    i teach the hold before doing anything else. Retrieving stuff is done with a tug over jumps and flats and when the hold is solid (they can heel next to me and back to front, etc without dropping it) then the DB is introduced in the exercise. Of course I back way up, they're learning a decent front with the DB before going out, retrieving, jumping retrieve, return etc.

    The toy is informal, fun, play when they return or drop during return when I mark for another toy or play. When the DB is introduced, it's more formal, but not always. If a DB is dropped or toy before I say or mark a behavior, play time is done and I pick up the object and we go inside. Party time is over.

    This foundation is laid when I teach the hold. Hold till I release, you get food from your bowl. Drop it before I say release, you go in a crate and stare at your bowl full of food while I go away and you don't eat :) Horribly mean I know, but I do come back in about 20 minutes and give them another chance. It's amazing how quickly it works.
     
  7. release the hounds

    release the hounds Active Member

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  8. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    Gotta put a shiny new label on it so you can sell it ;)
     
  9. GatorDog

    GatorDog Member

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    I train in IPO, so I'm not sure how different our retrieve is, but I figured I'd give my input. ;)

    I backchained the hold and retrieve and didn't work the retrieve until I had it. I started with a dowel and had intentions of shaping the hold, but ended up having so apply a little pressure (aka me opening Aiden's mouth and holding it on the dowel). He eventually went from holding it with one hand on top/bottom of his muzzle to holding it with one hand on bottom, then to holding without any hands. Then I taught him to take it and hold it in a close front. Then he learned movement while holding, where I placed him in a sit across from me and called him to a front while holding. We worked on that a lot and did a lot and it helped to keep his hold longer to pet him calmly on the head, place my hands along side the dowel without asking for an out, and repeating it. Then I would move on to placing the dowel raised on a platform in between the dog in a sit/stay and me across the room. I would ask bring and he would run forward pick it up, and come to front. It took me six months or so before I even attempted a full blown retrieve with a dumbbell, and then it all fell apart when we started training outside once the winter was over.

    I trained the whole thing with food at first, because I wanted the hold to be calm and wanted him to learn to wait for the out command before dropping it. Using a toy or tug amped him up to much and caused to much chewing the dumbbell and not a clean enough retrieve. Now that he knows the exercise 100%, I hold back his collar, throw the dumbbell, and get him really amped up before I send him. I only do this to increase speed in a relatively large and slow dog. He gets the tug when he finishes. Sometimes at the front position and sometimes in the finish position, so that he doesn't learn to anticipate the out and the tug in front.

    I don't have any videos of Aiden, but I do have other videos that I like on youtube that demonstrate how I like to train it (except the trainer/dog in the video are much better than Aiden and I).

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfW223Wz-08&feature=share&list=FL9ekKF9AA7TPb9BZlXMTLcQ
     
  10. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    lol "look what I invented!!" Sigh..
     
  11. stardogs

    stardogs Behavior Nerd

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    I'm working on this with Kes right now. So far, I'm having a LOT of success with running away from him after the pick up - he has to basically chase me with the dumbbell in his mouth. This seems to be building nice speed on the return *and* a more solid hold.

    When I stop, he's basically shoving the 'bell at me with a nice calm hold, so I'm gradually adding in a little duration before I even touch the 'bell. Sometimes I add a little tugging into the process as well, to take advantage of opposition reflex. Clean fronts will come later. ;)
     
  12. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

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    "Look at me! Look at what I was doing before it had a cool name!" :rolleyes:
     
  13. DJEtzel

    DJEtzel New Member

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    Thanks for all of the ideas! I'm going to try a few tonight. By going straight to the retrieve I was hoping to build his drive a little more in it, handing it to him to "take" or "hold" results in a spit out right away. Every single time. But if he picks it up himself, he holds it longer. And if he goes away to get it, he holds it while he comes back.

    But obviously that's not working. XD So I'll let you know how it goes tonight (or maybe tomorrow.. we have family visiting tonight).
     
  14. SpringerLover

    SpringerLover Active Member

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    It's not the concept that's new, but the name gives you a way to talk about the same topic with other people.

    I wasn't advertising that it's new, and neither is my friend who created the video. *shrug* It's just a great concept that gets overlooked by a lot of people.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2013
  15. release the hounds

    release the hounds Active Member

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    there are a lot of ways to do it, i think i've used most of them at one point :) If he's spitting it out right away you can use your hands to block his muzzle closed around it, some just fight harder, some get the idea rather quickly. You'll have to play it out.

    for a dog that doesn't want to hold it, i use the food bowl and a pvc or wooden dowel. I feed raw, but for this time period I'll cut up some natural balance since that's what we use for tracking and put it in their bowl.

    They think it's feeding time and I set it on the counter and have them sit in front of me. If I have to place the dowel in their mouth, when their teeth touch it, i mark and reward with a piece or two. We'll do this over and over and they pretty quickly get the idea that mouth on the pvc or wood gets food. When they offer the behavior willingly I mark and give them the whole bowl and quit.

    Next day same thing, rather quickly, usually just a session or two and they're grabbing the dowel as soon as I pull it out without any direction. Then I start to ask for more. They have to take it and hold it. Usually I have to hold my hand over their muzzle for a brief second to give them the idea. They don't have to hold for a long period, but more than just a touch and release. When we've used about half the food doing these reps over and over, on a good one, i'll mark again and put the whole bowl down.

    at some point depending on the dog, after they have a decent idea of what i'm asking for, if they continuously drop it, refuse to take it, refuse to hold, I put them in a crate, put the bowl down outside the crate so they see it and leave for at least 20 minutes then come back and try again. This is usually a week or two in.

    Whether they're dropping it out of anticipation for reward or because they dislike holding it, it clears up really quickly when they realize they get nothing. and their opportunity to get their reward is limited, they tend not to want to waste those chances :)

    they have to have somewhat of an understanding of what you want though, but if they'll "take it" I think that's an idea enough. At that point they'll accept the dumbell, i think it works very well.

    Other points for the "hold", i don't use it as an opportunity to build drive, do that with a toy. It's low key, clear emotions from me for good and improper behavior, but not over the top, especially at first. Once the dog has a good understanding, my good and "NO" get more animated, but not excessively.

    I don't ever mark if there's any chewing once I start building duration in the hold. There is always a pressure on the DB or dowel from me pulling so they have to put pressure down to "hold it" when I mark. That can be done by hands or putting strings in the end of the dowel and pulling those. Hold it, means clamp and hold, not just sit in the mouth.

    When I get a nice hold then we walk around with it, chewing gets a verbal, ah and they have to hold longer, if they drop it, there aren't many chances at this point. Everything gets picked up and they go away, no chances for at least a half hour. By the same token, when they walk around with it and change some positions and keep holding it, I don't make them do it 20 times, they get rewarded with the food bowl when they've done what I've asked. So either it's getting picked up, or it's getting put down at this point, all your repetitions should have taken place long ago :)

    once i have that, it progresses much like that video, they come to front and take it, the push me back with it in a hold. Then it's placed between me and the dog and they have to take it and bring and build distance, then we'll move to actually throwing, and retrieving and even that has some steps so the dog gets it and turns to immediately come back without taking wide circles like some do
     
  16. release the hounds

    release the hounds Active Member

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    I don't think "reverse luring" is a concept for teaching a hold. I think somebody made it up to sound smart :) maybe for teaching "leave it", they have to physically avoid the reward in order to get it, but a hold isn't avoiding anything. It's actively taking an object they most likely don't want to hold and holding it. They get rewarded for taking an object in their mouth.

    If she actually used it to teach the dog to avoid her hand and move it's head in certain directions and that's how she got the head on the chair, maybe. as it's shown in the video, it looks like nothing more than what people have been calling "proofing" forever.
     
  17. Kilter

    Kilter New Member

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    If he's teething, that could be part of the problem. Ouch!

    What I've started with is a plain paint roller. Soft and nice and big. I work just sitting on the floor and put it in, hold it, take it out, good puppy, treat, back in, and so on. If they don't want to hold it, then I can use my hands and their collar to gently keep it in there, and reward them when they settle into gripping it vs. fighting to spit it out (which it won't do because I'm holding it there). Once they learn that 'hold' means keep it in and you're wonderful then I start moving the roller a bit with pressure to see if they'll hold it still and make it a game, - HA, I got the roller away. Always always with an 'out' cue when I take it so they get that 'hold' means don't drop it till you hear 'out' even if I'm pulling on it a bit.
     
  18. Red Chrome

    Red Chrome New Member

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    I use the Force Fetch program that hunting retriever owners use. Works great and there really isn't a lot of force.
     
  19. SpringerLover

    SpringerLover Active Member

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    It is more specific than proofing, you are rewarding the dog for actively moving away from/avoiding something. In essence, it gives the dog something else to think about while the dumbell is in the mouth.

    I've chosen to teach a chin target first then use that to teach the "hold until I ask you to release" because if the dog's chin is solidly in my palm, there is no way the dumbell is going anywhere. I can then build from there.
     
  20. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    Well now I have to go back and actually watch the video, skimming the article it sounded like a great suggestion, teach me to skim.

    Kilter is correct, I keep forgetting this is a puppy, you're putting a ton of expectations and potentially stress on a baby. Patience. :)

    I placed the dumbbell in Sloans mouth, I held it shut, she spit, I repeated until she gave and held. Once I saw a hold we rewarded well and quit. We repeated a few times and then moved to short throws. She's a quick learner with a natural retrieve, she likes to throw things at you though for a faster fetch but waiting her out seemed to click. Backup is naturally possessive and will pick up anything. Training him to give was the hard part. Arnold needed to be clicker trained to even look at let alone touch and bring a ball. I followed what RTHs is saying with the food dish for Arnold and it worked well, I never needed a formal front and hold but we needed a reliable hold amongst distraction because of flyball.
     

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