Well, this may be an odd way to look at it but the it's the only way I know train a a surefire retrieve.
Basically you start pretty small as with most new commands.
So, you start out with whatever you will be wanting your dog to retrieve. Get them used to it..
Sit down with them and the object in your hand. Anytime the dog shows sign of interest, positively reward (PR
) (whichever method you prefer). They smell it (PR
) they mouth it (PR
) always rewarding the dog for interest in the object.
Next start rewarding the dog for mouthing it only. They have to learn you want them to grab it. Don't give the object to them just yet. Keep a grasp on it so they know you want it back. PR
for this behavior.
Once they have that down you loosen your grip a bit when they grab it. To get them use to a good hold. Try various angles, it will be easier to know when you are ready for the next step. You will be ready to move on when your dog begins to move the object back to a more centered location for you to take it.
Next you will let go after the dog takes the object. PR
and take the ball back. Practice this a while before moving to next step.
Now you begin to introduce the dog to picking the object up on command. Place the dog in front of you. Set the object between you and the dog and give the command you prefer to use. PR
for the dog picking up the object and going it to you. Once your dog is getting that well, you can start placing the object farther away and moving back to increase distance they have to bring it to you.
Next you will place a dog in position either sitting or laying in a heeling location. Put the object a few yards away. Walk back to the dog and release them to retrieve the object. Increase distance.
You will now have a retrieve on command. The dog will now see this as their job when the object comes out to play. You are no longer depending on prey drive to get the dog to want the object. You are focusing in on there will to please their handler. It is a bit of a process but so worth it!
You can always advance the drills by increasing the amount of objects.
Hope this made sense to you. It's kinda hard to write it out I guess lol. Best of luck! Clicker works great for this exercise. My preference at least.
Howdy from Idaho!
Oliver Kahn der Fasan Suchenden