Administrator & LOTR Addict
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Bloomington, IN, USA
What I did with Elena was work the hold totally separately in a different room. I did not have her in front of me either (slightly off side). I would put my left hand up through her collar and under her lower jaw just as some support. Ask her to take the DB, mark, "OUT" reward. Over time I lengthened how long she had to hold it before I marked it, "out" reward. I threw the "hold" word in there at some point. If she spit the DB out before I said out I would tell her "no", "bring", "hold", "yes", "out" reward. Then I would touch the DB, take my hand away, touch, hand away, yes/out/reward. Then eventually I slowly removed my left hand. Then I moved her into the front position.
Once she was holding right in front, I had her bring/hold and walked a few feet, grab her treat off of the counter, walked back into the front position, yes/out/reward. I got farther and farther from her. If she dropped the DB or mouthed it I told her no, had her bring/hold, walked back to the food pile, then back to her, etc.
Then I have added in other things. If she knows how to do a front for the recall you can ask her to do scoot fronts with the DB. Bring/hold, a few scoot fronts, yes/out reward. Then have her sit farther away and ask for fronts, then even farther.
I did other things too for the whole retrieve, but this is how I did the hold and front.
You might find the clicker works better and it might be worth trying.
IMO she needs to learn to hold the DB or the rest of the retrieve will be moot. She also needs to become comfortable in front of you while holding the DB.
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Vala SchH3 AWD1 FH2 CGC B/HOT, SG1 Deja IPO3 AWD1 KKL1 B/HOT, SG Elena IPO1 KKL CGC B/HOT, LB (the ugly little sable) BH AD B/HOT, Donovan IPO1 TR2 AD, and gone but not forgotten, Nike SchH1 OB1 TR3 AD CGC HOT, Treue SchH3 CD CGC HOT