Join Date: May 2009
Location: Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario
The retrieve.... oh the retrieve... ;)
Just looking for some advice on how to perfect the retrieve. First of all, I am working with Stark on this - he is SUPER sensitive when it comes to corrections with me and will shut down if he feels too much pressure (turn away, "not hear" me, start sniffing, jumping on me, etc..). He does however respond well to the e-collar, because I do not believe he thinks the correction is coming from me - this is something that my trainer and I have been working on with him in the past. The e-collar works as a communication tool for us that allows Stark to receive the direction he needs without thinking the stim is coming directly from the handler, thus leaving "me" out of it so that I can re-direct him back to me/the task at hand.
He will wait nicely by my side, I can throw the dumbbell, he has drive for the dumbbell (surprisingly but I did do a lot of back tieing and teasing with the dumbbell in the beginning), will RUN out to retrieve it, come back to me within about a foot and then start play bouncing around me and becomes chewy. I think 'he' thinks his only job is to retrieve it and bring it back?
I have broken this down for him and trained all the steps separately and when I bring him to a front and ask him to hold, he does. He is a bit chewy but I think that is genetic more than training?
I will say that he ENJOYS retrieving more than any other thing he does. He hops out to get the dumbbell or the item (he does a lot of retrieving for my cousin who is in a wheelchair such as pens, books, clothing, shoes, etc.. and just LOVES it!). I don't want to ruin that enthusiasm but am not sure how to teach him to connect the two exercises together; 1- run out get the dumbbell, 2 - come back to a front and hold it nicely.
I have called him in and he just is too excited and will bounce around me. I give a verbal correction or redirection in a more stern tone and he drops it.
I am working 15 hours and on 12 day of a 17 day stretch at work so I am unable to train until the new year with our club right now. I am basically training at night in the mall parking lot or the local park. My sister is exercising the dogs right now for me (she lives with me and is a part time student at University).
Thanks guys, will try to see if I can get video of the behaviour some time this weekend after work.
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