Teaching to hold and carry - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-14-2009, 05:33 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Portland, Oregon
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Teaching to hold and carry

I decided to start a new thread in case someone wants to teach this separately as well.

See this thread for what Iím talking about doing wrong:

I think I did this wrong.
I think I should have taught the hold first

I was reading Patti's post down in the service dog section about Grimm https://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/ubb...&gonew=1#UNREAD and thought how fun it would be to teach Dante to carry things.

So now the question is do I change using the same old wallet I've been using (no command to it yet, just a click when he puts it in my hand) or do I find something new to start with?

Does the hold work the same way? Start with a touch etc?

Dante - March 2004
Kaos von Wolfstraum Oct 2011

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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-15-2009, 12:45 AM
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Re: Teaching to hold and carry

The hold, to me, is just part of the training and can be taught separately or with the other training. It fits right in with what you're doing, but I think that you kind of skipped over it (maybe) and went right to the "pick up and give to me".

I teach the hold along with the initial part. I do all of the "look at, touch it, mouth it, take it" training as described in the previous thread, but at the "take it" level I work on holding it for longer and longer periods of time, and I add in the "hold" command. I make sure that the dog understands and consistently complies with the "Hold it", to the point where the dog can hold it for a minute or so without spitting it out. At that point I may work on adding in a step - giving the dog the item, using the "hold it" command and then walking the dog forward a step while urging/praising the "hold it" to continue. I only expect one step initially, and when that is good I can ask for another step and gradually build to the point where the dog will carry the item around for me.

You could continue to use the wallet if you want. You could also choose to use something else. If he's consistently taking the wallet from your hand, you could work on having him take various other items from your hand - or you could work on the hold - or you could work on both, with the hold being done with the familiar item and the other being done with whatever you want to use.

You know, for me it really depends on the dog and how they're working for me. A dog with retrieving instinct already will be easier to push through the various retrieving concepts and I might work them on take and hold with various items pretty quickly. A dog with little retrieve instinct (like my chows), I tend to stay with one concept and spend a LOT of time rewarding it before moving on. That's how I made Khana so solid in the retrieving. She couldn't care less about retrieving (rarely plays with toys, and usually if she picks up a toy its to bring to me and toss in hopes that I'll give her treats - which I usually do, since I am a well-trained human .. *L*). So for her I really had to build a strong base, and then broaden that out slowly to encompass all the other concepts of retrieving (picking up different items, like metal/cloth/wood; pulling items to me that were too big/bulky to carry (like a pair of pants); going to various items at a distance; and retrieving thrown items - mostly doing this in hopes of competing in open with her someday).

My GSDs were always good at carrying things for me - my first GSD carried a little flag throughout an entire parade! - but my chows don't enjoy it much. It's not a natural behavior for them. GSDs overall tend to like to carry around toys, sticks, etc. so it's usually easy to develop that behavior.

Does this help answer your question? *L* I don't think you did anything wrong, just may have skipped over some things.

Melanie and the gang in Alaska

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-17-2009, 09:25 PM
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Re: Teaching to hold and carry

My GSD will take the object but is having a hard tome getting the hold it and I need him to hold it calmly, not mouthing it. Any suggestions on how to achieve this.

Dexter vom Schattendal BH, T1, T2,IPO1,IPO2

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-19-2009, 05:47 AM
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Re: Teaching to hold and carry

i play "find it" with my dog. i'll hide things indoors or outside
and he'll find them and bring them to me. i can also give him things
to take to my GF. my boy will take the mail from the mail person and bring it to us. one day we're in the car and my GF ask
did i bring treats and water for the dog. then she ask me did i bring his leash. i said no, he got it. when ever we leave the house
my dog always takes his leash. i keep his leash folded down with
a rubber band around it. his leash is in a box beside the door
with his brush comb, toys, bones etc.

i think from playing "find it" my dog learned to carry things. when our dog was a puppy i use to hold him and face him towards
my GF and say "go to Rosie". as i said "go to Rosie" my GF would
call him at the same time. then she would face our dog towards
me and say "go to Tillmon". from playing this game
my dog learned to bring things to us. we give our dog
various things to carry.
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