Trouble with the DB - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-01-2012, 12:32 PM Thread Starter
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Trouble with the DB

I am having trouble teaching my 3 yr old shepherd a SOLID Dumbbell hold. He does what I like to call the "lazy hold", the only thing preventing the DB from falling out is his canines! He does understand it is supposed to stay in his mouth but he just doesnt grip the DB. How can I teach him to have a solid firm hold?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-01-2012, 02:03 PM
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How did you initially train the exercise? I like to start with a dowel with strings on the side. I taught him to hold it calmly, and can give a tug on either side of it to teach him to hold tightly. I did the same thing with the actual dumbbell and give little taps to each side as a reminder to hold on. Sometimes I pull forward on it to reinforce it.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-02-2012, 09:06 AM Thread Starter
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I initally taught it on a piece of dowel but he just doesnt hold it solid. He could care less if I pulled on it or tapped it,it is almost like it is not even there for him. He knows not to spit it out, but if it falls out due to his lose grip on it, I pick it up and put it back in his mouth. I have tried just holding his mouth closed for a few seconds then rewarding for that, but nothing seems to be clicking with him to firmly hold the DB.

Could I possibly need a bigger bit size for him?
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-02-2012, 09:14 AM
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If he drops it thump him under his chin and place it back in his mouth. Go back to a dowel and let him know dropping it or chewing is not an option. I wouldn't add the dumbbell into the picture til he has the dowel hold correct.
Be sure to praise him when he is calmly holding.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-02-2012, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Court View Post
I initally taught it on a piece of dowel but he just doesnt hold it solid. He could care less if I pulled on it or tapped it,it is almost like it is not even there for him. He knows not to spit it out, but if it falls out due to his lose grip on it, I pick it up and put it back in his mouth. I have tried just holding his mouth closed for a few seconds then rewarding for that, but nothing seems to be clicking with him to firmly hold the DB.

Could I possibly need a bigger bit size for him?
I think with the dowel there has to be a consequence for dropping it or holding loose. If you can pull it out of the side there must be pressure in the period of time the dog does not have the dowel in his mouth. That pressure should be relieved the second the dowel is placed in the dog's mouth again.

I suggest you find a professional trainer or a local schutzhund club to help with the hold exercise as it can be, I don't want to say tricky, but it does take good timing and has to be made very very clear to the dog.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-02-2012, 09:58 AM
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Can you get him to play tug with you with the dumbell?
That's how I increased Frank's dumbell hold. It became a game we could play, He fully understands "drop it" so that's the signal the "game" is over.
Now we practice our retrieves then when done, I'll take hold of both ends of the dumbell while he has it in his mouth and play a little game of tug as a reward. Sometimes I'll play tug first and then practice our retrieves. either way it's taught him to take a tight hold cause we could play our tug game at any time.
It's also helped improve his "take it " command too.
The Dowel never worked for us, but I do know alot of people use it.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-02-2012, 10:12 AM Thread Starter
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I have been attending classes every week for a little over a year with him for AKC (he is my problem child..no body sensitivity at all, independant, etc.). After much debate, I am pulling him from class next week.
I can't get a solid hold on the Dowel or the DB. I was told by various classmates not to worry about it, that it will come with time as long as he doesnt spit it out. He just makes no effort to stop it from falling out. Chewing isnt a problem since he doesn't even put his top teeth down. Thumping him does nothing for him because he has no body sensitivity. I was instructed to recall him over a low jump and that was the only time i have ever seen him do a firm hold, so he understands he can't just spit it out whenever he wants.
My other dog has a firm hold but for some reason its not clicking with this dog.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-02-2012, 01:43 PM
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Get a SchH 3 dumbbell. He'll have to clamp down to hold it which may work for him.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-02-2012, 08:52 PM
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Pan was really lazy with his hold so I had to use some force, but not for long. I used pressure for only two sessions and after that it clicked. I start with the hold and do not move on until the hold is good (firm and calm, the dog can heel around with you holding the dumbbell).
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-03-2012, 11:22 AM Thread Starter
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I had a very nice session with my Shepherd last night. I used a slightly heavier DB than I normally do and that seemed to do the trick.
I think he needs a slightly bigger bit. I have various DB and he seemed to have more trouble with the smaller bit/ light DB than he did with the big clunky one.
We worked through the lazy holds and the moment he got a firm grip I rewarded. I used various things mentioned in this thread just to try them and see if they worked for him. Thank you all
The best part of it all, is that I ended the session with him still wanting to work the DB!!
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