Training Your Dog to Retrieve - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-01-2008, 10:30 AM Thread Starter
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Training Your Dog to Retrieve

One of the things about dog training is the fact there are so many ways to train. The retrieve is by far probably the one that takes the longest to train, if it is done from scratch, with a dog that does not like to necessarily like to hold things in his mouth. I wanted to get your feedback and ideas.

When we train animals for movie work and commercials, this is a behavior that is essential.

Joel Silverman

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-01-2008, 04:00 PM
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Re: Training Your Dog to Retrieve

Check out the Video (coming to DVD sometime soon I hope! ) "Positvely Fetching" by Adele Yunck and Judy Byron.
(I work for at her Northfield Dog Training, http://www.northfielddogtraining.com)

This video shows how to shape a totally motivational retrieve using food. This method can take a little longer of course but the end result is a very happy, reliable retrieving dog. The video shows many different breeds, many NOT being natural retrievers (like my
Pharaoh Hound and Whippet I had at the time..LOL!!)

It breaks things down into the smallest of pieces to ensure the dog really understands each and every part of the retrieves. This is mainly geared for people training for AKC obedience competition but the concepts would apply to any retrieving task people had in mind.

Also covered are many suggestions to correct common retrieve performance problems, like mouthing, pouncing on the dumbbell, batting the dumbbell around, slow returns and so much more.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-01-2008, 05:02 PM
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Re: Training Your Dog to Retrieve

Joel, how do YOU teach a dog a retrieve?

Melanie and the gang in Alaska

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-01-2008, 10:34 PM
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Re: Training Your Dog to Retrieve

Quote:
Originally Posted By: IliamnasQuestJoel, how do YOU teach a dog a retrieve?

Melanie and the gang in Alaska
Yes, how do you?
I start when they're pups and naturally taking things in their mouths.(It's helpiful for a guide dog to also be able to retrieve things for their handlers. If they pick something up, I mark it possitively. At a young age, they generally trot over to see what I'm happy about. When I remove the object from their mouth, I mark it again and give them a treat.(Its amazing how fast the younger dogs will start bringing you everything they lay their mouths on. It also helps with unwanted chewing!!!)
On that note, my pups learn the "take it, Leave it command" They learn what I want them to take, and what they're supposed to leave.

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Sar K-9 Kolby (GSD)
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-02-2008, 02:09 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Training Your Dog to Retrieve

I actually train it by placing something in the dog's mouth, and having them hold it for about a second, and build it from there. Here are 27 one minute clips on my site that will take you step by step.

http://www.companionsforlife.net/Retrieve_members1.html

Joel Silverman

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-02-2008, 07:00 PM
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Re: Training Your Dog to Retrieve

Oh, did you put more behaviors on there? (sorry, kinda OT)

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-02-2008, 08:59 PM
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Re: Training Your Dog to Retrieve

Joel, I'm on a slow dial-up connection and watching videos is just not really possible for me. What if you have a dog that doesn't want to hold something? Do you use force? What is the dog's motivation for continuing to hold an item?

Melanie and the gang in Alaska

Positive 1ST! More reward, less correction makes a GREAT trainer.
Chows: Khana CD RE SD & Dora NA NAJ GSD: Tazer SDIT
RIP *Trick*Kylee*Dawson*Lady*
Total of 2UDs 3CDXs 12CDs 2REs 8AgilityTitles 1BH Chow!
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-02-2008, 09:21 PM
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Re: Training Your Dog to Retrieve

I taught Kayla starting with placing the dowel in her mouth-which she did not like. I would just place it in without any force or encouragement. I would mark her spitting in out, which she would do pretty quick at first, using a clicker and a treat. When she picked up that spitting it out was the praise and award point, I started extending the period before the praise and award. Giving me the dowel became the "money" point of the exercise. We then started extending the time and moved to placing the dowel on the floor and further away.

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-02-2008, 11:54 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Training Your Dog to Retrieve

That is a real good way. You might also want to start with something a little softer too, but it sounded like she really understood.

Joel Silverman

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-02-2008, 11:56 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Training Your Dog to Retrieve

Hi Melanie,

I do use a food reward early on. There are many dogs that are not too cool about holding objects in their mouths early on. In that situation, I will gently open the dog's mouth and place it in. I use very little force in training almost everything with dogs.

Joel Silverman

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