Retrieving Metal - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-07-2011, 08:09 AM Thread Starter
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Retrieving Metal

Not sure where this fits but how important is it that a dog retrieves metal and why exactly do they test it? I know that some dog owners actually train their dog to retrieve metal so they wouldn't fail the test so what exactly is the purpose of the metal retrieve and what does it tell you about the dog if the dog, naturally, has such a strong drive and will to please that it doesn't matter what you toss that the dog goes after anything and everything.
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-07-2011, 08:30 AM
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To me more important is why doesn't the dog retrieve metal.....metal, wood, plastic, nylon, the dog should retreive it if its physically capable. I don't differentiate....now if the dog is reluctant to pick up metal(and I'm not talking about metal that is 110 degrees), then there are issues there that can be problematic later in training.
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-07-2011, 09:48 AM
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My dogs retrieve whatever is thrown. The exception would be the very soft mouthed retrievers. I am not sure what the purpose of a "test" involving this would be......
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-07-2011, 10:11 AM
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the dog should be able to pick up whatever it is asked to pick up . If you were to enter the AKC/CKC obedience trials there is an exercise asking for scent discrimination which includes an article that is wood, leather and metal.
If I recall correctly in the von Stephanitz book there are several pictures of dogs that have picked up guns.
A little more practical application would be dogs going into therapy assistance. One dog that I prepared for "Sterling Services" was taught to pick up cans (softly) , cane, bring the walker, open fridge, open door , bring keys , pick up dropped cutlery etc.
My pups have metal dumbells small enough for them to pick up and prance around with , copper plumbing lengths etc. I have not had any dog hesitate into picking up anything . In fact this seems to be wonderful training which later on helps them pick up their stainless steel water buckets and wail them against the wall, to pull on their crates and disassemble the doors to get out!!!!

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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-07-2011, 12:42 PM
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Picking up a firearm is not something a dog should be trained to do. Find yes,retrieve,no
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-07-2011, 12:57 PM
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I think it is silly. All my dogs willingly retrieve metal objects

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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-07-2011, 03:18 PM
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But, isn't the question why is it important to test this? Cliff answered it some. I have known plenty of dogs who were put off by metal in their mouth. Wouldn't it be something to assess, or am I just missing the question?
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-07-2011, 03:27 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, I am wondering why it is so important and what is says about the dog. I know that some handlers actively train it just to get a dog through the test to sell them to law enforcement. Some said that quite a few dogs wouldn't do it without the training. But what does it say about these handlers, the dogs and the test itself? And what does it say about the dog that retrieves right away without any training at all and about those that won't do it without training? Some things have to be trained and can be trained so if it can be trained to retrieve metal objects even though the dog didn't do it the first time whats the point of testing it at all?
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-07-2011, 04:53 PM
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There is not a reason for law enforcement to test a dog for that. Our dogs do not retrieve items. An article search dog locates items with human scent on them but certainly should not retrieve it . First of all it is evidence and secondly retrieving a butcher knife would be rather stupid as would a gun......
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-07-2011, 04:55 PM
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Chris Weeks (K9 Officer - lots of SAR folks know him, former Military, then Raleigh PD, now back home in New Hampshire so the babies could be near the grandparents) told us that they used to have dogs retrieve articles a long time ago until a dog was running around with a loaded pistol and everyone was ducking for cover.

I think the funny thing is that some folks use that as the ONLY test and it really is not such a big deal I think. Maybe it would be if the dog would NOT retrieve the metal but the fact that it DOES does not mean too much to me because one of my old metal retrievers, Toby - did not have the nerve strength to do anything.

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Last edited by NancyJ; 11-07-2011 at 04:57 PM.
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