**** dumbbell work!! - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-01-2011, 11:24 AM Thread Starter
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**** dumbbell work!!

Hey everyone,

Those who have seen my posts before, know that this is my first dog and as far as Schutzhund or dog training in general goes (reading dogs, timing, etc) I still have a long ways to go...

With that said, I would really appreciate some advice on dumbbell work.

We've done the dowel work with the hold and it was very solid (we used Ivan Balabanov's approach)

Now I got a dumbbell (with jute covered crossbar) and I'm working on the retrieve and hold.

Here's where my problem is: my dog will let the dumbbell hang on his bottom teeth behind the canines with mouth slightly opened. He's not chewing or anything like that (which was important since he's always been very chewy).

What can I do when he doesn't hold the dumbbell correctly? I tried backing up and keeping his jaws closed on the dumbbell while praising (he knows to accept my handling) but it'll go slack again as soon as I take my hands off...

I know over the internet it's hard to help someone, but if it makes you more comfortable, you can tell me how you would approach this if your dog was holding the dumbbell this way (I know what I described above and chewing are too common problems)

Any advice will be appreciated
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-01-2011, 11:27 AM
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Have you checked his teeth/jaws? That would be my first thought.

Not much help though other than that sorry

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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-01-2011, 11:29 AM
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Ironically, Ivan's book was delivered to my house from amazon just yesterday lol. Brief summary of his approach? Sounds like the dog doesn't understand he must hold it firmly? Maybe this didn't transition to the dumbbell from the dowel? I've only just started the dumbbell work so I'm sure others have better advice

I use a PVC pipe, and have also poured lead into one side, and filled one with lead. If its off balance, they gotta hold harder... maybe use something not symmetrically weighted? Gotta imagine he can't hold it if its uneven.

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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-01-2011, 11:33 AM
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Provided all our teeth are healthy, sounds like maybe the concept of "hold" needs more work. Are you consistantly getting the calm firm hold on the dowel? Also why arent you using a regular dumbbell?
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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-01-2011, 11:51 AM
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I have one dog that I completely backchained the retrieve with and was as successful as I had hoped to be. Tried that with another dog and he does exactly what the OP describes. The first dog is a bit of an "edgier" dog... sure how to say this without making it sound like he's nervy or has a bad temperament....but he takes things more seriously, even just doing obedience for food or toy rewards he takes seriously. He naturally clamps down and holds calm but very firm. My other dog is very content, higher drive and lower threshold, but doesn't take the work as seriously especially when worked with more positive/reward based methods. I tried a few gimmicks and didn't get the result I wanted. For example I would tap the ends of the dowel and if he was not holding firm, let him make the mistake of allowing the dowel to fall and then correcting him (quick pop under the chin, stick it back in, naturally clamps down harder, calm praise while holding). My new plan is to let the dog mature and do a forced retrieve. He can take a lot of pressure and things get more serious to him with physical pressure. I won't waste time trying to coax him to hold something firm when it's just not in his nature to take that type of training as seriously.
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-01-2011, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by mthurston0001 View Post
Provided all our teeth are healthy, sounds like maybe the concept of "hold" needs more work. Are you consistantly getting the calm firm hold on the dowel? Also why arent you using a regular dumbbell?
I was wondering the merit of going wood dowel to jute dumbbell, to wood dumbbell myself

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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-01-2011, 11:52 AM
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I think the hold needs more work. If done properly with the dowel, it should transfer to another object with nothing more than a few little reminders.

You also might want to remove the jute wrap from the dumbbell. They're just bare wood in trial, so he's got to get used to that anyway. But a bigger issue here is that I assume the dowel you used was plain wood or PVC, and not wrapped in jute. So to transfer the hold lesson, make the dumbbell feel the same as the dowel. While those jute wraps can make it more comfortable for a dog to hold a dumbbell, the hold really isn't about comfort. It's about discipline. And I've seen more than a few dogs get chewy with wrapped dumbbells because in their mouth it feels more like a toy (that they can get chewy with) than a hold object like they've experienced before.


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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-01-2011, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Liesje View Post
I have one dog that I completely backchained the retrieve with and was as successful as I had hoped to be. Tried that with another dog and he does exactly what the OP describes. The first dog is a bit of an "edgier" dog... sure how to say this without making it sound like he's nervy or has a bad temperament....but he takes things more seriously, even just doing obedience for food or toy rewards he takes seriously. He naturally clamps down and holds calm but very firm. My other dog is very content, higher drive and lower threshold, but doesn't take the work as seriously especially when worked with more positive/reward based methods. I tried a few gimmicks and didn't get the result I wanted. For example I would tap the ends of the dowel and if he was not holding firm, let him make the mistake of allowing the dowel to fall and then correcting him (quick pop under the chin, stick it back in, naturally clamps down harder, calm praise while holding). My new plan is to let the dog mature and do a forced retrieve. He can take a lot of pressure and things get more serious to him with physical pressure. I won't waste time trying to coax him to hold something firm when it's just not in his nature to take that type of training as seriously.
I could have written that. Exact same thing, but the younger higher drive, lower threshold dog is my female.

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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-01-2011, 12:07 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liesje View Post
I have one dog that I completely backchained the retrieve with and was as successful as I had hoped to be. Tried that with another dog and he does exactly what the OP describes. The first dog is a bit of an "edgier" dog... sure how to say this without making it sound like he's nervy or has a bad temperament....but he takes things more seriously, even just doing obedience for food or toy rewards he takes seriously. He naturally clamps down and holds calm but very firm. My other dog is very content, higher drive and lower threshold, but doesn't take the work as seriously especially when worked with more positive/reward based methods. I tried a few gimmicks and didn't get the result I wanted. For example I would tap the ends of the dowel and if he was not holding firm, let him make the mistake of allowing the dowel to fall and then correcting him (quick pop under the chin, stick it back in, naturally clamps down harder, calm praise while holding). My new plan is to let the dog mature and do a forced retrieve. He can take a lot of pressure and things get more serious to him with physical pressure. I won't waste time trying to coax him to hold something firm when it's just not in his nature to take that type of training as seriously.
FYI, your second dog sounds just like mine...

very drivey, content, happy to work - loves all three phases. With that said, he just doesn't take things seriously sometimes.

Another thing, that bolded section is what I've done with him with the dowel work.

I'll be happy to hear what you've done (if anything, I noticed you are going to wait for a bit before doing forced retrieve with him) to work on his hold and retrieve...
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-01-2011, 12:11 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Wild View Post
I think the hold needs more work. If done properly with the dowel, it should transfer to another object with nothing more than a few little reminders.

You also might want to remove the jute wrap from the dumbbell. They're just bare wood in trial, so he's got to get used to that anyway. But a bigger issue here is that I assume the dowel you used was plain wood or PVC, and not wrapped in jute. So to transfer the hold lesson, make the dumbbell feel the same as the dowel. While those jute wraps can make it more comfortable for a dog to hold a dumbbell, the hold really isn't about comfort. It's about discipline. And I've seen more than a few dogs get chewy with wrapped dumbbells because in their mouth it feels more like a toy (that they can get chewy with) than a hold object like they've experienced before.
Ok, I can go back to dowel work as a reminder and if he's holding good I'll try to remove the jute cover from the dumbbell.

As far as the merit or reason for choosing a jute covered dumbbell, I wish I could answer - it's more of a case of a novice following the trainer's suggestion blindly without asking why
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