Tips For Dumb Bell Training? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-25-2017, 01:23 PM Thread Starter
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Tips For Dumb Bell Training?

Now that Eska has her BH, I am starting serious work on something she's not too crazy about: the dumb bell retrieve.

I was told to force my previous dog to take the dumb bell in her mouth, and that REALLY backfired.

Eska will sometimes take the dumb bell willingly from my hands, if I get her excited enough about it (tease her with it) but she much prefers a ball.

Any one have any novel ways of getting her more excited about the dumb bell? I don't think she likes the feel of it in her mouth. What about wrapping it with VetWrap?

She will retrieve (SOMETIMES!) both the ball and the dumb bell, but spits the ball out before i can get her to sit. She does the same with the dumb bell, and most often drops it after carrying it for a few feet.

I am not anti-correction, but strive to used positive training as much as possible. I LOVE to see a schutzhund dog wagging its tail during obedience!
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post #2 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-25-2017, 01:46 PM
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I have taught my last 3 dogs by reverse chaining. From supersoftabused inprevioustraining Xara to my super high drive .want to learn Dutch shepherd Rossi. The 2 I used more " force" with one rebelled and I smartly started all over with and got his Schh3 ( now IPO) with no DQs. I quit sport dogs after I had Jaden (semi force with high natural retrieve) got his Bh. Started w dowel behind my back and dog sitting front. Quickly presented and mark reward for nose touch. Slowly upped criteria. Funny story. Xara got to where she would holding but immediately drop it. Favorite trainer told metros how her supper, ask for her to take it. If she dropped it, no supper.3rd night she pulled my sweatshirt off chair, into her rate and peed on it...that next day she did it perfect and never looked back. Then dog sat beside and picked it up right in front of him, you set it there, return front.then you move it further..teach last of an behavior last. Also in the sitting in front of you, change to dumbbell. The reason for asking for quick response to level of behavior is to lead to quick retrieve,especially important to IPO..also worked with them justhealingaround to it, finished with a recall and taking it only occasionally before heeling around again..some dogs do well with tugging if they don't get chewy. Have a super German dumbbell that has rubber bar and two rope handles. Sorry so long.
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post #3 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-25-2017, 01:51 PM
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Certainly not an expert, but I started TJ out by (me) sitting in a chair and he was sitting right in front of me. I teased him with the dumbbell and the second he put his mouth around it I marked and rewarded him (food). We then went for duration/hold once he readily grabbed it on his own. I took the chair away and worked on it. Retrieving is a whole other set of exercises that we did after once he would take, hold and walk with the dumbbell. I now use his ball as a reward.
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post #4 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-25-2017, 01:56 PM
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If you do a force retrieve, you have to see it through even if its ugly. If you don't, odds aren't real good she'll ever pick up a dumbell. I like Ivan's steps from his video. You basically create a play retrieve with a toy first. Then separate of that you work on hold with a dowel that has a lanyard attached to the end. That's where you create a little pressure for the hold. At some point when both are solid, you'll build a little drive for the dumbell and toss that. The video is really straight forward and easy to follow.

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post #5 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-25-2017, 02:09 PM Thread Starter
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So, Steve, your post gave me an idea.

I could try turning a dowel (just a dowel, no ends on it) into a flirt toy...

That would likely work REALLY well, as Eska's breeder started her out with a flirt pole, and she still goes CRAZY for it! I'd put an eyebolt on the end of the dowel so I could attach it to either my long line or a flirt pole.

Other than that, Eska's toy drive isn't nearly as strong as my 10 year old showline's drive.

Last edited by Sunsilver; 10-25-2017 at 02:14 PM.
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post #6 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-25-2017, 02:18 PM
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Well, the dowel isn't supposed to be a drive object. It's what you use to create a firm hold, and what you'd use for corrections. I'd still use a toy to build the drive, then transition to the dumbell, even if you try different style dumbells in the beginning. I like this, but think about what Mspiker said. A lot of people do it that way too.

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post #7 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-25-2017, 02:24 PM
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And the other thing too Sunsilver, they don't take the dowel, you put it in their mouth. Its the this isn't voluntary part.

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post #8 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-25-2017, 03:35 PM Thread Starter
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Steve, I managed to transform my other female's ball drive into a really nice controlled retrieve of the ball, exactly as is required with the dumb bell retrieve. Unfortunately she wouldn't do the same thing with the dumb bell, as forcing her to take it into her mouth had killed any desire she had to play with it.

I think I could do the same thing with the dowel and dumb bell. My feeling is what I need most of all is to get her excited about retrieving it. Right now she's just 'meh'!
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post #9 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-25-2017, 04:26 PM
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How is her food drive. I started out exactly like mspiker03 said. Sitting dog touches, Mark, treat, advance to bites, then holds. Now when I get the dumbbell out she is super excited.

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post #10 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-25-2017, 04:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunsilver View Post
Steve, I managed to transform my other female's ball drive into a really nice controlled retrieve of the ball, exactly as is required with the dumb bell retrieve. Unfortunately she wouldn't do the same thing with the dumb bell, as forcing her to take it into her mouth had killed any desire she had to play with it.

I think I could do the same thing with the dowel and dumb bell. My feeling is what I need most of all is to get her excited about retrieving it. Right now she's just 'meh'!
The problem with making her want to play with the dumbbell is that she is unlikely to have a nice calm hold of it. She could end up being very chewy. I would do what mspiker recommended. You can add drive later when you work on the actual retrieve.
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