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Discussion Starter #1
This is for my Aussie, but still a question, hopefully someone can help.

When I direct her to the middle glove she stops about four feet in front of me. I can't figure out how to get her to come all the way in. But, if I direct her to the left or right glove, we have no issues, she comes all the way in, perfect front and hold. It is only the middle glove.

I am stumped. How can I correct this?
 

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Try a flexi lead and add a small pop and reward hightly when she does come in. Are you doing directed jumping too? And is she coming in all the way on the directed jump? I am thinking she might like the angled approaach better?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Kathy. Yes she is doing the directed jumping fine. She performs all the exercises very well, except for this one.
I just can't figure out why. She has had no problems in the past with the novice and open class recalls, so I don't know why now we are having a problem.

I have tried the flexi before, but she hesitates leaving my side with it, so I tried a long line, but that didn't help any. If I run backwards to get her to keep coming, she still stops about four feet.

I am thinking now I may have caused this when I play with her. Because she drops her toys about the same distance and backs up waiting for me to throw them. I have never made her bring them all the way to me. My fault, I encouraged that, but since she has done the left and the right glove fine, I didn't think it was a problem.
 

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Is she dropping the glove or just stopping too far away? If she is dropping the glove you can re-command her to take it and then wait her out and let her figure out she needs to get it to you.

Have you tried a tab on her collar that you can pick up and give her a little tug as she starts to sit too far? I would use a long shoe lace tied to her collar and laid over her back. She won't really feel it and it is long enough for you to reach for and pick up.

Food between your lips that you point to may bring her in closer, then put the food in your mouth where she cannot see it and drop it to her when you take the glove.

Another thing you can do is back chain the retrieve and just do on leash fronts with the glove in her mouth. Then go back and do stright recalls with the glove and then add the send back in.

I think you backing up is just solving the problem for her, I think she needs to figure out she needs to be closer to get rewarded.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Oh, I hadn't thought of a tab. I like the shoe lace idea. I will give that a try tonight.

She doesn't drop the glove. She holds it nicely. I did try the treat in my mouth but when I did, she dropped the glove. So, I quit the treat for now.

I might also back chain for now. I don't plan on trying for her UD until October at our local shows and then our ASCA Nationals are held here in November, so hopefully I can fix this.

Thank yo so much.
 

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I suspect that it has to do with the directed jumping as much as the directed retrieve. I bet you never call her back to you from between the jumps, and have corrected her for not going over the jumps. The center glove probably reminds her of the "go-out" for the jumping. So she is confused as to whether she can come back or not.

I always do three go-outs in every training session. The first two the dog is asked to jump, but the last one is a recall back from the sit. Do you use food or a target for your go-out? Keno was a retrieving fool, so I used a Pringles can lid for his target for the go-out. Every third go-out, he got to retrieve his target and bring it to me. In a trial there is no third go-out. I just kept cutting the lid into smaller pieces until he was retireving just a small wedge of plastic.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well Daphne, I think you are on to something. I have done recalls from between the jumps, but not as often recently.

I use to use a treat on a plastic lid for her target, then just the lid with no treat, then no lid. I never thought of getting her to retrieve the lid back. This is a new behavior, as a few months ago she was returning fine, then we went down hill. Which is why I was thinking it was the way I play with her.

But, now that you mention it, I only have been doing the 2 go-outs, finish the directed jumping and then go on to the gloves. I thought I was mixing it up enough, but now I know I haven't.

I will try the 3 go outs, and mix it up tonight, and see what happens.
Jessi loves to retrieve, but has never came right back to me. Just picture a wild Border Collie, dropping the ball or frisby 4 feet in front of you backing up in that down crawl like position they do, that is Jessi.

I do think now that I have confused her and she doesn't know if she is supose to jump or come back.

I tried the tab last night, but when I reached for her, she kept dropping the glove, and wouldn't budge.
I have to say she is a very sensitive dog, so I have to use a lot of positive training with her, or she will shut down.
 

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Since you describe her as sensitive, maybe she just needs some help understanding this and then she'll be fine. It's hard when a dog shuts down.

Maybe practice this without the jumps for awhile, and then add the jumps back in once she is solid without them. You might also want to do some random rewards where you sometimes expect a front, sometimes throw a ball through your legs when she's halfway to you and let her race after it, sometimes turn and run away from her, clapping and laughing. Mix it up and let her have some fun with it.

I'm not big on giving second commands but sometimes when our dogs are confused, they just need the extra help. So you may also try smiling and saying "you're doing great, now come closer!" (or something similar) to encourage her in. Then have a big party when she gets to you. I don't even worry about my dogs holding on to something when they get to me if we're working through an approach problem. I'll re-work the "hold" later, first I have to get them to me! So sometimes I'll toss a treat to them, or between my feet, or behind me and allow them to drop the item to get the treat - and then do a happy "take it!" again, a front and another reward.

You know, it just depends on your dog and what you think she can handle. My Aussie (of many years ago - first Aussie in Alaska to get a UD!) was really tough and I could pummel her into obedience if necessary. She shrugged off corrections like they were nothing. The chow I'm working now is also tough but if I get corrective with her, she just says "I'm done!" and it's almost impossible to get her to work again. So she has to do pretty much everything in anticipation of a reward. She's capable, just not naturally obedient .. *L* .. so I've been doing a lot of throwing of treats and whooping and hollering when we do the retrieves, because she's not a natural retriever. It's really helped with her attitude.

Melanie and the gang in Alaska
 

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This might give you another problem as a byproduct, but if your Aussie likes to play tug, why not try changing up the retrieve article to a tug toy, put a long light line tied to the toy and keep a little tension on the line when she tries to drop the toy to make her want to keep it. With this method, there is no corrective action to the dog and you can reel her in like a fish. This will allow you to mark her coming right to you then you can work on getting the sit back with her still holding the toy. After she is reliably bringing the toy back to you then you could start transferring the behavior to the glove.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for all the advice you guys, much appreciated.

I have tried everything suggested. I put the jumps away and went back to straight recalls. If I toss the ball between my legs she does run right through, to get the ball. I reintroduced the gloves again, and mixed it up a bit. I did the jumps by themselves, she did great. I did the gloves without the jumps and she did them all including the middle one. But, once I brought the jumps out, again she would still stop four feet with the middle glove.

So after doing this more and more, tossing the ball between my legs with the jumps out, she would do that fine. I did regular recalls with the jumps out, she did that fine. Now, 2 days ago, I got her to come all the way in, with the jumps out, but she wouldn't bring back the glove at all. She would go to it, but come back without it.

I haven't worked with her since then because of thunderstorms/rain. I am getting ready to go out in a bit and see what she does.

She loves to work, and is very happy when she is working, she is just confused.
 

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When I am having trouble with an exercise (ok this happens fairly often) I try to break it down and work only on the "problem" part.
If your dog's drive to go out and get the glove is good you don't want to mess with that by making the entire exercise part of your corrective work.

Maybe try sitting your dog and having her hold the glove. Go away from her about as far as glove #2 is normally from you, and then build drive to come to you. A little pop with the flexi, a big outpouring of praise as she moves toward you, and/ or moving backward to "suck" her into you. When you get good energetic fronts with glove in mouth, sit her where glove 2 is in the ring with the equipment up. Go back to the retrieve when you have good fronting. You may have to work the retrieve a bit separately also before putting the two together.

How about short "fronts" with with the glove in her mouth? Does she have good energetic fronts normally? Practice fronts with a glove placed in her mouth rather than start with a retrieve. What is your reward for her when she comes in front with the glove? Is it something she is very excited to have/get? Dogs who like to work usually just need some help to understand what gets the desired reward.

If you think she is confused as to whether to jump or front be sure to give her multiple verbal and physical cues at first so that she understands you want a front. Then fade those as she understands.

Also, have you made the glove a toy? Played with it, tugged, etc?
My toy crazy BC could not be allowed to think of the glove as a toy or she would be throwing it down early also. She has to front with the glove to get a toy, but the glove is a "strictly business" piece of equipment, a means to the end to getting a toy.
 
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