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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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Mrs K.
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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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!!!!

Carmen
Carmspack Working German Shepherd Dogs
 

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I think it is silly. All my dogs willingly retrieve metal objects
 

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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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Discussion Starter #8
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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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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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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Discussion Starter #11
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......
I think it's not so much about retrieving the articles but to test their drives. Is that possible?
 

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Here are the requirements for dogs working as assistance therapy dogs with the organization that I was involved with
RETRIEVE BASED TASKS
  • Bring portable phone to any room in house
  • Bring in Groceries - up to ten canvas bags
  • Unload suitable grocery items from canvas sacks
  • Fetch a beverage from a refrigerator or cupboard
  • Fetch food bowl(s)
  • Pick up dropped items like coins, keys etc., in any location
  • Bring clothes, shoes, or slippers laid out to assist with dressing
  • Unload towels, other items from dryer
  • Retrieve purse from hall, desk, dresser or back of van
  • Assist to tidy house or yard - pickup, carry, deposit designated items
  • Fetch basket with medication and/or beverage from cupboard
  • Seek & Find teamwork - direct the dog with hand signals, vocal cues to:
    - retrieve an unfamiliar object out of partner's reach
    - locate TV Remote Control
    - select one of several VCR tapes atop TV cabinet, other surfaces
    - Remove VCR tape from machine after eject button pushed
  • Use Target stick to
    - retrieve an indicated item off shelves in stores
    - retrieve one pair of shoes from a dozen in closet
  • Use Laser Pointer to target an item to be retrieved
  • Drag Cane from its customary location to another room
  • Pick up and return cane if falls off back of wheelchair
  • Pickup or fetch Canadian crutches from customary location
  • Drag walker back to partner
  • Fetch wheelchair when out of reach
CARRYING BASED TASKS (non retrieval)
  • Move Bucket from one location to another, indoors & outdoors
  • Lug a basket of items around the house
  • Transport items downstairs or upstairs to a specific location
  • Carry item(s) from the partner to a care-giver or family member in another room
  • Send the dog to obtain food or other item from a care-giver and return with it.
  • Dog carries a prearranged object to care-giver as a signal help is needed
  • Carry items following a partner using a walker, other mobility aids
  • Pay for purchases at high counters
  • Transfer merchandise in bag from a clerk to a wheelchair user's lap
  • Carry mail or newspaper into the house
DEPOSIT BASED TASKS
  • Put trash, junk mail into a wastebasket or garbage can
  • Deposit empty soda pop can or plastic bottle into recycling bin
  • Assist partner to load clothing into top loading washing machine
  • Dirty food bowl [dog's] - put into kitchen sink
  • Put silverware, non breakable dishes, plastic glasses in sink
  • Deliver items to "closet" [use a floor marker to indicate drop location]
  • Deposit dog toys into designated container
  • Put Rx bag, mail, other items on counter top
xxxx you see how many times a metal object is part of the chore .

It is said that dogs that will hold metal will retrieve anything . Young dogs that have had exposure and opportunity to play with different metals will have no problem. Young dogs can be taught to hold metal. As the dog ages though there seems to be a point where the metal is not a familiar taste , just like we develop likes or dislikes to food , flavour, and so will not be as thrilled to pick up metal naturally. Apparently the pH of the saliva has a chemical reaction to the different metals . You can make your own battery by combining copper and zinc with the acid of a lemon - voila , electrical discharge.

When you have metal in the mouth there is a tingle from the movement of electrodes (from the metal) and the electrolytes , acids from the tongue will create a small charge .

science club trick --- take aluminum foil and place on tongue. now take a piece of silver and place on tongue . now take both metals and have them touch each other , place on tongue , now you have a flow of electricity from one metal to the other through the electrolytes in your saliva (weak charge) . also works with saline water.

of course dogs don't retrieve fire arms -- that was in the von Stephanitz book ! did read of one hunting beagle that accidently killed his owner when mouthing the rifle.

Carmen
Carmspack Working German Shepherd Dogs
 

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I think everyone is aware that service dogs do this. However, many are force retrieved as opposed to using dogs with the over the top retrieve drive that we use for scent detector work. Depends
Basically, a dog with proper retrieve drive will retrieve anything thrown. I used to demostrate this to folks learning to evaluate dogs for police work by throwing everything from fruit to sticks to whatever. Would my dog retrieve metal,yes, do I want his mouth and teeth on metal. NO. :)
 

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There is a government agency that only buys dogs that will retrieve metal. It's part of their test. I'm not sure why they make that part of the test, but it's their requirement. There are vendors out there looking for those dogs to sell dogs. To me, it's just the flavor of the month, but if it's what the buyer wants, there will be a seller that finds them.

DFrost
 

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You would laugh even harder to know the cost of one of these bad boys. Isn't it like $8000 + for a completely Green one year old? Wonder if they will take an old dysplastic 9 year old who dismantled my aluminum gutters and paraded them around the yard? She's a tough old bird.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
You would laugh even harder to know the cost of one of these bad boys. Isn't it like $8000 + for a completely Green one year old? Wonder if they will take an old dysplastic 9 year old who dismantled my aluminum gutters and paraded them around the yard? She's a tough old bird.
Yep... even untitled dogs go away for about 5000, maybe I should offer Nalas sister. She's the same material but with even more ooomph. According to Heinz she'd make a great patrol. :D
 

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Yep... even untitled dogs go away for about 5000, maybe I should offer Nalas sister. She's the same material but with even more ooomph. According to Heinz she'd make a great patrol. :D
They don't care about titles, it's the metal retrieve. Ancestry doesn't mean all that much when buying adult potential working dogs, only their potential.

DFrost
 

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Here are the requirements for dogs working as assistance therapy dogs with the organization that I was involved with
RETRIEVE BASED TASKS
  • Bring portable phone to any room in house
  • Bring in Groceries - up to ten canvas bags
  • Unload suitable grocery items from canvas sacks
  • Fetch a beverage from a refrigerator or cupboard
  • Fetch food bowl(s)
  • Pick up dropped items like coins, keys etc., in any location
  • Bring clothes, shoes, or slippers laid out to assist with dressing
  • Unload towels, other items from dryer
  • Retrieve purse from hall, desk, dresser or back of van
  • Assist to tidy house or yard - pickup, carry, deposit designated items
  • Fetch basket with medication and/or beverage from cupboard
  • Seek & Find teamwork - direct the dog with hand signals, vocal cues to:
    - retrieve an unfamiliar object out of partner's reach
    - locate TV Remote Control
    - select one of several VCR tapes atop TV cabinet, other surfaces
    - Remove VCR tape from machine after eject button pushed
  • Use Target stick to
    - retrieve an indicated item off shelves in stores
    - retrieve one pair of shoes from a dozen in closet
  • Use Laser Pointer to target an item to be retrieved
  • Drag Cane from its customary location to another room
  • Pick up and return cane if falls off back of wheelchair
  • Pickup or fetch Canadian crutches from customary location
  • Drag walker back to partner
  • Fetch wheelchair when out of reach
CARRYING BASED TASKS (non retrieval)
  • Move Bucket from one location to another, indoors & outdoors
  • Lug a basket of items around the house
  • Transport items downstairs or upstairs to a specific location
  • Carry item(s) from the partner to a care-giver or family member in another room
  • Send the dog to obtain food or other item from a care-giver and return with it.
  • Dog carries a prearranged object to care-giver as a signal help is needed
  • Carry items following a partner using a walker, other mobility aids
  • Pay for purchases at high counters
  • Transfer merchandise in bag from a clerk to a wheelchair user's lap
  • Carry mail or newspaper into the house
DEPOSIT BASED TASKS
  • Put trash, junk mail into a wastebasket or garbage can
  • Deposit empty soda pop can or plastic bottle into recycling bin
  • Assist partner to load clothing into top loading washing machine
  • Dirty food bowl [dog's] - put into kitchen sink
  • Put silverware, non breakable dishes, plastic glasses in sink
  • Deliver items to "closet" [use a floor marker to indicate drop location]
  • Deposit dog toys into designated container
  • Put Rx bag, mail, other items on counter top
xxxx you see how many times a metal object is part of the chore .

It is said that dogs that will hold metal will retrieve anything . Young dogs that have had exposure and opportunity to play with different metals will have no problem. Young dogs can be taught to hold metal. As the dog ages though there seems to be a point where the metal is not a familiar taste , just like we develop likes or dislikes to food , flavour, and so will not be as thrilled to pick up metal naturally. Apparently the pH of the saliva has a chemical reaction to the different metals . You can make your own battery by combining copper and zinc with the acid of a lemon - voila , electrical discharge.

When you have metal in the mouth there is a tingle from the movement of electrodes (from the metal) and the electrolytes , acids from the tongue will create a small charge .

science club trick --- take aluminum foil and place on tongue. now take a piece of silver and place on tongue . now take both metals and have them touch each other , place on tongue , now you have a flow of electricity from one metal to the other through the electrolytes in your saliva (weak charge) . also works with saline water.

of course dogs don't retrieve fire arms -- that was in the von Stephanitz book ! did read of one hunting beagle that accidently killed his owner when mouthing the rifle.

Carmen
Carmspack Working German Shepherd Dogs

Seeing this old post made me think my idea may not be so crazy :smile2: How much weight could you expect a GSD to carry by mouth? I have considered teaching mine to carry a bucket to help move gear between felling trees while cutting firewood.

They have picked up a 5 gallon bucket voluntarily (empty), but I noticed their head was held high, maybe a shorter bucket would allow them to hold a more normal posture? There is also the issue of steep terrain and obstacles.

Doable? Or too much wear and tear?
 
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