Hello everyone, I would like to teach my girls to take something and hold it in their mouths until I ask for it, or to put it where it belongs. I am clicker training and was wondering if anyone could help me out. Thanks
Well, for starters, every time you give your dog a treat or some hand to mouth food, you can say "take it" so they learn what this means.
One day I sat down w/a bowl of treats, made my female sit in front of me. Just kept handing her the treats and clicked when she did I said "take it!" and praise her. She caught on in like 5-10 minutes.
Now, that's a treat ... it's not so easy when I try something non-treat when it comes to my two. She's VERY picky what she will take from me or anyone else for that matter. Anyway, once she had the idea, I switched to using her kong as a treat substitute and working in the same fashion. I switched back and forth kong/treat for awhile until she'd start taking just the kong.
I try to remember to say "take it" any time I hand them something.
If you can find a book by Lana Mitchell called "The Clicked Retriever" (I think that's the right name) it will help you out tremendously. It's based on +R methods and is an excellent way to teach a dog to hold/retrieve without using force.
I'm very glad to hear that you're using clicker methods. Unfortunately the forced fetch (ear pinch) method is still very popular with competitive obedience people. They see nothing wrong in pinching their dog's ear in order to correct a retrieve. Some day I hope that all aspects of dog training will evolve from the caveman methods.