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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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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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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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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
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.
 

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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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Discussion Starter #8
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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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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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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Some people do make the dumbell itself the drive object. But I like it more like a trade, because I worry about not only what GypsyGhost said, but if you look at how IPO retrieves are judged, you want that direct intent of getting the dumbell back to you. That can be hard to do with some dogs if they already have what they want. Have you played two ball with her? You can try different things to create that out and back pattern with her, and even if she's dropping it early, you can still fix that with the play once she's really running back.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Steve, I would NEVER EVER play two ball with a dog I wanted to teach the dumb bell retrieve to! It ENCOURAGES them to drop the ball!
 

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IDK - my dog is a two ball Junkie and he has never dropped the dumbbell (well until I mark it). And if he ever dropped the dumbbell he wouldn't get rewarded with the ball - which is what he really wants - so he would learn real quick.
 

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Before Doc, I never would have wanted my dog to drop a dumbell. Now most of the time I let him drop it on release almost as soon as he's picked it up and started the return. You break things down in pieces, a lot more then we used to. But that's not whats important right now. Right now the most important part is the out and back pattern. It doesn't have to be 2 ball, Ivan doesn't do that and I'd say he's better then me at this. I'm just pointing out options.
 

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Before Doc, I never would have wanted my dog to drop a dumbell. Now most of the time I let him drop it on release almost as soon as he's picked it up and started the return. You break things down in pieces, a lot more then we used to. But that's not whats important right now. Right now the most important part is the out and back pattern. It doesn't have to be 2 ball, Ivan doesn't do that and I'd say he's better then me at this. I'm just pointing out options.

Elise started having me do something like this recently. But he is dropping on the marker work. But then sometimes I make him come into a front. It has really helped his return speed and position (he is coming in more straight now).
 

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When I was in the Sch sport the trainer said to wait on dumb bell training until the dog was well over a year old there was plenty of other training to do. The ball and tugs were rewards and so called play things. The retrieve was the job.

So by the time the dumb bell retrieve came about, heeling was well developed, send out and recalls were solid, and the dog knew the difference between play and work.

We started the dumb bell indoors in the living room. First was to have the dog grasp the smaller dumb bell. Just take it and hold it. Then " out" and take it and reward. It didn't take long for this. Then we went to the back yard doing the same. Take it, hold , then out. Then I tossed it about 5-6 feet away with the dog at heel. Using the retrieve command I rushed the dog to the dumb bell, take it then jumped back so the dog had to turn around and take a step. Again out. This was the hardest part as there were multiple events going on. But it still went pretty well. I just tossed it a little further and continued. Eventually I was able to stand and toss the dumb bell the required distance and the dog retrieved it. Getting the tail wagging happy dog came with high value rewards.

The next step was to increase the size and weights. As I recall the large dumb bell was 2 kg or a little over 4 pounds. By this time carrying 5 pounds was no problem. He could easily pick up a bowling ball by the holes.I had to take that away as I didn't want any broken teeth.

I also had been working on jumps. Mostly just going over things. SCH jump is 1 meter or 39 inches. It can be brush covered or plain with brush on the top. They must not touch it so I made my jump 48". I always set it up on grass and avoided hard ground.

Part of a good retrieve is a good toss. It's best if you do not move your feet. You do need to practice the toss as there is /was penalty for a retoss. The toss is similar to bowling so practice tossing directly in front of you. When the jump and wall events come you need to toss over the them, not on the side or you risk having the dog go around them. Yes, I know, they should know to go over but everyone knows " my dog never did that before". A new field, trials and new dumb bells are things you have to train for. In Sch there are 30 points for the three retrieves so there is no room for error here.

I don't do a formal retrieve with my current Aussie. We have 14 objects, each has a name, a play session she runs to retrieve each of them in rapid fire with " pig, and two ground hog toys" being retrieved twice. It's about five minutes of high speed running and turning around. I add a 24" jump once a day too. It's a lot of exercise in a short period. It's also a training exercise in excitable drive then calming down without command or help. There are lots of high value rewards too.

Byron
 

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It doesn't sound like the value was put on the dumbell. The only path to the ball should be thru the dumbell. Create that drive. Choose the dumbell....get the ball. It does not teach them to drop the dumbell.
 
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