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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
ok, here's a question for the board and the experts (which is why i joined).

as part of our nightly excercise routine, i've been basically playing 2-ball w/brix, where-in i throw an object, he BAILS after it, i tell him "GOOD brix, bring it here" he comes galloping back, and either stops or spits the object about 10' away. or he tries to get the "chase me til i catch you" game going. which i DON'T play, BTW.

however, this last week i've decided that he needs to learn that when i say "bring it here", that means bring it ALL the way to ME. if he does, i throw the object, if he doesn't, i turn and walk away. game over.

here's the sticky: he'll sometimes bring it to ME (1x/3), the other 2x, he'll lie down or spit it, then when i turn around and walk away, he'll pick it up and come to me. i think i'm training him that "bring it here" means bring it when i turn and walk away :eek:

also, if it helps, he's 8 mo. old, and i don't require him to perform a perfect "here" on this, i just require him to come within arm's reach (yes, so i can grab his collar--the longline's always BEHIND him when he comes :( ).

so--help? if anyone needs more info to clarify, let me know. :)
 

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That's one of the down sides to two ball. the dog wants the second one and wont bring the first all the way in.
I teach the retrieve with back chaining.
The dumbell shouldn't be a prey item IMHO.
I have the dog sit in front of me and I have a treat in one hand and the dumbell in the other. When ANY interest is shown in the dumbell, the dog gets a treat. It doesn't take long to develope this into the dog actually taking the dumbell in it's mouth.
This advances to the dog bringing me the dumbell on the training field and getting a tug as a reward.
If you continue with two ball, you need to be patient and wait till the ball is brought all the way to you before the second is tossed.
 

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ann freier said:
.....i throw an object, he BAILS after it, i tell him "GOOD brix, bring it here" he comes galloping back, and either stops or spits the object about 10' away. or he tries to get the "chase me til i catch you" game going. ......
For retrieving anything I use backchain command too. The first thing I reward for is giving me the item. That's the payoff deal. Then all the rest become steps that end in the big goal -- giving me the item. (So giving me the item is taught and rewarded before going and getting it is, the focus being on that payoff step -- giving it to me.)

This came up on another board, where someone's newspaper was being picked up, but not brought all the way to the person. I suggested backchaining, or going with the dog to get the paper and rewarding for having it put in the person's hand....... then lagging behind more and more so the dog is doing the fetching but still has the goal of delivering it into the person's hand, not just picking it up.
 

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I use the chaining technique Connie discribed AND (if it is not just for fun) a long leash to control the dog.

Any command must be obeyed, when he gets the meaning of a command...so no fooling around, do what is told you to do.
 

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I would brake it down into 3 exercise and then combine them later, first is you need to teach the come, that means when you said come he will come no matter what and sit in front of you, then teach the hold, that means hold anything in his mouth without chewing until you say give, then he already know the fetch, so teach a reliable hold and come and it will solve your problem, it will be a solid foundation for retrieving, this is how I taught my dog to retrieve ANYTHING I throw or send him out to pick up, here is a couple pict of him retrieving doves, have you ever see a Mal retriever? :wink:
www.proeditproductions.com/realaudio/blacky1.JPG
www.proeditproductions.com/realaudio/blacky2.JPG
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
i don't know what "backchaining" means, and correct me if i'm wrong, but does it basically mean breaking the whole process into the individual excercises like Koi said?

if so, cool, i get it. i think i'll start working w/him inside just on the "carry/hold" part. definitely need to work on the "come"--he's getting PRETTY independent-minded at times (will buy another 20' line so i get 40' total).

then, when we're outside just playing, how about this: instead of turning away, just stay where i am, and ignore him until he brings the toy? or drops it and goes on to something else on his own? or should i reel him in? this tends to result in him spitting the object. or is it even that big of a deal if we're just screwing around?

thanks for all the help, BTW! oh--i've never seen a retreiving Mal :lol: and i saw pics of a Sch3 lab yesterday, so the world's gone upside down :eek:

if any of the above has bad ideas, let me know so i can tweak the plan. he learns REALLY fast, so i want to be careful with this.
 

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ann freier said:
i don't know what "backchaining" means, and correct me if i'm wrong, but does it basically mean breaking the whole process into the individual excercises......
It means to train the end result (the payoff step) first and primarily. That is, you want the item put into your hand, so you train that. The rest are gradually-added steps added on to that (in backward steps, yes), after that payoff step is solid.
 

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Yes, it's breaking it down to individual exercises only your going backwards.
The retrieve exercise on the field starts with you throwing the dumbell and finishes with the dog giving it to you.
You don't start training it by throwing the dumbell and hoping for the best. You start by teaching the dog to take/hold/give the dumbell to you.
Your starting at the back of the chain of events that will result in the dumbell retrieve.
Once the dog is reliably holding/outing the dumbell, take a step back with a "bring" command. That's the next step to the chain.
 

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I'm not looking forward to teaching Jak the retrieve either, because he does many of the same things you mentioned (coming almost all the way to me before trying to play "keep away," and he's more than happy to run around with whatever he has, and then lay down a distance away and chew on it if I don't give chase. I've a feeling I'm going to have to use the table and teach a forced retrieve with him. That means I either have to build a table or I'll have to leave him at Club and let my TD teach it. :?

I teach the retrieve with back chaining.
The dumbell shouldn't be a prey item IMHO.
I have the dog sit in front of me and I have a treat in one hand and the dumbell in the other. When ANY interest is shown in the dumbell, the dog gets a treat. It doesn't take long to develope this into the dog actually taking the dumbell in it's mouth.
This advances to the dog bringing me the dumbell on the training field and getting a tug as a reward.
Could you explain this a little more for those of us who've never trained the exercise before? IE: how do you go from the dog sitting in front of you and giving a treat for showing interest in the dumbbell to the dog bringing you the dumbbell on the training field?



Edited to say: N/M, you did it while I was typing.
 

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Even though I do have to remind myself sometimes :oops: , I learned a long time ago (not as long ago as Bob probably did :wink: ) that there is really no time saved by eliminating the training of individual steps. It seems time-consuming, but it's faster and easier, with a better "product" and not so much going back to clean up parts.

I like Bob's explanation: "You don't start training it by throwing the dumbell and hoping for the best."

:lol: That's it, exactly! You think through what the dog has to learn, and you teach those steps. I think backchaining can focus both you and the dog on the payoff step.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
ok,
-connie, to see pics of the Sch3 lab, go to gsdworld.com, the rainbow bridge section--this Lab just passed away (i ALWAYS tear up on this section, so generally avoid it :cry: ), but there are some cool "Lab protection" pics of the dog.

-thanks to all (even old bob scott, WHAT a dig, Connie!!!), for the feedback. i was on the right track in my thinking then.

-so, the next most important question: should i even make an issue of it if we're just out burning off energy? and he has PLENTY, especially with the cooler weather we've been having. i'm thinking "no", but i'm concerned that what i do when we're screwing around will affect him on the field.

how far should i let him "play", and will he distinguish (i'm sure he will, BUT...) play-time vs. work-time? am i clear as mud???
 

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play time vs work time
It's all play time with motivational training. It's just that the dog is playing on your schedule. It does what you want because it will recieve a treat/toy/tug. Ignoring incorrect behaviour will extinguish it if it doesn't show reward.
Connie picks on us old folks! :cry: :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
thanks bob for clarifying. that's kinda what i thought, which is why i was concerned in the first place.

thanks all of you for helping me make devious plans for brix's education!
 

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Here are some things I would look at. Does the dog naturally have a desire to go after something you have thrown and pick it up? If so, the rest should be pretty trainable. Does the dog do a reliable/accurate front recall? That is usually easy enough to train also. If you are playing the two toy game, I would change the game so the dog has to bring the toy back to your hand before he gets the second toy thrown. This might be a challenge if you imprinted the dog dropping the toy before getting to you. Then as others have said, you teach the "hold it" or "take it" command. Bob gave a good description of how he shapes that behavior motivationally. I'd use a softer object first and then move on to harder objects, and then a dumbell after the dog is getting the behavior down well. If the dog is a year or older, you can add a little compulsion if positive methods aren't working. Try telling the dog to hold it, place the object in his mouth and praise for any brief time he holds it. Then, if he starts to munch or drops the object, give him a little pop under the chin with your thumb knuckle, but only after the object has been dropped. Pick it up, place in the dog's mouth, hold his muzzle to show him you want to hold the object calmly. As he starts to hold it, calmly stroke the top of his muzzle from his nose toward his eyes and praise. Go for the dog holding for a second, release and build from there. When you release the dog, have him on leash and see if he will carry the object as you walk in a small circle. If so, you can channel the carry into a here or bring by moving backwards and calling the dog into a here/bring.
It might be tough to teach an 8 month old puppy to hold an object because they still have a lot of puppy in them and have short attention spans. If you get to the point where the dog will sit and hold the object calmly, then take a few steps back and tell the dog to bring. You can quickly move back a step or two after giving the bring command to get the dog in drive and moving toward you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
good ideas chip-thanks. i just get more and more from you guys. :D BTW--he has enormous drive to go after a thrown object, a running person (the cat :roll: ), etc. but he wants to herd the horse. go figure....i think it's neat, myself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
here's an update:

got rid of the "2nd ball", requiring a return TO ME for the game to continue. now, he doesn't bring the item *to hand* yet, but he DOES bring it to me , ie, to my feet, if he wants to play. we can take a walk all the way around the 2 A. perimeter with Brix carrying the *item*, but i refuse to call/beg/coax him to "bring it".

when he does "bring it", i throw it for him immediately. am i on the right track or not?

input??
 
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