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Ok, lets talk retrieves!

I'm working my 2 year old Rottie towards a schutzhund 1, hopefully beginning of next year she'll be ready. She has a BH and is doing a vorous and the tracking. Retrieves are the next big hurdle.

I started Sunday night with her doing the meter and A-frame. I gave her a foundation of jumping when she was a year old, just alittle mock agility (PVC jumps and tire jump) ... so I just took some boards out of the meter jump and built her up to full height. She took to the A-frame pretty fast so I was alittle suprised since she isn't the most confident dog on the block :)


Anyways, tonight I will probably do alittle refresher on the a-frame and start the retrieve itself. I think she has enough of a natural retrieve to shape it without going straight to a forced retrieve.

Any suggestions on how to start?

My idea was to take her prey object .... toss it ... say \"bring\". I'm sure she will go out for it and naturally she likes to come back to me. Feasibly if she will go out for a toy .... a big hunk of wood isn't too far off :)

Thoughts?
 

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My GSD is a natural retriever. However, that is a prey game. I wanted to teach him to take anything I tell him to, when I tell him to. There are a ton of force methods. I always did the ear pinch in the past.
Now it's motivational. When I'm sitting quietly on a chair (cause I'm lazy). I have the dumbell in one hand and treats in the other. I give the command \"take it\". At first, I treat for nothing more then a look at the dumbell. As the dog understands what I want, it becomes a nose touch, a simple mouthing, taking it in his mouth, and finally, calmly holding it.
Again, he's a natural; retriever but, on a given day, he may not be in the mood to fetch. ( :roll: doubtful) He STILL has t take it when I say so.
A few more hints. I NEVER jump at full height during training. It's not that he can't, I just don't want to put the pressure on his joints. Shoulder height at best.
Learn where your dog's best take off point is. A video taken from the side is a huge help in figuring that out. Horse folks have this down pat.
On the a-frame. Some dogs will have a tendancy to jump from the top insted of running down it. Start the a-frame low. When the dog is comming back over, get up close to it so he will come DOWN to you instead of jumping off to you. Get the individual behaviors correct before you put them all together.
Other than \"Look what my dog can do\" ther is no reason to train at full height.
 

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Bob is right, just like with the horses there is no need to practice at full height all the time. It puts too much stress on the joints & is not necssary.
It is sufficient to train lower & then in your training session (like the day before) just before the competition have the dog jump the higher jump a couple of times & that way it is in their mind that that will be the height the next time they jump & will anticipate it. The rule of thumb with horses & I use it when jumping my dogs is......the take off point for a jump should be the distance from the bottom of the jump as high as the hight of the jump. In other words...if the jump is 2 feet in height....the take off point should be 2 feet out from the base of the jump. I train my dogs this way by placing a board that distance (in this case 2 feet) from the base of the jump & they take off just in front of that board & land just past the one placed at the same distance on the other side. I hope that I explained that correctly. You can probably tell from my posts that I have a horse & have jumped horses since I was a kid. So this jump logic & joint supplements are not new concepts to me, but can be equally well applied to the dogs....so too, many training methods.
 

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Good example on the height Anne!
I use the video to determine where the dog and I will stand for the retrieve over the hurdle. I get to know that distance in my head because changing even a foot or two distance from the jump can affect the dogs stride. It obviously can be done without the video, but seeing it myself, from the side is a huge help.
 

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I always teach the forced retrieve. Otherwise, it's a prey item or, worse, A TOY. It's looked down upon if a dog chews on or spits out the dumbbell because he/she is playing around, teaching the forced retrieve is a simple way of cutting down on this nono behavior. I know it may sound mean, but the dog retrieves the dumbbell because I said so, not because it's FUN.
 

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Sarah Hall said:
I always teach the forced retrieve. Otherwise, it's a prey item or, worse, A TOY. It's looked down upon if a dog chews on or spits out the dumbbell because he/she is playing around, teaching the forced retrieve is a simple way of cutting down on this nono behavior. I know it may sound mean, but the dog retrieves the dumbbell because I said so, not because it's FUN.
Hmm....I've been training the retreive and the send out with Achilles' balls. So I shouldn't be doing this? Since we've been doing it this way for the past 8 months, how should I switch it? And how should the dog bring me the item? Out it in front of me, only out it when I take it, out it into my hand? I'm clueless here. He's a whiz at retreiving and awesome at send outs. I'm actually really impressed. Although I had a bad owner moment today and I threw the ball and let him go after it immediately and it rolled down my embankment and into my drive way. He followed it and ran head first into my CAR :eek: . He of course immediately got the ball and ran back at full speed, but man did I feel AWFUL.

Thanks,
 

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Stacia Porter said:
Hmm....I've been training the retreive and the send out with Achilles' balls. So I shouldn't be doing this? Since we've been doing it this way for the past 8 months, how should I switch it? And how should the dog bring me the item? Out it in front of me, only out it when I take it, out it into my hand? I'm clueless here. He's a whiz at retreiving and awesome at send outs. I'm actually really impressed. Although I had a bad owner moment today and I threw the ball and let him go after it immediately and it rolled down my embankment and into my drive way. He followed it and ran head first into my CAR :eek: . He of course immediately got the ball and ran back at full speed, but man did I feel AWFUL.Thanks,

I allow my dogs to PLAY with a ball or frisbee, but I make sure the dumbbell is NEVER a play object. I've got a long article on teaching the forced retrieve, but the best thing would be to go to an experienced SchH handler that has titled dogs that can show you how to teach this. Try to find a club in your area.
 

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I agree about the dumbell never being a play object. That only creates chewing problems on the dumbell retrieve. the very first of my daily training exercises is a formal retrieve. Thunder has learned all the fun training/games come from a correct retrieve.
 

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Bob Scott said:
I agree about the dumbell never being a play object. That only creates chewing problems on the dumbell retrieve. the very first of my daily training exercises is a formal retrieve. Thunder has learned all the fun training/games come from a correct retrieve.
We've never used a dumbell at all, only his ball.

We do have a club, sorta...training with the same club as Kristen Cabe (and Jak) is. We've just moved and are a little messy right now as far as schedules and working out such things. Plus hubby is usually puppy boy's handler and he's gone for another 5 weeks...I'm just "filling in" :wink: .
 

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To teach retreives to my dogs..I use a toy that they like. Once their retreive is solid when I am going to train for real retreives & only bring out the dumbell & that is the 'toy' of choise for that training session. I only use one toy per the whole training session. I am lucky that both my dogs have a high drive for retreival work & I don't have to use a forced retreive. They will ALWAYS retreive anytime, anywhere with anything that I throw & send them for. When the dumbell comes out that is the only item that is offered for retreival for that session as I stated above. Since they always are willing to retreive I have no problem. I have already trained that they are to bring & sit in front of me with any retreive & they already know that there is no chewing & to hold the 'toy' whatever it may be that session, until I tell then to 'out' & take it from them. My transition to a dumbell was very easy for my dogs due to the gound work training with a favorite toy. I forgot to mention that if I bring out a favorite toy to use for training & then present the dumbell I may not get 100% retrieval...so as I stated...when I work with the dumbell for a session....there is no other 'toy' presented that session...that way I always get 100% on my retreival. That way there is no optional 'other toy' that they might prefer to retreive rather than the dumbell....it is the dumbell or nothing & since nothing is not an option for either of them ....they really like to retreive ...I have no problems.

It least that how it works for me & my dogs.
 

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Anne Jones said:
To teach retreives to my dogs..I use a toy that they like. Once their retreive is solid when I am going to train for real retreives & only bring out the dumbell & that is the 'toy' of choise for that training session. I only use one toy per the whole training session. I am lucky that both my dogs have a high drive for retreival work & I don't have to use a forced retreive. They will ALWAYS retreive anytime, anywhere with anything that I throw & send them for. When the dumbell comes out that is the only item that is offered for retreival for that session as I stated above. Since they always are willing to retreive I have no problem. I have already trained that they are to bring & sit in front of me with any retreive & they already know that there is no chewing & to hold the 'toy' whatever it may be that session, until I tell then to 'out' & take it from them. My transition to a dumbell was very easy for my dogs due to the gound work training with a favorite toy. I forgot to mention that if I bring out a favorite toy to use for training & then present the dumbell I may not get 100% retrieval...so as I stated...when I work with the dumbell for a session....there is no other 'toy' presented that session...that way I always get 100% on my retreival. That way there is no optional 'other toy' that they might prefer to retreive rather than the dumbell....it is the dumbell or nothing & since nothing is not an option for either of them ....they really like to retreive ...I have no problems.

It least that how it works for me & my dogs.
Anne, I think you'll find the retrieve will actually get faster and stronger if you use a fav toy as a reward for bringing the dumbell. It may take a bit of convincing, but once he figures it out, it'll do wonders.
My dog is also a natural, fast, intense retriever. He's never rerfused a retrieve of ANYTHING but when he discovered that bringing the dumbell got him a game of tug, he went to a whole new level.
Not getting 100% if a fav toy is present tells me he'll work harder for the dumbell to get that fav toy.
 

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Anne Jones said:
.... I forgot to mention that if I bring out a favorite toy to use for training & then present the dumbell I may not get 100% retrieval...so as I stated...when I work with the dumbell for a session....there is no other 'toy' presented that session...that way I always get 100% on my retreival......
Ah! Slowly this sinks in..........that the dumbell means formal retrieve and other toys mean playing.
 

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Anne Jones said:
.... I forgot to mention that if I bring out a favorite toy to use for training & then present the dumbell I may not get 100% retrieval...so as I stated...when I work with the dumbell for a session....there is no other 'toy' presented that session...that way I always get 100% on my retreival......
Ah! Slowly this sinks into my brain..........that the dumbell means formal retrieve (to the dog) and other toys mean playing.
 

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Dana, in rethinking this you should teach the retrieve totally separate from the jumps. Also, in Schutzhund competition, the retrieve over the jump is usually with a "Hup" command, and a "Bring" right as the dog goes over the top of the jump. Train them seperately, THEN they fall togeather much easier.
 
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