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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
ok guys, i've been working sporadically w/brix on the "hold" and here's where we are: i'm using a stiff rope toy for this, i call him to me, place the toy in his mouth, hold his mouth (lightly) shut until he quits fighting me/the toy in his mouth.

this results in 1) a bit of a fight w/him over control of his muzzle, and 2) him holding the toy but not holding it w/a grip. ie, it's in his mouth, but he's not "holding" it.

now, i've only worked him this way twice, decided to stop until i got some better ideas on how to train this. just so you know how things are going on the "bring here" business, he'll bring the item to me and drop it (but NOT into my hand usually), then sit/stand and watch for me to reach for it. 90% of the time he watches, 10% he'll try a grab before i get to it.

when he tries a grab, i withdraw. a few minutes later, i may pick up the toy and play again--but only if he doesn't challenge my picking up the toy. i feel really unorganized about this--it's kinda driving us all nuts!

so, to backchain the "hold" correctly--WHAT DO I DO??? i know you guys tried to tell me before, but will you try again, given what i've told you?

should i try holding the rope toy in my hand w/a treat under it, to where he gets the treat when he picks up the toy and holds it? or what??

this is a classic, to me, handler-error problem--i'm doing something wrong, and i'll quit doing anything until i have a better handle on what to do right rather than screw my boy up.

HELP!!!!
 

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He's created a game of keep away with you. When he drops it, wait him out. Reward only when he puts it in your hand.
Hold his mouth on the object can work, but also can result in an opposition reflex. Maybe not even intentional, just a response to your gripping his mouth.
The treat should be in the other hand. It's not necessary for the dog to initially hold the object, just touch it, mark (yes), then reward.
Slowly hold back the reward for more effort on the dog's part. By slowly, I mean don't progress till he's doing the earlier behaviour nicely. Even when he starts holding it, DON'T see how long he'll keep it in his mouth. That also needs time to develope.
Motivational or compulsive, most trainers (including myself :oops: ) want everything "right now"!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
so even if he just takes it (i put it in?) his mouth, i mark/reward it? even if he starts chewing/spitting it immediately?

imagine this: i'm sitting in the recliner, call him to me, offer the toy on a flat hand, he looks at it, turns his head, i say "brix-hold", basically force it into his mouth, he fights the "control" over his mouth, but not badly, i say "good hold" when he stops fighting my hands on his muzzle, and he's holding the toy, but not gripping it. the only reason it's not falling out of his mouth is that he has these 4 gorgeous canines stopping it. this is NOT what i'm after!!

so i call dog-busters! so, i'm trying to break this down to the first/simplest steps: how do i motivate him to TAKE it? that's the first step, right? how should i do that?

the stupid keep-away game i *think* is another issue--where he is progressing by bringing it to me and dropping it vs bringing it to me and doing the head-jerk or spitting it 10' away. he hasn't delivered the item to my hand but once or twice, but at least he's bringing it to my feet, and giving it up....

am i not requiring enough from him ? this is where the old bill k. and me trying to learn new and better training comes into conflict, to the disservice to my dog: i hold back, turn into a mass of confliction over training methods, and ruin a perfectly good dog b/c of it...

aarrrgghhhh--give me meds!!!!!!!
 

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As with ANY training, it's all in the timing. You don't NEED to put it in his mouth. He's turning his head because he knows what's comming. It's so easy for me to say wait him out, but when he finally starts getting it, it can go supprisingly fast. When the nose touches it, mark and reward. When the mouth touches it, mark and reward. Build it and it will come! :wink:
I lived and breathed Bill K when I started training. It works! I just prefer to train with the dog enjoying what it's doing and not obeying to avoid correction.
I'm just a nice old granpa ya know! :twisted:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
yeah, i know bob, you're just a plumb sweetheart, and almost cuter than a speckled pup layin' under a wagon :)

ok, this week, b/c he's lame anyway, i'm gonna back up 3 steps (WHY do i always have to make it so hard??--rhetorical question, please don't anyone answer that :oops: ), and go again.

eensy-beensy tiny steps....
 

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Bob's way definately works for teaching the hold. For the people who don't use the food for teaching there is also this way - After the dog learns a sit-stay, then put the tug/squeeky/dumbell in his mouth, back up two feet. When he drops it say "Phooey" or what ever sound you make for NO. Put it back in his mouth and again step back two feet. Just keep repeating until he begins to hold it. If he is holding the object, quickly re-approach and take it from his mouth. With each longer hold praise much more vibrantly. Nevr praise for a dropped item no matter how long he held it. He must be able to hold it until you step forward and take it with your hand. Soon you should be able to walk back many feet and that is when you can begin to teach the dog a recall while holding the object. After that recall is learned, of course with the dog placing the object in your hand when sitting in front of you..... Then begin sending him over the hurdles to recall with the object.. It works, I did it on one dog, Just takes timing and patience.
 

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This would be a method that would not fall into what might be called chaining, I think.

I think that both me putting it in his mouth AND me stepping forward to take it in my hand would be two parts I might not want to teach, since I don't want the dog to incorporate either one in the actual command sequence.

That is, I want him to pick it up; I want him to give it into my hand.

JMO.
 

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Ditto with Connie!
With true motivational training and back chaining, the dog is given the choice. Manually placing the dumbell in the mouth, takes that out into a bit of compulsion training. Same with stepping towards the dog.
Various methods of that can and do work though.
It's all about choices in training!
 

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Yes, Connie is right, I missed that part, you do want the dog to learn to drop it into your hand. I think I use a three part sequence, because I first take the object out and then later when the hold is learned well, I start the give command. Sorry, my mistake.
 
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