Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
189 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am trying to get my 10 mo old to get comfortable retrieving a dumbbell. I got one that is just her size and introduced it to her by just letting her get a click and treat for showing interest. Then I started sticking a piece of cheese on it and clicking when she went for the cheese and nibbled a little bit. Then I started phasing out the cheese and click/treat when she would nibble the dumbbell. This went on for weeks and I have been waiting for more of a bite than a nibble or some sort of progress that she is putting it at least a little further in her mouth and I am getting NOTHING! In fact, my EXTREMELY food motivated puppy is so anti-dumbbell that she would rather ignore the treats than nibble the dumbbell for them (even when she is really hungry)!

I taught her to "take it" with other objects, toys, balls, tug toys, but when I used a toy dumbbell shaped thing that is rubbery and not as hard as the obedience dumbbell she had the same reaction!

So I finally got impatient and gently opened her mouth and shut it around the rubbery toy dumbbell (click/treat) thinking that maybe she just needed a little more direction. She hated this even more (big surprise).

I tried throwing it out as if we are just playing fetch, but she isn't much for fetch anyway and she would just go and target it with her feet and then look at me like "where's my treat?!" She just does not want to put her mouth on it.

My next tactic is going to be to cease any other training, for which she is very excited and motivated, and do short sessions where I hand her different things and tell her to take it, just asking for her to put her mouth on it, and rotate in the toy dumbbell. If she decides she would rather not play than take the dumbbell, then play will stop and I will walk away from the training session. . . if she takes it just once then she will get a jackpot and get to do her favorite front exercises, ect. and end on that good note. I may have to remain content with the nibble.

Any ideas to get her to take/hold a dumbbell?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,761 Posts
Will the dog play tug with a rope dumbbell? If so, make retrieve part of the tug game.

Name the toy, tease the dog with the toy, and let your dog grab the toy and tug. Release the toy in mid tug, and if she wants to play, she'll have to bring the toy back to you. You should have a drop cue if you want her to relinquish the toy, and if you haven't taught her to drop it in your hand, you'll need to work on that too.

This is all predicated, or course, on your dog's willingness to play tug. If you can get her to retrieve a rope dumbbell, it will be easier to transition to a harder dumbbell to play the tug game with a true tug (Premack).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,072 Posts
If you've got a local trainer you're comfortable with, I'd be inclined to talk to them. They can evaluate better in person, and if you're working with a dumbbell and planning on a preformance career, you NEED a retrieve with no problems to it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,467 Posts
If you are planning on competing? See help from a good obedience trainer.

I'd be careful about training the DB like a play retrieve, if you want to compete, that is. It can cause mouthiness and too much "fun" in the ring ie: pouncing, mouthing, etc.

I've taught a dog to take it by both older fashioned ("take it", putting the DB in, hold a sec, praise and release and treat) and by clickering it.

But my best advice is go to a TRAINER. And also, join those great obedience training yahoo groups, they'll help you out way more than the people on here.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
7,942 Posts
What others have said... when I made the thing too much fun I had a dog that would bring the object back (eventually) but who plays with it.. and tosses it in the air etc. all the way back.. and that is all points off.

This retrieve has to appear very business like.. dog goes and gets the dumbell upon command and brings it back directly.

We are going to be working on this soon and my dog is not real enthused about retrieves either. She is excited for about 4 retrieves and # 5 is a job. I have been stopping at two and moving on to something else (leaving her wanting more).

We belong to a local dog obedience club (sometimes you would never know it! LOL) and are going to be working with some trainers in about a week. I will share as I learn.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
189 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys. Definately let us know what you learn Elana!

I do plan on acquiring some performance titles with this dog. We had our first show n go yesterday and she did a fabulous job! Now I on the other hand did a pretty poor job (its always the handler :rolleyes:). By the time we are able to register with the AKC and start competing (mixed breeds still have a little while to wait) we will be completely ready to earn a CD.

I don't want to jump the gun on working on stuff for open, but I do think it is important for her to start being familiar with some of that stuff while she is young. We are working on go outs and drop on recalls as well. She is really enjoying it and impressing everyone at the club, which I enjoy ;).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,467 Posts
Thanks guys. Definately let us know what you learn Elana!

I do plan on acquiring some performance titles with this dog. We had our first show n go yesterday and she did a fabulous job! Now I on the other hand did a pretty poor job (its always the handler :rolleyes:). By the time we are able to register with the AKC and start competing (mixed breeds still have a little while to wait) we will be completely ready to earn a CD.

I don't want to jump the gun on working on stuff for open, but I do think it is important for her to start being familiar with some of that stuff while she is young. We are working on go outs and drop on recalls as well. She is really enjoying it and impressing everyone at the club, which I enjoy ;).
No no, you treat Novice as the foundation for Utility!!!! Don't wait till you get your CD to start Open and Utility work. Some people don't even let their dogs step into the ring until they are ready for Utility.

Start everything early! I start mine on everything early for both Rally and Obedience.

And congrats, sounds like you are doing great.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top