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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am teaching my puppy, Tikka, to pick up objects and bring them.

So far, when I point or touch something she knows to at least put it in her mouth. She usually in a split second picks it up and drops it. The issue I'm having is what now? How do I teach her to hold it, then ultimately bring it? The problem is she is SO quick to drop it it's impossible to tell if she holds it longer - which is what I've read I should do, she holds it longer and I treat her.

Suggestions?
 

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The way I taught it was by rewarding for picking the thing up, and once they got that down, I marked and rewarded for dropping it into my hand, starting with my hand right below her face so she was unlikely to miss. Then I gradually moved my hand further away (by tiny, tiny amounts of course).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So I guess my question is how did you transition from them picking it up to putting it in your hand? Tikka picks it up and immediately drops it. Did you force your hand under her mouth?
 

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How far is up is she lifting it? If its not high enough to easily get your hands under (you'll need to be quick), click and reward as soon as she has it in her mouth and starts to lift it upwards. If your timing is good, she'll lift it further and further each time until you can get your hands under.

Once she's lifting it high enough for you to get your hands under, you have to be quick I started by putting both hands under her mouth slightly spread so she had a bigger area and was more likely to get it "right" (even if by chance). At that point, reward any time the object hits any part of either of your hands, but not if it doesn't. Once she figures out what pays (the object touching your hands) and what doesn't and is reliably hitting the target (>80% of the time), start making your target smaller by bringing your hands together, making sure to progress slow enough so that your pup will have a high rate of success.
 

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I tend to backchain it. I use a tug toy and teach "out" (let go). Then I let the dog get it again and continue playing tug. When the dog understands this game, I drop the toy on the floor and wait for him to pick it up and start playing tug. When he is reliably picking it up I'll add the cue "bring it". Next is adding distance. Instead of dropping the toy, throw it 1 foot away, say "bring it" then play when the dog does. Continue adding more distance. Practice with other objects.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Half the time she just flings it or picks it up an inch off the ground.

I'll stop rewarding her unless she picks it up completely. An internet lesson I saw said to start with it in your hand and have it 'pick it up' that way, then say drop it after she learns to take it. eventually stop saying drop it and stop rewarding her until she holds it longer and longer.

Sounds similar to Trog's method.
 

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There are many ways to teach one behaviour; sometimes if what you're doing now isn't working, it's worth trying something different.
 

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An internet lesson I saw said to start with it in your hand and have it 'pick it up' that way, then say drop it after she learns to take it. eventually stop saying drop it and stop rewarding her until she holds it longer and longer.
Mmm sort of. I'd start with step 1 as in the following video, and stick to the basic plan.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6oFO9Z0oHBA

Teaching a retrieve is fairly complex and has many different components. I'd expect to spend quite a bit of time, make sure every step is solid, and don't cut any corners.
 

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I put food on the table next to me and a hungry dog (as in skipped a meal hungry) in front of me. I let the dog see the food but not have the food. I have the dog on a leash if need be. I sit in a chair. Dog sits in front of me. I hold a Dumbell (DB) in front of the dog and say nothing. Dog touches the DB with nose, I say YES! (happy tone!!) and take a little food and give it to the dog. 3 nose touches and I up the ante to mouth opening. Other than YES! and GOOD DOG enthusiasm when I feed the food, I shut up.

The dog, being hungry and wanting the food, typically catches on quickly. In the first session I sometimes get them to take the DB and hold it. Usually it takes two sessions on two different days (I usually have a day off in between). When the dog holds the DB I introduce the word "Bring" (Not "hold.." Hold is not a command for the trial field but Bring is.. for a pet dog you can say whatever you want!). When I can get the dog to hold the DB for the word "bring" (by session 3 or 4) I put the DB on the ground and say nothing.. most dogs "get it" by now and will attempt to pick up the DB and hold it in front of you. When I get two or three success for that session I MOVE ON. No dog likes to be drilled!!

Eventually I put the DB farther from me and when that is good, we stand up and get the bring standing. Eventually we move on to throwing it.

Some dogs will generalize bring easily to other objects. Others not so much. You will have to play with that and see if your dog generalizes easily. I have had dogs that you teach this to and you can point to anything and they will bring it. Some of that is cooperation through genetic pack drive.
 
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