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Discussion Starter #1
ok, so iorek just doesn't get it! i just don't know how to get him to catch a treat in his mouth!! if i toss something to him it bounces off his face and then he eats it off the floor. i realize that he probably won't want to eat something if he doesn't know what it is so i will show him what it is first and then toss it to him. it still doesn't work :p is there any way for me to train him to do this? we are all about learning new things these days. iorek is really enjoying it. i would like for him to know how to catch things in his mouth. he doesn't try to catch his toys when we play fetch either.

any advice would be great!!

thank you
 

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LOL I have that problem with Kobe. I toss something at him, it bounces off his nose, he gives me a dirty look then goes to investigate what i threw him. Such a dork. I suppose you would train that by distance. Start with a open palm near him, and toss it up lightly at him and see if he nabs it.

I opted to not train Kobe because it's too funny. :p
 

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I use popcorn in the early stages as it flys slower and is easier to catch. You need to make a big deal of it when they catch one.
 

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Ilya recently learned how to catch :). I was very surprised because both of our dogs didn't play with toys or retrieve a ball.

For some reason, Ilya is crazy about squeaky stuffies. His whole face lights up whenever he hears the squeak. My two boys were tossing the stuffy between each other and Ilya decided to jump and grab it mid flight. LOL

Now when I get home from work and give him a toy. He will toss it in the air himself and catch it before he gives it a few squeaks.

I hope it doesn't loose it's novelty because I love seeing him enjoy his toys.:D
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
haha! that is so funny that some dogs just don't get it! my sister's dog is the same. it is really funny to see small pieces of cheese or treats bouncing off his forehead and nose but i would really love to see him catch it! he catches on to new "tricks" super fast! i taught him to roll over the other day and it took about 5 minutes or so for him to realize what i was asking him but as soon as he did that was it! he rolls over all the time now :) i think that the first time he caught something he would catch everything after that because i would squeal and jump and have a party! :D i just need to get him to open his mouth that one time... :)

that is so awesome that ilya plays with his toys like that now! i just love to see iorek playing with his toys. i really hope that ilya continues to play with his toys too :D
 

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Best if they know"sit" and "leave it" before teaching them to catch. I start very close and throw the treat in an arc that will fall directly into his mouth if he only opens it. If he doesn't catch it, he doesn't get to eat it. They catch on PDQ.

It's a rare occurrence when a Bil-Jac liver treat hits the floor in my house. My boy can catch them from across the room, and he's got a big strike zone.
 

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Took Bayley a while to get that eye/mouth coordination thing going. She still misses sometimes, start with something a bit bigger.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
the problem with iorek is that he doesn't even try, he doesn't open his mouth at all. i tried what RBark suggested with the small tosses from my palm right next to him. he just watches it and doesn't make any motion to try to catch it! he is so silly!

iorek has sit perfect, he is more reliable on that one than any other command - he will sit when he is acting like a nut if i ask. iorek does not know leave it :eek: i guess that is a great one to be working on... *goes off to read the sticky*

EDIT: is the "it's yer choice" video what you would call "leave it"? we "learned" that in obedience...but i didn't keep up with it :eek: i will start working on that again right now!! our trainer called it "mugging" when they were all over your hand with the treats. i am going to start that again today for sure. i don't' know why i didn't keep it up, it really is a great idea. iorek is not really bad at grabbing at food anyway, but he could be better :)
 

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...is the "it's yer choice" video what you would call "leave it"? we "learned" that in obedience...but i didn't keep up with it :eek: i will start working on that again right now!! our trainer called it "mugging" when they were all over your hand with the treats.
To keep from getting "mugged" for food you teach impulse control (something my boy needs to be refreshed on frequently). I'd say "leave it" is taking that a step further. Now you are throwing highly attractive bits of food directly at him and expecting him to ignore them when they hit the floor. If he can pick it up off the floor, he's got very little incentive to catch it. If a dog is not highly food motivated, a plush toy may get better results.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
iorek is food motivated, i don't know if i would say he is highly food motivated though, it really depends on the day. he is not toy motivated either. it makes it really hard to train things like recall and stuff when there is not really anything that he thinks is so much better than what is going on outside!! he is at daycare right now but we will start working on the leave it training when he gets home
 

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Rocky really likes playing catch, but he has the "open glove and hope the ball falls in" syndrome. His eyes kind of glaze over, he opens wide and just prays. If he gets it, he goes berserk!

Mesquite LOVES catching things. I can throw her rope toy up in the air and she'll do a 4 foot standing jump to catch it midair!


I'd say start with food. Something will want to snap up really quickly. Start very short distances. When they actually do catch something, party like it's 1999.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
cheese is one of iorek's favourite treats! he loves it! i was trying to drop it into his mouth so he would catch it, i was holding it over him and dropping it and it was bouncing off his face and getting stuck in his mane :D

i am going to take a video...heehee!
 

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My dogs never got it either except Luke, he's a natural. WIth the others I had to work at it. I finally just had to put a leash on them and if they didn't catch it then simple they didn't get it until they would catch it in their mouth. I had to keep the leash on them so that I could get the treat off the floor in time.

It worked really well.
 

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We also used popcorn to teach this as it "floats" some. We started by just dropping it from right above Libby's head, and eventually got it to a toss. We are now teaching her to "go long!"
 

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Best if they know"sit" and "leave it" before teaching them to catch. I start very close and throw the treat in an arc that will fall directly into his mouth if he only opens it. If he doesn't catch it, he doesn't get to eat it. They catch on PDQ.

It's a rare occurrence when a Bil-Jac liver treat hits the floor in my house. My boy can catch them from across the room, and he's got a big strike zone.
Exactly! I couldn't get Sadie to do this because I was wrongly letting her eat them anyway! When I stopped letting her eat them and tossed them in a nice gentle arc, she caught on in 10 minutes! Now she catches 80% of her treats.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
i have been working with iorek on the "mugging" and i can hold a handful of treats right in front of his nose and he doesn't go for them at all! not bad for about 10 minutes and some cheese this morning :D this is the first time we have trained this. now on to the next step, treats on the floor!
 

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IMO dogs that do not catch do so because they don't think they have to. They can just let the treat bounce off their head and pick it up off the ground.


I have a method some may not like but I have never seen it not work and it only takes a few minutes to teach.

Put the dog on a leash with whatever training collar you use.

With the dog standing in front of you let him see the treat then toss it off to the right. As the dog goes after it, tighten up the leash, give a mild to moderate leash correction (depending on the dog) and Aaack, no, etc (whatever word you use for a quick verbal correction) Then holding the dog out of reach of the treat with the leash, pick it up.

Repeat this process a couple more times.

After about three times, toss the treat to the dog. MOST times they will catch it. If they do, toss them a couple.

Then shorten the leash up and toss the treat on the ground a little closer to the dog. Using the leash correction and voice, do not let the dog get to the treat. Pick it up and repeat a couple of times.

Then toss the treat to the dog. If he catches it, and they almost always will, toss him a few more. And you are done.

You just taught the dog if he wants the treat, he must catch it.
 

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If you teach leave it before attempting this, you have no need to use leash corrections. I did the same thing but with NO leash corrections, just verbal, and it worked in no time.
 

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If you teach leave it before attempting this, you have no need to use leash corrections. I did the same thing but with NO leash corrections, just verbal, and it worked in no time.
That works as well. And opinions differ. But I prefer to use the leash correction and quick verbal correction over the leave it command.
 

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And opinions differ. But I prefer to use the leash correction and quick verbal correction over the leave it command.
I'm as pro correction as anyone you'll meet on this site, but I can't see the need for it in teaching a dog to eat food that you're throwing at him. "Leave it" counts as correction enough. YMMV.
 
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