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schr0563

Teaching a dog to hold

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schr0563

It was brought up several times in the "Dog rough with birds" post that teaching a dog to hold a bird is the first step in avoiding rough handling of the bird. Since this is the case, can someone lay out the basic steps of how to teach your dog to hold. Right now my lab retrieves and drops the object (dummy, ball, stick) at my feet. This has worked well for my family and friends but isn't ideal for hunting. Please help.

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Surface Tension

Thats a bad habit thats been reinforced over and over.

I'll let someone else go over force break.

Dog Love to retrieve? Good because the game doesn't continue till the dog comes back on heal with dummy delivered to hand.

First the dog needs to heal when told. Get that down first.

While on heal put the dummy in his mouth give the command hold/fetch or Mississippi and let him hold it for a quick few seconds. Remove the dummy and praise. Increase time but not to the point he fails. Repetition is key and it takes time till he'll hold it indefinitely.

On heal, use his name to cast him off for the retrieve.

On the way back from the retrieve give the dog the command "heal". If he drops the dummy in front of you step back point to the dummy and call his name same as when you send him off on the retrieve. If he drops the dummy in fount of you again you pick it up put it back in his mouth and command heal. If you have to guide him physically to heal while holding the dummy in his mouth then do so. Even though it wasn't the best retrieve to heal you make a big deal out of it. Keep it fun.

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schr0563

Thanks for the reply, that's exactly what I wanted to know. I want to avoid the force fetch method at this point - my neighbors call the cops anytime they think an animal is being corrected too forcefully.

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Surface Tension

In the end you might have to got with a force break. Personally I'd rather not start out that way.

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