Clicker retrieve

Discussion in 'Clicker Training' started by TinaM, Nov 16, 2014.

  1. TinaM

    TinaM Registered Users

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    Hello, We've been working through the steps of the clicker retrieve. We are having a great time. Isis will pick up the dummy hold it and move towards me. I started this morning having her sit when she reaches me with some success (I think she is a bit tired as we have been playing and training for a while now). Anyway, my question is about her hold. She bites down on the dummy with a lot a force, leaving decent dents in the canvas dummy. What is the best way to soften it up? I'm not worried as we will likely never be picking up birds but it would be nice anyway.

    Tina
     
  2. heidrun

    heidrun Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Re: Clicker retrieve

    I use plastic dummies, either Avery Hexabumpers or Soft Mouth dummies from Sporting Saint. The plastic dummies have quite a few advantages compared to canvas dummies and one of them is that dogs don't mouth or chomp down on them. :)
     
  3. TinaM

    TinaM Registered Users

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    Re: Clicker retrieve

    I thought that might be the case. Thanks!
     
  4. JulieT

    JulieT Registered Users

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    Re: Clicker retrieve

    It's a funny old thing, chomping. Agree it's a good idea to general discourage it, of course.

    I'm convinced that my boy chomps depending on his excitement levels, and it's nothing to do with the article he is being asked to retrieve. He has actually chomped hexabumpers more than any other dummy when I've used them in water (where he is the most excited).

    I use "soft" canvas dummies now for fetches and so far so good - although I have the problem of him holding them so lightly he drops them, and toys for when he is over excited and likely to crunch something up (normally cheap tennis balls, which I'm trying to find an alternative for).

    For clicker retrieve in the house I'm currently using a long, narrow very soft roll of fabric. So he can close his mouth right over it, and there is room for both my hands either side of his mouth to take delivery of it.
     
  5. TinaM

    TinaM Registered Users

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    Re: Clicker retrieve

    I will try with different articles while noting the excitement level. Thanks for the help.
     
  6. pippa@labforumHQ

    pippa@labforumHQ Administrator

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    Re: Clicker retrieve

    One of the most effective ways to reduce chomping is to keep the dog on the move. Initially you can lure him along with some food, and then progress to walking along at heel with the dummy in his mouth. For some reason, dogs often find it hard to chomp and walk at the same time :)
     
  7. JulieT

    JulieT Registered Users

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    Re: Clicker retrieve

    A walking hold works great for no chomping for Charlie - but I haven't been able to translate it into anything else. All I've got is a great walking hold. I'm sure this is me but I cannot transition from a walking hold to anything else. I can take the dummy off him while he is moving, but I'm still puzzling over translating this into what I think is one of the key components of a hold in the clicker retrieve being the dog is still (including having a still mouth) and does not release until cued. It also hasn't done anything to stop him chomping when he is still.

    Maybe I'm using it incorrectly.
     
  8. pippa@labforumHQ

    pippa@labforumHQ Administrator

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    Re: Clicker retrieve

    Have you tried walking, pausing a second, walking on a few more steps, pausing a second etc, then gradually adding duration to the pauses?

    You don't need a long hold, just sufficient for you to take delivery of the dummy without an unseemly scramble :)
     
  9. JulieT

    JulieT Registered Users

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    Re: Clicker retrieve

    Yes, it'll be my timing, I suppose. Charlie will chomp, well, not really chomp more move it around in his mouth, the instant I pause in a walking hold, or the instant I ask for more duration in a hold from my hands. I think that I can't get the pause or the request for duration short enough. If he picks it up off the floor he will drop it the second my hand touches it hence going back to him taking it from my hands.

    Right now I am adding duration by him holding it from my hands and allowing him to move backwards with it. His backwards movement keeps his mouth still and is fading as he slowly realises that's not necessary to get the click. I do worry what errors I might be building in though.

    I saw the vid on positive gundogs about doing a version of the walking hold with food to distract the dog and wondered if I could use that with him still.
     
  10. Indy

    Indy Registered Users

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    Re: Clicker retrieve

    IMO mouthing or moving the dummy around in the mouth can be down to excitement.
    We are going through this phase with Indie at the moment? Who is very keen and quite exciteable.
    She will happily carry the dummy along without any movement, but come to a stop and she starts to mouth and shake it :(

    Have been trying the clicker and C&T for the sit and hold for delivery, have seen some improvement but it is early days yet.
    This is being done without a retrieve as such, just giving her the dummy to hold whilst sitting and moving away a few yards and calling her
    and then to sit and hold, if she starts to mouth no C&T until the dummy is held still for a couple of seconds.

    I find tennis balls tend to make dogs chomp down hard, so do not use them until they are competent retrievers.
     
  11. bbrown

    bbrown Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Re: Clicker retrieve

    Is Charlie looking at you while he chomps? I wonder if you can get his head up to look you in the eye whether chewing becomes mechanically harder?
     
  12. JulieT

    JulieT Registered Users

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    Re: Clicker retrieve

    The thread was from a while ago, and I've had more sessions with the trainer since then.

    The movement of the dummy in his mouth was due to a general inconsistency in my clicker training. There were too many variables and general movement for Charlie to isolate the exact behaviour for the click. So we've gone back several steps...including training general stillness in the position now used for shaping.
     
  13. bbrown

    bbrown Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Re: Clicker retrieve

    [quote author=JulieT link=topic=8777.msg135389#msg135389 date=1420618935]
    The thread was from a while ago, and I've had more sessions with the trainer since then.

    The movement of the dummy in his mouth was due to a general inconsistency in my clicker training. There were too many variables and general movement for Charlie to isolate the exact behaviour for the click. So we've gone back several steps...including training general stillness in the position now used for shaping.
    [/quote]

    I'm not sure I'll ever get that level of accuracy. Helen would hate me ;D ;D ;D
     
  14. JulieT

    JulieT Registered Users

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    Re: Clicker retrieve

    She hates me! :D ;D ;D
     

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