Fetch

Discussion in 'Clicker Training' started by Peter, Feb 18, 2016.

  1. Peter

    Peter Registered Users

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    Hello after my struggle to find the password to log in and in which section i should have made the topic (sorry if this is the wrong section) i'd like know if i'm actually on the right track when it comes to the fetch exercise.I started to train Sirius using the clicker trained retrieve , ( http://totallygundogs.com/clicker-trained-retrieve/ ) i followed the whole process and Sirius seems like it's catching up, he jumped some steps
    directly to lifting the dummy, (i'm using a ball with a rope like this one http://www.banffyhaus.com/wp-conten...Ball-string-dog-training-toys-bulldog_LRG.jpg , even though he chewed up the rope so it's just a normal ball now. :rolleyes: ) I'm currently at the third step, making him hold the ball longer and i noticed that he kinda chews on it, also if i sit he tends to come towards me with the ball so i'm also a bit clumsy with this , i was wondering whether doing this exercise with the ball is ok or i should do it with somethingelse that resemble a dummy like an object that is large horizontally. Thanks in advance
     
  2. snowbunny

    snowbunny Administrator Forum Supporter

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    I don't think it matters what you use to start off with. To my mind, you want him to be able to do this with any object, so start with what you want and then gradually introduce different objects. Start with something he finds easiest, to set him up for success.

    I'm doing a similar thing at the moment - I thought I should start work on a nice delivery to hand at last, and liked the way I saw it presented in this video someone posted the other day: https://game.absolute-dogs.com/fake-itlrt4rwbj

    My two have a very strong hand target behaviour, but struggle when they have something in their mouths; they tend to drop it before doing the target. So, I've gone right back to basics and am doing this with them. I've started with a rubber ball, which they are most successful with. I tried a 1lb canvas dummy (too cumbersome to start with) a plastic dummy (too inaccurate to start with) and a kong tennis ball (too exciting). I'm doing well with the rubber ball after a couple of sessions each with them, but once it's more established, I will go back to the start again with these other objects, to try to generalise the behaviour.
     
  3. snowbunny

    snowbunny Administrator Forum Supporter

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    As for chewing, some objects are just more chewable than others! Anything with a squeaker or a springy texture will be more likely to make him want to chew. If he doesn't chew on the things you don't want him to, when you get around to those, I wouldn't be too bothered. If he does, then you'll just have to refine him to not chewing by clicking for stillness when he's holding the object.
     
  4. Peter

    Peter Registered Users

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    Well he doesn't seem to stand still when he pick up the ball (he chews it and move) seems to me like he doesn't focus at all (i might be wrong) but usually if i have food in my hand he tends to be very focused and stand still. Maybe i should do some focus exercise? No idea about them though, i just picked up again the clicker and charged it the other day ( i tried to click and see his reaction, which was "WHERE'S MY TREAT") so i guess up till here it's ok =) thanks for the reply
     
  5. Peter

    Peter Registered Users

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    bump anyone is free to come up with ideas i'm open to suggestions!
     
  6. JulieT

    JulieT Registered Users

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    Sorry, I hadn't seen this! :)

    Although I've done a lot of work with the clicker retrieve, getting a dog to keep his mouth still with a clicker is not something I have achieved.

    Pippa did it with Rachel, it takes a LOT of patience. http://totallygundogs.com/rachaels-journey-twenty-clicker-retrieve-sessions/

    I have also seen people find something the dog will definitely chew, and then use food as a distraction so the dog stops chewing. This means you already have to have a hold that is robust to food as a distraction.

    I messed about with this forever, and in the end found I could get a 'walking hold' with a still mouth. I built on that in the end, slowing down the walk until I got stillness. But to be honest, I don't have a reliable still hold with my dog now, and I don't much care. I am never, ever, going to be in the position where my dog has to wait with a bird in his mouth. I take the retrieve off him right away, and no messing about.

    I do appreciate that if you are going to do a clicker retrieve properly, you do need a hold and a drop only on the click - but I'm afraid even though I'm not exactly a beginner (although I don't have very polished skills compared to many) it was beyond me with my dog, even with professional help.
     
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  7. editor

    editor Administrator

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    Hi Peter, are you training your dog for fieldwork?
     
  8. Peter

    Peter Registered Users

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    Thanks for both the replies, @editor no actually i just want to teach him how to retrieve so we can have fun together and i stumbled upon that article of yours, i charged the clicker a few days ahead and proceed to follow the steps, even though now i'm not entirely sure he got it right since he can't seem to be focused on me while he holds the ball =)
     
  9. editor

    editor Administrator

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    Okay, well if you don't want him to retrieve game the chomping isn't so much of a big deal. You just want to be able to chuck a toy or a ball and have him bring it back. It sounds as though he might still be a bit too focused on the ball though. What are you using for rewards and how did you get on at stage two. Was he willingly dropping the ball in order to get the treat?

    You might also find it helpful to watch some videos - if you are on Facebook you can join the positive gun dogs group and watch Jo Laurens clicker retrieve series of videos.
     
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  10. Peter

    Peter Registered Users

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    Well when i started i thought i was going to complete each steap but he went directly to lift the ball and i was kinda surprised haha, yes he's dropping the ball like crazy when i click! While for the treats i just use a simple wurstel which he seems to enjoy a lot =)
     
  11. AlphaDog

    AlphaDog Registered Users

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    I'd say lose the clicker and teach him the hold and drop command. Several days of training with mine and he is fairly proficient. I did this by tying up a leash so it hangs down just so it attaches to his collar. Kinda of the same setup if you take your dog in for grooming. Connect the leash and have him in the sit position then place the object in his mouth and say hold then drop. Repeat multiple times. I used a 8 inch unpainted section from a closet rail. A dummy works better but costs. I would not use a tennis ball. Also when I do the fetch/go command and always have him return to the heel position and then do the drop. And btw I've stopped using a tennis ball and have gone to the frisbee. Easier on the arm and lots of internet chatter that the fuzz on tennis balls is carcinogenic.
     
  12. editor

    editor Administrator

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    The purpose of the clicker is to teach the hold and drop! :)

    What you are describing is a forced hold technique. I do not recommend it. It's popular with traditional gundog trainers in the UK and it has a high failure rate, even in experienced hands. Many dogs won't open their mouths to take the dummy which is where the force comes in. Many trainers then force the dog's mouth closed to prevent the dog dropping the dummy prematurely. If not followed through this method can put a dog off retrieving permanently.
     
  13. editor

    editor Administrator

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    I've asked Jo Laurens if I can post her video here Peter, it's unlisted so I need her permission. I think you'll find it really helpful. It is specifically about dogs that mouth or chew on the retrieve when you are teaching a hold.
     
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  14. JulieT

    JulieT Registered Users

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    Can you imagine if someone did this to you? I mean as a thought experiment, in the interests of developing some empathy with your dog.

    Imagine you had someone in charge of you, several times your height and weight, and someone 'put' something in your mouth (then no doubt clamped their massive hands round your jaws and head) and told you a strange word....

    There are, seriously, better ways to train a dog.
     
  15. Peter

    Peter Registered Users

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    Thank you Pippa i've been working on it in the past few days but i'm not entirely sure if i'm doing it right. Today i haven't practiced it, i think the whole not standing still (sitting while holding the ball) makes me think he didn't get what i'm trying to do, also when he jumped some step by directly lifting the ball threw me off i think. I don't use a tennis ball i just use the ball that is showed in the link i posted above! Seems like a lot shops here in italy doesn't have dummies arg!
     
  16. MaccieD

    MaccieD Guest

  17. JulieT

    JulieT Registered Users

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    @Peter, what is the problem with fetch that you are trying to solve?

    For example: does your dog not have the enthusiasm to chase a thrown ball? Does he chase it but drops it? Chases it and runs off? Or just doesn't put it in your hand?
     
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  18. Newbie Lab Owner

    Newbie Lab Owner Registered Users

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    I loved reading through Pippa's and Rachael's journey so far and it has given me ideas to try as Dexter prefers the ends of the dummy, a chomp on it and a keep away. Will start over with this and be more aware of what to look out for and note down :)
     
  19. Newbie Lab Owner

    Newbie Lab Owner Registered Users

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    The dummies I have do have a cord on them, Dexter loves the cord :rolleyes: so I took them off. Is that okay to do or should I continue with using them with the cord? I have no idea if the cord is an important aspect in respect of retrieving with the dummy and getting the dog to not pick up by a tail :eek:.
     
  20. editor

    editor Administrator

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    The purpose of the cord is simply to make it easier to throw. I take the cord off if dogs mess about with it. :)
     

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