Dog Forum banner

1 - 3 of 3 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
*POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT TRAINING TIP, NOT A QUESTION*
So I picked up a poodle puppy and found myself really having a hard time training him to hold an object. For a start, he wasn't interested unless it was on the ground, no matter what I did, and he would shake it the second it was in his mouth, so clicking for a strong hold - even for a split second - was impossible. Next, the issue was that even when he had it in his mouth I couldn't get it off him. Treat? Nope. :ponder:
But I think I've found a way around these issues, and I wanted to share it in case anyone else had the same problems. Firstly, I got his favorite toy, put him on a leash in a small empty room, and clicked whenever he interacted with the toy. I slowly raised my criteria and jackpotted him for picking it up. So eventually he would pick it up whenever I pointed at it.
Then, I placed a box at my feet and would call him when he picked it up. Clicked for looking at me, and slowly raised my criteria until he would bring it over. Obviously he wouldn't give it to me, so I would wait until he loosened his hold by himself, and jackpotted. Soon enough I had him dropping the toy.
The hard part was getting him to drop it in the box, but it actually happened fairly quickly and once he started targeting the box, I changed to a wire crate, a cup, a bowl... Even a pram! So then, I started moving it away inch by inch and that got me to the trick of putting his toys away.
From there, I went back to the basics, but put my hand where the box would usually be. This of course meant he would also target an open hand. I got him to stop shaking objects by dropping something and clicking when he stopped shaking it. Soon enough he stopped shaking things, but it was a lot of work and he still shakes anything fluffy.

Now, this won't teach an obedience hold. But I am sure you could alter it so it was a stepping stone to that. It's also much more reliable than the other methods I have used to train dogs in the past, and has the advantage of being a hands-off method, meaning that if your dog runs away when he has a toy, this won't be intrusive, and won't form this habit further.
If you want to train a pet dog to fetch, and are having trouble with the traditional method of clicking for a tiny hold and building it up, then you could try this. I also enjoyed the fact that it taught two tricks at once.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,203 Posts
I have a Golden Aussie Poodle cross. I will try this with her. She will run after a toy or ball, pick it up, then immediately drop it and come back to me. I use it when I am doing some Agility practice and would really like her to bring it back to me. I never have a problem taking it from her, she drops it into my hand if she is beside me. I have been looking for things to do with her over the winter as we now have a lot of snow on the ground so this is one more thing I can work on. She is just over a year old. Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I hope it helps. It stopped mine from shaking or dropping the object because I just got him picking it up every time I asked. Then, I could click him for holding it instead of shaking or dropping. But it is a really good start for difficult dogs, as opposed to just trying to build up the hold, which MY GOODNESS is impossible if they drop it instantly. I find that takes too long to catch on sometimes.
At least this way, once they work it out, they know the reward only comes for bringing it to the box or your hand and dropping it on the target.
Also, I forgot to say, if you want her to automatically drop the object (my dog does), once she starts putting it in the box on purpose, start saying "Thank you," or whatever you want the cue to be when she gets it in the box. That way if she drops it and it doesn't go into your hand, she'll pick it up and try again and again until you say your cue. It basically tells them that they have completed the job, and it's needed for a trick like stacking cups. Continue to use the clicker or marker word until she starts alerting to thank you instead.
Otherwise I would guess that you could easily train her to keep a hold of it until you gave the command to drop by saying drop before she does, and soon clicking before she loosens her hold so she keeps a firm grip. Combine the two, bingo.
Here is a video of Hendrix picking up a pen, trained using the automatic drop method: https://www.instagram.com/p/BMm57N4gimH/
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
Top