Dog Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a dumbbell training question. I am starting to train to complete at the next level of CKC obedience trails. The AKC and CKC trails are the same at this level.

First some background information. Pepper (my dog) does not have a retrieving instinct in a single bone in her body. She is not motivated in the least to play fetch and is not very toy driven. For all other aspects of training: verbal correction, verbal parse and treats followed by a little play time with dad has always got the results I wanted. Up until now she has been very easy to train and Pepper really enjoys the whole process, that is, until I take out her dumbbell.

I know training a dog to retrieve dumbbells on command can be a very difficult part for training most dogs. Using my entire bag of tricks took 5 months of work before she started to fetch on command. I would work with her about 10 to 15 minutes each day with a good part of that time being play-time as a reward for her doing something correct. She fetches on command OK, completing the exercise very well. But you can tell by her body language she just hates it. You would swear I was asking her to fetch a 4 day old dead skunk. I have even tried a few different sizes of dumbbells, but that seemed to make no difference.

Would any of you have some experience you could share or some tips for me to help her look at this as something fun and not like getting a root canal from the dentist, of could this just be a matter of giving it a little more time ?



Thanks everyone
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
574 Posts
Did you clicker train the dumbbell retrieve? That is how I train it, and every dog I have done this with LOVES to retrieve. They do it at full speed and with great attitude.

I never use correction when training the retrieve. I NEVER do those stupid ear pinches (who came up with that torture anyway? And WHY?) I only make it a huge game. Then, the dog wants to always play retrieve. I use very little punishment in any of my training though.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Cliff

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
LOL, I know what you mean about the ear pinching.

I will look into the clicker training. Never used that approach before and never really considered it for dumbbell training.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Retrieving has to be fun for the dog or they will act like they are doing it just because you are asking for it. I was in the same situation as you.. Until I met a crack trainer who suggested that I use a bait bag on a leash to entice my sheltie to retrieve. I throw it on the floor (with high value treats in it)and say get it,get it, get it. to entice him to go for it then I let him chew it for a short time (15 to 20 seconds) then I give the command "bring" and reel in the leash. As soon as he gets to me I give another command of "give" and when he releases it I give him a big GOOD BOY and treat him lavishly. It only took a week and he's bringing it to me without chewing and sometimes I don't even get the command bring out in time and he's already sitting front and waiting for me to take it from him. Once the bait bag is a complete success then stop putting treats in it but use it the same way. He will know that treats wll be coming from your hand rather than wanting what's in the bag. Only then would I start with retrieval of the dumb bell...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
843 Posts
My friend has a yorkie who she was having trouble teaching the retrieve. Someone else mentioned that the dumbell might be the wrong size for him as he would be hesitate to pick it up. Turns out everytime he picked it up he bumped his nose on the floor (talk about negative reinforcement). She ordered a new dumbell (sent measurements to the company that makes them). He now happily retrieves the dumbell! Just food for thought.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for that suggestion. I have actually tried a few different sized dumbells but got the same results.

I decided to take a few steps back and tried the treat bag trick. It seamed to help my dog think of retrieving as a game.

We are now doing a lot better at it. I resently increased the hight of the jump for her to retreive over, but even that only put her off slightly. I think we are now at the point of more practice with more positive re-enforcement is what should get us more progress.

Cheers
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top