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I want to teach Aspen to hold different objects. I think it makes for some really cute pictures :)

Who's taught it? What worked? What didn't?

I can find plenty of YouTube videos but I was hoping for some personal experiences before I start.
 

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I started typing everything out before I remembered that I made a whole video myself on how I taught Aayla. Anyhow...the video is super quiet so make sure everything is max volume.


I'm not the best with recording and explaining, so let me know if any of that in confusing. I went through weeks worth of steps within the 10 minutes. So break everything down into smaller chunks and work on what she can do! The photos are always cute!
 

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Ditto! Super cute @ThatYellowDog! :)

@Aspen had another trainer help with Dexter not too long ago on a more formal retrieve and hold. He sometimes moves small items around in his mouth (retrieving clicker and quarter for his quarter in a shot glass trick) and don't want that carrying over to other areas. Ultimately my goals are Rally free/trick related (want a hold on fifferent positions like sit and beg as well as to carry items like a basket or flag while heeling or other moving behaviors) but her obedience dumbbell skills will def help me get what I want. Just a different application. totally ignore if you feel this doesn't apply to what you want. :)

Started with checking how he bites and holds items because he already has a informal retrieve (Would have probably shaped it if not). Used a marker for this as I didn't have his dumbbell. Should be behind the canines, not way back in the mouth. Holding in the back of the mouth results in rolling and chomping/biting rather than a nice still hold. He was already biting properly so skipped ahead with different exercises.

Encouraged him to pull on the item as I held it to strengthen his hold. He was a bit confused as aleady has a retrieve to hand so instead experimented with asking him to take the item, and then tapping or bumping the item with my fingers. If he dropped it, we reset. If his grip was good/didn't drop it then he was clicked and treated.

Ping ponged time holding the item in front. So for example 2 second hold c+t, 4 second hold, 1 second hold, 3 second hold, 5 second hold, 2 second, etc. Just bouncing around within his window of capability.

Also held the item out to the side, asked him to get it, and then return to front. Allowed us to better watch how he was biting and carrying as he moved rewarding only the times ge gripped properly. May not be super important if only working a stationary hold but if wanting to train a trick like carry a basket or something, will help.
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Started this last night. Man, my dog is smart! ;) I am always amazed at how quickly she picks up on things! I started by using her toy since she's used to having that in her mouth anyway. I sat in front of her and held it out but didn't say anything. She stared blankly at me haha. I put the toy behind my back and pulled it back out. After the second time, she put her mouth on it. I said YES and gave a treat. I did it a few more times with her toy successfully. Then I grabbed a long plastic spoon and had her 'fetch' the handle. As she started to do it reliably, I started to incorporate the word 'fetch' in. We did 2 ten minute sessions last night.

Of course, there is no duration yet. :)
 
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