Friday, November 11, 2011

Formal Retrieve Training, AKA Force Fetch: Step Four

As I put the dogs through their retrieve training, I always follow certain regimented steps.

First, I train them to hold a variety of different sorts of objects as a form of obedience.  On my terms, not theirs.  They are required to hold wooden dumb bells, PVC pipe, cloth tug toys, cloth bumpers, plastic bumpers, frozen birds, an old TV remote, a hammer, a screw driver, etc.

See footage here of Cowboy's hold training.

Second, they learn to hold all these objects while walking or running at my side, jumping up on the tail gate or down, going through cover, and so on.

Thirdly, they must learn to fetch on command on the tail gate of my truck.  Check out a video demonstrating the beginning of "fetch."

At the fourth step we are ready to transition off the tailgate, down to the ground and on into walking fetch.  These are photos taken last week of Lilly, a Golden Retriever, working through walking fetch.

Lilly walking towards a retrieve
Lilly picks up the stationary object on command
Now Lilly is ready to walk and hold bumper
We go for a walk to relax the dog

Notice that in addition to fetching off the ground, we also want to get her to jump up to retrieve from other angles.

"Come on Lilly,  get it!"
Getting ready to leap
"There you go!"
"Good Girl!"

"What a good dog!"
I always use lots of encouragement and really get excited for the dogs as they achieve new bench marks.  This really helps speed the process along.

See video of Cowboy's walking fetch.

No comments: