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Old 09-17-2009, 08:00 PM
Criosphynx Criosphynx is offline
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Default Teaching a Retrieve from scratch

Iam in the process of teaching a retrieve from scratch using back chaining..to a 9lb dog lol

I have been experimenting with this and wonder if anyone else has done it.

So far I shaped Tippy into biting down and pulling on an object (which was a task in and of itself...wow)...at the click she will drop it (obviously) but Iam wondering when I should add a release cue (ok) instead of a click?

I can point and she will go to the object (about afoot away) pick it up and turn around (like to come back to me) and then drops it...Iam trying to click now BEFORE she drops it. But if I encourage her to come back with it she simply drops it...Iam guessing Iam moving to far too fast?

I have also taught her to pull the object off of a box (since she too short for a table) and she does that wonderfully..but once she reorients to me, she drops it.

Iam guessing I should stick my hand out and only reward for it landing in my hand?


anyway any help tips with this would be awesome
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Old 09-17-2009, 08:24 PM
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lizzybeth727 lizzybeth727 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Criosphynx View Post
Iam guessing I should stick my hand out and only reward for it landing in my hand?
Yes.

When I teach retrieve, from the very beginning I try to always make sure the dog drops the item in my hand. Of course that means I'm reaching for the item and the responsibility is on ME to make sure it lands in my hand; if it doesn't, I click anyway and try to catch it better next time. This way the dog is patterned to targeting my hand, and it is relatively easy to later teach them to drop it in my hand on their own.

I start by teaching the dog to take the object out of my hand and drop it back in my hand. When they've got that figured out, I teach the "give" cue (yes, I teach "give" before I teach "take it" - I like backchaining too ) Then I teach the dog to hold the object, i.e. take it and wait before dropping it; the "give" cue is useful here, because to teach the dog to hold it longer you simply wait to cue the give. When he is holding the object for several seconds, then I ask him to do other behaviors while holding the object - sit, down, loose leash walking, etc. - to really solidify that hold behavior.

THEN I teach "get it," then I teach the dog to pick up the object off the floor. I start with the object right next to me, so the dog still doesn't really have to think about it landing in my hand (up to this point it's still up to me to get my hand under the object when I cue give), but then I start putting the object farther and farther from me so that he has to walk back to me. After that, I fade out how much I help (by reaching for the object), and start not clicking when it doesn't land in my hand; and I recue the dog to pick it back up and try again.

I've had some dogs take a long time to figure out that the object has to land in my hand, but when they finally get it they tend to really shove it at me. That's really rewarding for me, because it shows me that they finally understand what they need to do.


Retrieve is my favorite thing to teach.
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Old 09-17-2009, 08:53 PM
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I teach it the same way as Lizzy described.
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Old 09-17-2009, 09:04 PM
Criosphynx Criosphynx is offline
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awesome! Thank you for the replies... I knew I was missing som'thing important but couldn't put my finger on it.

I will start tonight putting my hand out... she is a really short dog (think doxie size legs) and so I think I will have to pick a smaller object so I can actually have a split second to catch it before it hits the floor.


just out of curiousity what object do you use to teach this? I have been using stuffed animal pieces and used a leash to get the initial "bite and pull" behavior. Iam assuming you need a decent reward history before the dog will start picking up wooden or metal objects.
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Old 09-17-2009, 09:12 PM
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lizzybeth727 lizzybeth727 is offline
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I start with a hard plastic dumbell.

I don't understand what you mean by the "pull" behavior, are you teaching your dog to tug the object? Because - this is very important - "grab and tug" and "grab and retrieve" are two very different behaviors. With tug the dog walks backward, away from you, and with retrieve the dog walks forward, toward you.

I recently made the mistake of teaching a dog the two behaviors - retireve and tug - at the same time, and it took FOREVER for me to teach her NOT to walk backwards with the retrieve object. It was very frustrating!
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Old 09-17-2009, 09:16 PM
Criosphynx Criosphynx is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lizzybeth727 View Post
I start with a hard plastic dumbell.

I don't understand what you mean by the "pull" behavior, are you teaching your dog to tug the object? Because - this is very important - "grab and tug" and "grab and retrieve" are two very different behaviors. With tug the dog walks backward, away from you, and with retrieve the dog walks forward, toward you.

I recently made the mistake of teaching a dog the two behaviors - retireve and tug - at the same time, and it took FOREVER for me to teach her NOT to walk backwards with the retrieve object. It was very frustrating!

I did teach her to tug on it...as it was the only way I could get her to hold onto the object at all. Otherwise she just holds it so loosely it falls out of her mouth...I have been trying to select for holding it firmly for more than an instant but I haven't been able to get that yet. Perhaps thats going to be one of those criteria that takes a while to get.

She does not walk away when she tugs on it...she sits and pulls on it. If that makes a difference.

I have been meaning to buy a dumbell... started teaching this on a whim and wasn't prepared...lol
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Old 09-17-2009, 09:48 PM
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Harvick will get a toy when I point and tell him "Get it" then he brings it to me to throw or play tug of war, but I don't know if this is the same thing you are doing. Tippy is so smart! Can you get some video and share?
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Old 09-17-2009, 09:55 PM
Criosphynx Criosphynx is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pawzaddict View Post
Harvick will get a toy when I point and tell him "Get it" then he brings it to me to throw or play tug of war, but I don't know if this is the same thing you are doing. Tippy is so smart! Can you get some video and share?

Thats the finished product I want yup! lol


Chili will do the same thing, reliably...but I attribute that to me instilling it very young (its was the ONE thing I was adament he learn)

I wanted to teach this to a dog which likes to learn but couldn't give a rats ass about toys...kinda as a chalenge for both me and her. Also shes one of the "easier" to train of my dogs, so I wanted to practice on her. Shes very forgiving of my mistakes


i was actually thinking of making a vid tonight to share and for perhaps the more experienced trainers to critique for me. Tho I think with Lizzys advice about catching the toy we will progress faster. I'll also work on less "tug" and more "hold"
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Old 09-17-2009, 09:59 PM
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Ah doesn't like toys, yep that is NOT Harvick lol. Well GL and can't wait to see it!
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Old 09-17-2009, 10:05 PM
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I teach retrieves using a curved, plastic conduit that I buy at Lowe's or Home Depot. Then I switch to a dumbbell when their solid on it. That way if I make mistakes in training, I don't create conflict associated with the dumbbell itself.

I also don't teach them to actually drop it into my hand. I hold the object, they take it from my hand and while I'm still holding it -- we're both holding it -- I have them release it. I don't want dropping.
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