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Old 04-09-2013, 12:11 PM
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Default Can't Walk and Chew Gum

Ok, ok, it's really "can't walk and carry dumbbell."

After taking the dumbbell from me, Squash will hold it until I take it and cue him to drop. If it's on the floor near me he will pick it up and hold it similarly. If it is on the floor but outside of my immediate reach, he will pick it up and take one or two steps at most, then fling it at me. About half the time he just freezes where he is (I'M SUPPOSED TO JUST HOLD THING THING RIGHT?).

He generally does NOT enjoy retrieving and I didn't shape the hold but I've entirely free shaped picking it up and the "retrieve," such as it is, up until this point. Right now I click immediately for any steps towards to me while carrying the dumbbell, even if he ends up dropping it. Is there a better way to teach him to walk and hold onto the dumbbell at the same time?

(I don't care how long it takes or how "perfect" he is, we're just learning for funsies as I'm not planning to ever actually compete in obedience.)
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Old 04-09-2013, 12:17 PM
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Dumbbell work is the hardest. I see a lot of people working on it for months. One of my regular trainers (GSD trainer) has the dog carry it while heeling to get used to carrying it.

I can't help with an answer, but I feel your pain. I have given up on dumbbell work.
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Old 04-09-2013, 12:26 PM
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We had the same hang up with Zander. I just rewarded for ANY movement towards or with me with tons of praise and drop it and run around good times, but it was a long road.

I varied between different objects, too. When I put a dumbbell in his mouth, he froze and wouldn't move. Switched it out for a pen and he was more willing to step forward. For him, it was entirely a weight and size thing. Maybe because he is so soft mouthed? Not sure. Shape never really bothered him, just weight and size. But I was able to work up from there.

And Zander doesn't retrieve either. It's a pain. I have to give it to him in order for him to "take it". Still working on the picking up part.
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Old 04-09-2013, 12:29 PM
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Back chain the retrieve, starting with the retrieve to hand.

http://www.shirleychong.com/keepers/retrieve.html

Walking and carrying the dumbbell will come naturally if he understands to pick it up, seek out your hand and place the object in it.

I used this method with Cohen, and her retrieve is awesome.
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Old 04-09-2013, 10:38 PM
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Thank you, all!
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