Remember those are not consective calendar days. He only trained every second or third day, so day 15 would be 30-45 calendar days into the program.
I haven't watched my Hillman video in quite a while but I think he uses a tennis ball material dummy so that he can continue during teething. It looked like you were using a hard plastic dummy.
When I asked for a video, I meant one of the issue you are having.
Last edited by Wayne Nutt; 03-04-2014 at 08:56 PM.
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I just had a pup that got the hold down at 4-5 months, but wouldn't budge, & if she did she dropped the bumper. My first dog was 8-9 months when he learned hold & went through force fetch - at that time I worked him through movement with the bumper & corrected.
With this pup I realized she was really young, gave her about a month & developed an excellent hold; now she's comfortable with walking and "not" dropping. Learning the hold was a fun process for her & I decided not to push it - I attribute a lot of it to age & maturity.
I agree with others, age is just a number; day 2 is not really day 2; some dogs come on early, some come on late..........
HR True Grits Finer Edge
Remember they all develop at different rates. I would take a break and then go slower.
A pup should be both mentally and physically ready for formal training before you begin. One of the gauges many trainers use is : the permanent teeth should be in place. you can easily destroy a pups working attitude by demanding compliance of any skill. give your pup time to grow up a bit
NO DOG WILL PERFORM TO HIS TRAINING LEVEL UNLESS HIS HANDLER IS CAPABLE OF MAKING HIM DO SO!
I agree with the comments on age/ maturity issue they all go at their own pace. I learned last year from my pro that our newest pup, who was training with him, was just a bit immature to go through the first part of field training. We picked her up and waited until January when our trainer was down in Texas. She has been with him all winter and he reports she is progressing very well....I glad we backed off and gave her some time to mature...
We've seen this before where someone asks a question in the context of following the Hillmann program ... and gets answers from experienced, successful and knowledgeable people who, however, are NOT answering from the perspective of the Hillmann philosophy/methodology.
The question is ... if advice is good and sound for a non-Hillmann approach, is that same advice good and sound for the Hillmann approach?
In this case, I am certain that a trainer skilled in the Hillmann philosophy/technique can and should normally begin teaching hold before teething is complete. The process begins during puppy work and continues without interruption through teething. These terms for training stages that are common to other programs like "formal" and "transition" are not applicable to Hillmann's process.
Imagine how confusing this must be to someone who has selected a reputable program and is working hard to learn it and follow it.
To the the OP, I would summarize the Hillmann process for teaching Hold as follows:
- Pick an object that the pup can easily hold, that is comfortable in the pup's mouth (yes - even while teething), and for which the pup has demonstrated interest, excitement and success during play, chase, "retrieves", etc.
- Get the pup happy and excited in the right working attitude the way that Hillmann teaches.
- Command "Sit" with you calmly beside your pup. Calmly and gently hold the collar from above. Do not proceed any further until your pup can remain sitting calmly and relaxed while you hold him by the collar in one hand and softly stroke him and quietly praise him with your free hand. This is your starting point. You should do several repetitions of this mixed in with your other activities before going further. The object has yet to enter into the process.
- When your pup is completely comfortable with step 3, you can begin the process of tiny, tiny incremental steps toward getting the pup to hold the object. You can't go wrong by making the incremental progression too tiny. For example, begin by holding the object in front of him in an inviting and enticing fashion. Don't even try to put it in his mouth. By erring on the side of incremental steps that are too tiny, you are creating high probabilities of successful repetitions as you progress very gradually toward your objective. It is very easy to build upon success as it becomes habit forming (ie, classically conditioned). Celebrate each successful repetition with praise and excitement, perhaps rewarding your pup with an exciting chase of the object. By doing so, you are reinforcing interest in the object and practicing an activity where the pup has already demonstrated the ability to pick up the object at the end of the chase and perhaps carry it in his mouth for a brief period.
- Continue with repetitions of Step 4 (without trying to put the object into the pup's mouth) until the pup has a great attitude about that routine. Then progress a little further. With each little progression, the pup must remain sitting and remain calm without resisting and try to escape from your grasp on his collar.
- Eventually, you will reach the point where you are putting the object into the pup's mouth. This is the tricky part. You must be calm, gentle and patient. This is not a battle of physical force. This is more about patience and finesse. You can gently help him by holding the object while supporting his mouth on the object at the same time. Initially, this is not about duration but you must wait for success before you allow him to release ... followed immediately by heavy praise. Success here is defined by him giving up on his effort to resist (even slightly). Timing of the "release" and praise is critical because you want the message to be very clear that heis being rewarded for moving one step away from resisting and one step closer to holding.
- Once you have clearly communicated the message of step 6, progression becomes much easier. From this point forward you are making tiny steps in the quality of the hold -- either holding more independently, holding with a less "active" mouth or holding slightly longer duration.
This is all done according to Hillmann's dynamic methodology for what a training session looks like. That is, each step is spread out over many training sessions. And each training session is a mix of going from one activity to the next as dictated by the pup's need for balance and maintaining an optimal, happy attitude. Every activity advances from the three fundamental activities of Chase, Sit and Walk on a Line. Teaching Hold begins as an advanced variation of the "Sit" activity.