OK - I've been working with both of my dogs, Copper 2yr YLM and Cassy 18mo CLF, on hold for several weeks now as a precursor to FF (in seperate training sessions). Both of them have the concept and hold a FF buck or a plastic bumper when given the "fetch" command. Then I tell them to hold each of them will close there mouth just enough for it to remain loosely in their grasp. They are even walking with it and will returning to a sit position while keeping it in there mouth. But they don't have a positive grasp of the retrieving dummy. Since it's both dogs I'm betting I'M doing something wrong or missed something.
THE PROBLEM IS they both have such soft mouths that the bumper can be knocked out when heeling, even if they just brush my leg. Also they are anticipating my "leave it" and releasing any grip they have on the bumper.
How do I get them to grasp the retrieving dummy... I want a positive hold; not something that falls out while they are being trained. (Both dogs keep a great hold on the ummy when send on a fun bumper or a marked retrieve, but they don't always hold the dummy until commanded to "leave it")