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Thread: Prefered Hold Technique

  1. #1
    Senior Member Brad Overstreet's Avatar
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    Default Prefered Hold Technique

    I am wondering what most people use when teaching hold at the start of FF. I have heard of chucking under the chin and light ear pressure. Which do you find you have the best luck with.

    Cheers,
    Brad

  2. #2
    Administrator Chris Atkinson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by txgsp View Post
    I am wondering what most people use when teaching hold at the start of FF. I have heard of chucking under the chin and light ear pressure. Which do you find you have the best luck with.

    Cheers,
    Brad
    I'd advise against either of those things. I'd suggest that you be patient, firm but non-emotional, consistent, steady. Try to get pup to cool down, accept and hold the object for just a couple seconds at first. Praise for good effort and for proper response.

    I've seen dogs that were "chin chucked" too much that become "hand shy" and that's a real bummer. The last thing we want is a "hand shy" retriever.

    The "pressure", I'd suggest saving for the step where you actually are ready to introduce some pressure.

    I'm a big fan of doing a fairly pressure-free step of "hold" teaching first.

    Good luck!

    Chris
    "Determining and applying the criteria for when and when not to use correction is the essence of the art of dog training. I make a distinction between a mistake and a lack of effort." - Mike Lardy - Volume I "After Collar Conditioning"

  3. #3
    Member flatcoatfun's Avatar
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    I teach the dogs to hold my fingers in their mouth - really!! I first learned the force fetch when I worked for a service dog organization and this works great! I've never found anything that teaches the dog what to do with their mouth better.

    You can do this with a dog on a table, or since I don't have a table I now do it with me sitting in a chair, the dog and I facing the same direction, the dog in a sit between my knees, so he cant go anywhere.

    I usually use two fingers (index and middle finger) that go into the mouth behind the canines, the thumb under the jaw. Other fingers just out of the way. Gently keep the fingers in the mouth as the dog tries to get them out. At some point the dog will stop struggling for a fraction of a second. Say "good" and remove your fingers. Do several reps until the lightbulb turns on in the dogs mind that if they quietly hold your finger for a fraction of a second - their reward is that you remove them. (clicker trainers can also use the clicker and food rewards with this technique if you wish)

    Each day when you work this hold you slowly increase the time that they hold your fingers, you also reward the best hold. The beauty of this technique is that you feel when their tongue is relaxed and they have steady even pressure on your fingers. That is what you want to reward. You DON'T reward chewing/mouthing on your fingers, excessive hard pressure, or weak/no pressure.

    Sessions should be short and done when you and the dog are relaxed - I usually do it in front of the TV so I have something to watch when I get up to their holding my fingers for 2 minutes. That is about as long as I go. Once they get to this point they really understand the hold.

    My dogs enjoy these sessions (once they figure it out) You will get pawing, thrashing of the head, biting down hard, panting and not holding your fingers on the journey. Just persevere through and only reward the calm firm hold.

    You can wear a leather glove if the dog is especially hard on your hand, I've only done this with one dog.

    Hope this helps!
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    Senior Member badbullgator's Avatar
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    I start with a gloved hand and no pressure other than forcing them to keep it in their mouth
    Views and opinions expressed herein by Badbullgator do not necessarily represent the policies or position of RTF. RTF and all of it's subsidiaries can not be held liable for the off centered humor and politically incorrect comments of the author.
    Corey Burke

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    Senior Member Brad Overstreet's Avatar
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    I used the chuck under the chin method first. Lightly!!! then thought about the hand shyness issue. Now just keep putting back in mouth with little pressure. Maybe a tug on the collar. I do agree keeping emotion out of it is the best best bet no matter what. I actually use a watch and do not go over 5 minutes per session. Also wondering why some people put everything under the sun in the dogs mouth to teach hold. I understand frozen bird, live bird, bumpers, etc... but a weighted dumbbell? Please explain the logic.

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    Flatcoatfun,

    That was a great description of a really good process. I started using the clicker with the bumper to help clear up some of my dog's hold issues and got great success. I may have to go back and use the gloved hand and clicker method since she still has some issues. It really makes sense, thanks!

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  7. #7
    Senior Member badbullgator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by txgsp View Post
    I used the chuck under the chin method first. Lightly!!! then thought about the hand shyness issue. Now just keep putting back in mouth with little pressure. Maybe a tug on the collar. I do agree keeping emotion out of it is the best best bet no matter what. I actually use a watch and do not go over 5 minutes per session. Also wondering why some people put everything under the sun in the dogs mouth to teach hold. I understand frozen bird, live bird, bumpers, etc... but a weighted dumbbell? Please explain the logic.
    I don’t use a “weighted” dumbbell, but I do sometimes use a “dumbbell” type dummy because the only comfortable place for the dog to hold it is in the middle. Using a variety of objects teaches the dog the fetch and hold mean exactly that no matter what the object. I have seen dogs that even after FF (although poor FF IMHO) will only reluctantly pick up a nasty bird or shy away from an unknown bird like a big goose. I will generally use my hand, small piece of PVC pipe, a dumbbell, small frozen bird, large frozen bird, and fresh birds.
    Don’t skimp on your FF, it is probably the most meaningful lesson you will ever teach your dog.
    Views and opinions expressed herein by Badbullgator do not necessarily represent the policies or position of RTF. RTF and all of it's subsidiaries can not be held liable for the off centered humor and politically incorrect comments of the author.
    Corey Burke

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