Need Help!!
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Thread: Need Help!!

  1. #1

    Default Need Help!!

    I have a 7 month old boykin who loves retrieving and has pretty solid basic obedience. However, I am having extreme difficulty with delivery to hand. I can say here and he'll come full speed but will drop the bumper. I decided to start working on hold which was going very well on a table as he would hold an object for however long but when I tried to get him to walk with bumper in mouth it was like he couldn't focus on both. He wont move out of his sit position and eventually will drop the bumper then walk. I need some help on delivery to hand and what I could do to get him to walk with bumper in his mouth. I have not done any true force fetch other than accepting the hand and holding a wooden stick. Thanks a lot

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  3. #2
    Senior Member bshaf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Central PA


    Pending he's pretty much done teething... Guessing you're asking too many things at once. What we see as very small additions may be big distractions/complications to the dog. Try simplifying the task and take baby steps.

    I had good luck teaching "hold" until it was pretty solid, he would walk, sit, figure 8, go up and down stairs, and ultimately heel for an extended walk (5 minutes or so). Then I taught "fetch" from my hand using excitement as shown by Hillman's fetch video. Tying these together was pretty easy as I took a long time on these steps as it was my first time. I never used a table, but as others will relay, the transition from table to ground and hand to ground is harder for some dogs than others. Small steps, be patient, and calm. He may be unsure of what you're asking. Good luck.
    Last edited by bshaf; 12-15-2015 at 03:16 PM.
    Brett Shaffer

  4. #3
    Senior Member Tobias's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015


    Walking and chewing gum at the same time. Progress sowly and get him to move just one step. Or to just stand up and then take the bumper or dowel. Repeat and continue to ask for just a little bit more movement as he gains confidence and understanding.
    The way I look at it, every dog is an opportunity to be a better trainer, and every day is a new day to be a better trainer to the same dog we trained yesterday.

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  6. #4


    I think he's associating the word hold with sitting down and therefore thinks that hold also means to sit. I'm gonna work more on hold as time progresses but still don't see how to translate that to walking. Thanks

  7. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Western, KY


    Take it slow and be patient. My pup and I are working on this very thing right now. He was holding great on the table, no mouthing, would hold as long as I wanted to, etc. When we moved to the ground in the sit position it just took him a few tries to understand that the same rules applied on the ground. However, when we started doing OB commands it all went out the window. Don't get frustrated or upset, just be consistent in your training and simplify things.

    I walked him through his commands while holding his muzzle and commanding hold until he wasn't fighting it or trying to drop anymore. Then I would slowly start letting him do it on his own and he would drop it some but I would quickly put it back in his mouth and command hold. He showed improvement day to day until now we can go through it with very few drops. Same as you, no FF or anything at this point, just learning hold. Do a few sessions a day, be patient, and by this weekend I bet you will see significant improvement.

  8. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Southern Maine


    Dogs don't generalize well. That fact affects ALL dog training. Seems to me your pup may think "hold" means "sit on table with bumper in mouth". I would slowly start adding different factors to "hold", to "reteach" that command - before you try to get him to walk with bumper. He needs to learn hold means "keep the item in your mouth", not all the other things he has incidently incorporated into his hold command - such as remaining in a sit position on the table. Actually he won't budge with dummy in his mouth BECAUSE you have taught him hold so well, LOL. He is doing exactly what he was taught. He can't sit and walk at same time
    My suggestion....while you are sitting on couch watching TV with dog standing next to you - have him hold(you'll have to start with VERY brief hold). Then try calling him over when you are standing in middle of a room, and have him sit and hold. Find as many places as possible, and vary whether he is sitting or standing, such as sitting in kitchen, standing outside by back door, in the laundry room, the driveway, etc etc. Praise the heck out of him, and reward for these new hold positions as soon as he gets an inkling of what's going on You need to vary it up right away, not just switch location - don't want him just to think "Oh, he wants me to do this when TV is on, not on table anymore"
    Not sure if you are following a specific "program", but as is constantly stated here on really need to. Opinions vary here on which trainer to choose, but all seem to agree to pick ONE.
    You mentioned you "have not done any true FF". I strongly suggest you watch Bill Hillman's online videos, and if you like his approach to training(which I am guessing you may) should get his videos. He has a separate DVD titled "The Fetch Command", which is great....but you need to incorporate ALL his training steps in order to properly follow his program. Actually, I suggest you contact Bill directly, describe what you have done with pup so far, and ask which of his videos you should buy first. Many overlap, you do not need them all, plus he has posted lots of important points on YouTube. *note - many have followed Hillman's puppy programs, then switched to Lardy or others for continued guidance, yet Bill has now gone beyond puppy DVDs, with Retriever Training Fundamentals: part 1-Land and part 2-Water
    Last edited by dogluvah; 12-16-2015 at 08:40 AM.

  9. #7
    Senior Member KwickLabs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Roscoe, IL


    What is your pup's motivation to hold? What's in it for him? If it is because you need him to.....change that approach.
    Jim Boyer

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