I Believe in the same as Evan. Walking hold with distractions. When this is done I move on. Has worked well for me and should for you to.Like other skills, your objective is not perfection because dogs don't become perfect. Your goal is to understand what you wanted from the start...what this skill (in this case "Hold") should look like. You then shape that behavior through training, and measure your progress by how well your dog's behavior matches those goals as you go along.
How much, then, is enogh before moving on? When those goals are met consistently, day to day.
Because motion tends to disrupt a dog's concentration on a task, I believe "Hold" must be consistent through Walking Hold; the dog walking at heel without mouthing or dropping the fetch object. If you believe that is consistently being done as you like, move on to ear pinch.
Pretty close to what I do also. I like to heel them some while they're holding and walking with me.I'm with Evan except I take it one step further. I put him in a remote sit position with bumper in mouth. Then call him to me (on a lead) and make him sit, either in front or at heel position. Then take bumper. Then IMHO you are ready to move on.
Edit: distance can be short, just 15 yds or so.
Yep! Walking Hold. I like Wayne's idea as well because it goes hand in hand with the same principles, so it would futher 'proof' the dog's hold.Pretty close to what I do also. I like to heel them some while they're holding and walking with me.
Then on to force fetch.