Friday, December 17, 2010

Totally Fetching - Part 2

Part 1 - Click Here

At this point, your dog should be very interested in his toy and offering teeth grabs. If not, keep working at it. Do you need a more attractive toy? Maybe you need to drag the toy faster and further to stimulate prey drive. Are you clicking & treating (C&T) frequently? Do not let too much time pass between clicks or the toy's value to the dog will not grow. Make the dog feel really awesome about all silly interactions resulting in a C&T. I did not show much of that with Seven in Part 1 because she was quick to offer the teeth grab so I focused on that.In this video, I raise my criteria for Seven. I am no longer satisfied with teeth grabs as I want to her to pick up the toy. So I C&T when the toy is lifted up off the ground. Secondly, I would like for her to pick up the toy without me having to move it. I want her to pick it up just because it is in front of her. Gradually, I reduce the amount of movement until the toy is sitting still, but the dog is still motivated to pick it up. At the end of this video I remove the leash from the toy.

If at anytime, your dog becomes confused. Take a step back. Continue to drag the toy and C&T for touches or teeth grabs. Do not let even a half a minute pass without C&Ting your dog for some success. Continuous positive feedback is important. It is what gets your dog excited about participating and playing with the toy.If your dog is doing a great job of lifting the toy up off the ground, start trying to put your hand on it. C&T as soon as you grasp the toy that is in your dog's mouth. Again, do not allow for a lot of time to pass between C&Ts. If you miss grabbing the toy a time or two, go back to C&Ting teeth grabs and pick ups. You do not want your dog to lose interest in the game.

Recall this in Part 1 - My dog is extremely interested in the toy and tries to run off with it. Skip Part 1 training. Your dog can start at a later step that I will point out in Part 2... Here is me pointing out your starting point.

Put your dog on leash so he cannot take off with the toy. Drop the toy and as soon as he picks it up, put your hand on it and shove a treat in his mouth. If you are super organized, feel free to use a clicker, but it is not necessary with a super toy motivated dog that is picking up the toy as soon as you drop it. Its more important that you use your hands for holding the leash, grabbing the toy, and shoving a treat in his mouth so he has a reason to let go. You are basically teaching him to trade the toy for a treat.

If my greyhound is a toy snatcher, I will yelp and make a big fuss if he touches me with his teeth. I do not wait till it hurts. I do not tolerate and will disagree with carelessness. He has to be careful around my skin.

At this point, the goal for everyone is to teach the dog to put the toy into your hand. You should start to notice your dog holding the toy if you are slow with your hand. Or if the dog drops the toy, you may notice him immediately pick it up and try again.

Hopefully this will keep you busy over the holidays. I will finish this series once the hustle and bustle is over.