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19 - Introduce the fun retrieve

19 - Introduce the fun retrieve

Puppies and young dogs will pick up things they should not have because they naturally explore with their mouths. A young dog will rapidly form the idea that a fantastic game can be had if he grabs something that he knows will make humans chase him. He will very quickly learn that this can be a great attention-seeking device.

Puppies use their mouths to understand and learn about their world

  1. If he helps himself to something, regardless of what has been taken, quell your desire to scream or pursue your dog; simply call him.
  2. Run in the opposite direction if necessary (sob quietly if you need to cry). This will trigger him to follow you.
  3. Praise your dog calmly on his arrival at your side, and trade by inviting him to have a game with one of his own toys. He will learn that he gains your attention and has more fun playing with articles that he is allowed.

Encouraging play

If you have a dog that doesn’t seem interested in toys, you can encourage him by working through the following sequence:

  1. Put a toy on the ground and when your dog looks at it, click and treat. Repeat this a couple of times.
  2. When your dog looks at and then begins to move towards the toy, click and treat. Repeat a couple of times.
  3. Wait until your dog moves forward and touches the toy. Click and treat and repeat so that your dog understands the game.
  4. Continue to slowly shape the behavior until your dog is picking up the toy.
  5. Once he has grasped the idea that you want him to pick up the toy, call him to you as he picks it up and turn away to encourage him to come to you. If he drops the toy, encourage him to go and pick it up again.

Run in the opposite direction if necessary – this will trigger your dog to follow you

From 100 Ways to Train the Perfect Dog, Copyright by Sarah Fisher, licensed through ContentOro, Inc and used by arrangement with D & C

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