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    69 - Discover successful fetch or retrieve

    69 - Discover successful fetch or retrieve

    This is an extension of the shared game that you taught your dog in way 18. Now he knows the joy of sharing a game with you and does not feel threatened if he has anything in his mouth when he is around you, you are going to shape a more controlled retrieve using the clicker and this will form the basis of some of our future exercises.

    Starting work

    1. Sit on a chair or stool and drop one of your dog's toys on the floor just in front of you. When he looks at it, click and treat. Repeat this a couple of times.

    2. When your dog looks at and then moves 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 a couple of times.

    4. Wait to see if he will then pick up the toy. Click and treat.

    5. Withhold the click to encourage your dog to hold on to the toy for longer. If he drops the toy, stay neutral and wait until he has picked it up again and held it for a couple of seconds before you click and treat.

    6. Continue to slowly shape the retrieve until your dog is consistently picking up the toy and then moving towards you with the toy in his mouth.

    Cookie targets the toy

    Cookie hears the click and looks for a treat

    Cookie picks up the toy and returns it to Marie

    Shape the retrieve until your dog is picking up the toy and moving towards you

    Increasing the skill level

    The next stage is to put one hand under or on the toy while it is in your dog's mouth; click as the dog releases it directly into your hand and treat (make sure the clicker is in your other hand and well away from the dog's ears!). Continue to shape this behavior until your dog is able to take up the sit position on cue while still holding the toy. Be patient; some dogs ind it easier to multi-task than others (and trust us, this has nothing to do with whether they are male or female!). Now shape the behavior until your dog retrieves when you are in a standing position too. Remember to keep your body language neutral. Avoid staring directly at him or leaning over towards him as he approaches you. When your dog understands what is required, begin to add a retrieve cue such as 'fetch' or 'pick it up' ('Pick it up?' We hear you cry, 'Surely dogs can only work with single, one-syllable words?' 'Not true', we cry back.) Now you can begin to throw the toy and he knows exactly how to bring it back for his reward of a game or a treat.

    Oz (and Marie) are enjoying the benefits of a game on the beach. Teaching a fetch and retrieve enables you to keep your dog engaged with you when out and about, and gives him more physical and mental stimulation than he would get by simply walking by your side

    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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