CLICKER RETRIEVES
by Deborah Jones, Ph.D. Copyright, 2001

Foundation games

2 treats/toys
Get the mouse!
Treat retrieves
Tennis glove
Tug & out
Trade?
Motivated fetch (hold back)
Retrieve race (w/trainer)
Run away retrieves (hurry back)

Trained, rather than play retrieve. All dogs proceed at different rates. However, the basic steps and techniques are the same.

TRAINING STEPS:

I. With dumbbell in your hand, close to you

1. Look at dumbbell
2. Move towards dumbbell
3. Sniff dumbbell
4. Touch w/nose
5. Touch with mouth/teeth
6. Put mouth over bar
7. Close mouth over bar
8. Hold in closed mouth
9. Increase hold duration

II. With dumbbell placed on floor within 3 ft. of you

10. Look at dumbbell
11. Move towards dumbbell
12. Sniff the dumbbell
13. Touch w/ nose
14. Touch w/mouth/teeth
15. Put mouth over bar
16. Close mouth over bar
17. Pick up off of floor
18. Increase vertical distance off floor
19. Turn towards trainer w/dumbbell in mouth
20. Move one step towards trainer
21. Increase number of steps towards trainer
22. Bring dumbbell to trainer

III. Adding distance

23. Toss dumbbell. CT for pick-up
24. CT later & later on return
25. CT when dog reaches handler
26. Increase toss distance
27. Yo-yo distances

IV. Adding precision

28. Sit in front & hold
29. Add duration to hold in front
30. Sit in front & out
31. Add distance to return to front & hold

V. Adding requirements

Retrieve over jump
Proof for send anticipation (stimulus control)
Proof for distractions

Solutions for common problems:

Playing with the object, including keep away: 2 treats/toys, trade, on leash work. Shorter, calmer retrieves. Place object rather than throw it.

Mouthing: size & type of retrieve object. Position of head.

Anticipation: NEVER CORRECT, just don’t reinforce. Reinforce the stay instead.

Fun & useful retrieves

Phone
Leash
Carry / Bring
Recycle
Put toys away
Scent work

 

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