fenella wrote:I have some idea, but since some of you are into protection sports, etc., I thought maybe you'd have some other ideas for me. Nittany has a VERY soft mouth (she is a golden mix). I have never been able to get her to tug. If my hand is on it, she lets it go. This is good when she picks up something she shouldn't, but is an issue in flyball.
Now, she may never see the tug as reinforcing enough to use it as her reward, but she barely holds onto the ball. She just sort of lets it roll out of her mouth when she is running sometimes. She doesn't adjust to hold onto it...just blllaaaah and out it rolls. In general, I can't get her to take things (asking her to hold something in her mouth...she just lets it drop right out), so training her to carry a dumbell, a leash, whatever won't work right now. Some of her flyball dropping issue is that she's new and a bit distracted, but it happens in practice, too. I've tried the tugs from Clean Run that are mesh and let the treats ooze out as they chomp on them, but she just licks them. Then she gets a little frustrated, but she lays down and waits for me to give it to her (which I don't). She does like squeaky toys, so I've tried getting her to hold those, but again, no real grip and if I am touching it in any way, she won't take it at all. We've experimented with textures and materials, too.
As a retriever-mix, I get that the soft mouth is what it is...in fact, Nittany has high prey drive and has gotten a few birds, but just mouths them and tosses them around...not a mark on them (as nature intended). Is there a way to train a bit of a stronger grip?
Now, I still want her to give things to me on command. This http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzqs54qMgQA would be AWESOME (plus, it is a funny video), but even a little tighter grip on the ball would be good. (I don't want to train it by holding her mouth closed on it)
She is pretty clicker savvy (though not as much as Murph). Just in case you are wondering, no issues with her teeth, and I have never punished her for taking something...she came to me this way at a year old.
furever_pit wrote:Have you looked at Ivan Balabanov's methods at all? I used a dowel with a rope on one side to teach Dylan to hold the item while in a heel position. Marked and rewarded for holding the item and to teach a harder grip I would take the rope and give a slight jerk to show the dog that he could lose it at any time. We then worked on bringing the hold to my front.
I'm approaching it differently with Cairo and have tied it in to the end of a retrieve where he comes to my front and I keep the tug alive (but not enough to make the dog want to out and out tug, you just want him to hold on). Sometimes I take the toy, and sometimes I let him keep it. It fools him enough to keep him bringing things back to me. heehee.
Good luck with Nittany.
LisaM wrote: I also do NOT switch up toy rewards based on what she likes best...I use your typical ball on a string and when I show her that ball, she better get on it.... if she doesn't then I will make life a little uncomfortable for her
LisaM wrote:she actually has a good amount of fight drive! !
katiek0417 wrote:LisaM wrote:she actually has a good amount of fight drive! !
Fight drive...I hate this term...most people believe that fight isn't really a drive, per se, but actually comes as a channelling between prey and defense...
amazincc wrote:Sorry... I don't compete w/my dogs, so I might be way off here... but it sounds to me, in comparison, that you'd be *smacking* your kid around because he/she likes reading more than playing baseball... where's the fun in that???
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