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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'd like to teach Roz to catch objects that I throw to her, like one of her toys or a treat. Is there any trick to doing this? So far I am just tossing her a stuffy over and over again and any time she catches it, clicking and giving her a treat. Is there a better, more gradual method of escalating to the catch that any of you might have used in the past? I think I should be picking a different action and clicking more often. (She's not very good at catching and is content to let them hit her then pick them up off the ground.) Should I click every time she opens her mouth to try and catch it rather than just letting it hit her? I'm new to clicker training, so this is probably super obvious.
 

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gotta ask my 8 year old how she does it... somehow she has taught Finn to catch and retrieve as well. She even tought drop it. Kinda cool. It took him a while to catch, but, she was consistent with trying and at 9 months pretty impressive. They have lots of fun together with a frisbee or ball.
 

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Chase was never played with, just sat outside 24/7 to 'guard' two acres of dirt :(

I really wanted to show him how fun it is to be a dog, and what is more fun than to let their pray drive take over. I got Chase interested in the toy by making it something he REALLY wants. I get him all fussy and excited and when he is watching the toy i throw it in the air.

His interest and retrieval skills are not the best, maybe after 3 throws he just likes to watch the toy land at his feet...then walk away lol.

Squeaky toys work best
 

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I think all dobes have it (just not every dog breed though).
And I don't do clicker training or bait with treats (totally against it)....100% eye focus & trained desire to please, is essential
I can make it happen, through earlier foundations of stimulating play sessions.

When Amy was much younger...I trained her to be a "baseball gold glove" with a pro-tennis ball.
- make her sit and bait her with my exciting voice, on a 1 hop ball
(if she misses the catch, it's fetch and return time and still fun - for all...still learning & playing)

Catching a ball became so routine and easy - I had to make the level of game difficultly more advanced.
- by throwing the tennis ball of my 24x30ft. garage roof...and the majority of the time, she caught the ball on the first bounce

So how did I do it so easy:

- trained 100% eye focus sitting on the living room floor with 3 skill building tasks
(fetch / soft bite control / play tug)
Once we went out side with a ball, Amy's attention was glued to me and my voice and fussing was her happy life motivation.
- master this "starting" concept / all dog training becomes so EASY
My dog was trained to catch a ball, in a few minutes...with her learning foundation.
Every day my son had great fun, making her catch a treat off her nose...lol...but Dad did the preliminary game/prey drive work.

AnonymouslyYours - how your getting a blank stare, from your dog re. catching a ball is no different then my late 1970's attempt in training my 1st dobe to fetch / and my early foundation work, was not a-building-block of skill & fun and games.
 

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I've been trying to teach Dreizehn to catch. I'll have him sit next to my boyfriend and toss a treat that he loves towards him. It tends to hit his face and then fall to the ground and I have my boyfriend pick up the treat so that Dreizehn doesn't get to eat it unless he legitimately catches it. It's been a few months and it's never worked :[ The treat hits him in his face and then he watches it fall to the ground.
 

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This is the size of the garage roof, AMY learned very quickly (like ASAP)...to catch a tennis ball off of - mostly on the 1st bounce.
(construction photo / sorry - new shingles going on)

My early puppy game work (sitting on the living room floor)...creates:
- constant eye focus/willingness to please/and command of my verbal expectations
(everything afterwards, is a "walk-in-the-park" easy training / hence, no treats or "clicker method" necessary)
Just the old fashion way, of training (any task)...and work on many dogs.
When you get it early...the dog is trained for life !!


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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
This is the size of the garage roof, AMY learned very quickly (like ASAP)...to catch a tennis ball off of - mostly on the 1st bounce.
(construction photo / sorry - new shingles going on)

My early puppy game work (sitting on the living room floor)...creates:
- constant eye focus/willingness to please/and command of my verbal expectations
(everything afterwards, is a "walk-in-the-park" easy training / hence, no treats or "clicker method" necessary)
Just the old fashion way, of training (any task)...and work on many dogs.
When you get it early...the dog is trained for life !!


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I only got Roz a few weeks ago, and she was 5.5 months old when I got her. Since this early puppy foundation work has not been done to build her drive to work for my pleasure, is it too late? Or do you have any games/recommendations for ways to build that same drive with a 6 month old? Just the same games but with more patience? :)
 

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I only got Roz a few weeks ago, and she was 5.5 months old when I got her. Since this early puppy foundation work has not been done to build her drive to work for my pleasure, is it too late? Or do you have any games/recommendations for ways to build that same drive with a 6 month old? Just the same games but with more patience? :)
I am heading out shortly...just wanted to give you a very quick reply.
- and I will construct a more clear direction / tonight (& thku for your interest)

MY #1 QUESTION IS:
- has ROZ mastered the "fetch" command yet ??
At this point, yes or no is not critical / I just need to know if you are putting the "apple cart before the horse".
I would love to work with a 5.5 month old puppy, but mileage is a barrier...so easy to just "show & tell".

Rest assured, he is at the perfect age for learning...but maybe not "catch" first.
- training is all about building the brick foundation before the wood wall framing gets erected

I need to know...were is ROZ now at and were are YOU...in his eye focus ??
- if I can figure this out...training him in a different order of tasks / will get the end result...you seek & quickly
And if we do it right (together)...early training will be all your dog needs, if not in the competitive ring.

Just an FYI:
I had shortcomings with my first dobe (1977) while I was learning to train.
- my 2000 pup was completely trained for life at 6.5 months old
- the difference was, I perfected a fun method of trust / respect / love / drive / focus / fun
- all with my early game play, on the house floor (confined together, on the living room / sitting at eye level)

ROZ is more than ripe @ his very young age (not to late, by any stretch)...re. just have to take a few steps back and reinvent the structured fun in learning.
- not difficult or late, with proper play work (1/2 hour/day)...BUT, I spent hours, cause it was so much fun and most rewarding

SEE YOU TONIGHT, more Roz help follows (I am excited, working with a little one) !!
- I wish I could hug & kiss him / or have him dropped off...lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
First, Roz is a girl. Haha, Roz is short for Rosaline. :)

Roz has not mastered the command "Fetch." The only commands she has actually mastered are sit, down, and go to crate. She will offer other behaviors that I have targeted, but she has not mastered them yet and I have not put them to a cue. (I have a LOT of trouble with adding a cue to a behavior.) I've also been doing the game where I hold a treat far away from my body and then click and treat her when she looks into my eyes instead of at the treat to work on focus. I've also been clicking and treating when she shifts her focus to me on walks.

I had a private trainer who I thought I was really happy with, but on our 4th session, he brought out a prong collar and wanted to use that to teach her to heel. I thought that it was possible to teach loose leash walking and heeling without using a prong collar, so I fired him. I have a different trainer coming tomorrow, and she is enrolled in a manners 101 group class that starts on Sunday.

As far as playing fetch, I have gotten her to the point where she will chase a ball MOST of the times that I throw it, and she will retrieve it and bring it back to my general vicinity. Sometimes, she brings it right back to me, sometimes she brings it back close to me and then lays down and starts chewing on it. I got her to start doing this by playing a little game of "tug" with the ball and praising her when she brought it back, then telling her to drop it, praising her when she let go, bouncing the ball a few times, acting super excited and then throwing it again. But I don't give any sort of command during these play sessions, just excitement and praise and the action of throwing.

So that is where we are. I am not sure if that really answered your question, but I can definitely elaborate further if it did not.

I'm excited! :)
 

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ok, I am very interested now too. I would love to build that relationship with my new pup where he looks at me waiting for the next command. Please share from step 1 if possible to help me understand your training principles.
LOVE 2 krjackso - help.

AnonymouslyYours - since I just got home, and am going to digest your last post and give my thoughts, tonight.
- my method does not involve a "treat or a click" which seems it's not working anyway...(no help this way / in food bribery)
- eye focus training with toys, lasts a lifetime and comes from mutual respect and desire to please 24/7
(even when pant pockets, are bare)

Me sorry ...Roz is a girl.
Please post a PIC. of her...love to see, whom we are training here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
AnonymouslyYours - since I just got home, and am going to digest your last post and give my thoughts, tonight.
- my method does not involve a "treat or a click" which seems it's not working anyway...(no help this way / in food bribery)
- eye focus training with toys, lasts a lifetime and comes from mutual respect and desire to please 24/7
(even when pant pockets, are bare)

Me sorry ...Roz is a girl.
Please post a PIC. of her...love to see, whom we are training here.
I realize that you don't use the clicker and treats, and if I could get Roz to the point that she eagerly worked for my praise and her toys, I would be thrilled. I just wanted you to know what I had been doing up to this point so you would have a clear picture of where we are.

Here is a quick picture of her. (Already posted this on FB, but I don't think I ever posted it on DT.)



Thank you so much!
 

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Here is Amy at ~3 months old...playing "gonna-get-you" with Dad / eye focus captured:

As a puppy, much time was spent just on the floor...training in a confined space (the living room):
- just a bonding photo...the key aspect of floor training, is getting your eye level to be comfortable with the dogs

My son, Amy & Dad...always a toy, always a loving conversation...going on:
- here Amy is baiting my son...she must think he wants the bone...lol...we fiddle with her toys and Amy loves the attention

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I will start with FETCH - my "A" list training task:
- bait the dog with the ball, all in good fun
- throw or roll ball, towards inside wall, and say command
- soon as Roz has ball in her mouth / say "COME", slapping your hands on your legs in excitement
- dog comes back and I use the "TA" word (after hug & kiss praising) to drop the ball or immediately play soft muzzle bite or substitute a "TUG" toy, as a game changer

Initially, the dog "always wins" the game...even if a little sloppy.
I always train & play on the living room floor...no outside distractions, in teaching.
Room is small enough, that the dog is not going to wonder off and loose focus.
Eye level is lowered, for the dogs benefit.

AnonymouslyYours - your on the right path by already starting your "fetch" routine.
Wait till this one task is mastered, then take the ball toss exercise outside, and redo.
When ball fetch gets perfected...its time to start the "catch" game.
Daily playing together, her eyes will start locking onto you...and I would constantly talk to her, with loads of fun & excitement....like your already doing.

ThkU for the photo of Roz, she is a very pretty girl. Hope some of this helps and I would be more than happy to expand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Beaumont67 -- Thank you so much! I will play this game with her tomorrow, all throughout the day, and report back with my progress.

One question I do have for you -- how do you know you are playing tug correctly? I have heard a lot about people playing it the wrong way. I just want to make sure I am doing it right.

I love pictures of Amy. I always look for them in the calendar entries. :) You certainly can see that she adores you!
 

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Anonymously - YoursThank you for the kind words...looking forward to your feedback.
When I play TUG, I want my dog to "play growl" at me and built up her confidence and prey drive.
I also use tug play to "muzzle" train" placing my hand on the dogs mouth&/or muzzle, while play growling.
- control this part of a dogs body, and one controls the dog

Also with "ball fetch" I will rotate my hand/fist/fingers in the dogs mouth and it has to immediately practice soft bite control.
- again: control this part of a dogs body, and one controls the dog

Just curious...what have you heard is the wrong way to play tug / I find this interesting ??


While Amy and I was outside:
I opened the house door...sent her in alone to "get your socky" - we played with it, and later I asked her to take her toy, back in.


Here I asked AMY to pickup a limb off a small tree I cut down - always give her a job to do:

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·

Just curious...what have you heard is the wrong way to play tug / I find this interesting ??
Nobody ever really elaborates when they warn me away from doing it wrong. That's partially why I asked. Haha. They always just say something to the effect of "Be careful playing tug with your dog. If you do it wrong, it builds aggression and leads to behavior problems." They never want to elaborate further. When I probed one such person about the right way and how to be sure I wasn't doing it wrong, she said, "Well, honestly I just don't play tug with my dog."

I love that Amy helps you clean up the yard! She looks so pleased with herself helping you with that stick. :) I definitely need to give Roz more jobs to do.

I am heading to bed but will check back in the morning. Thank you again for your help. Roz and I are going to have a great play day tomorrow giving this all a go!
 

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For the catching itself, I will third the popcorn suggestion, unless your dog has a corn intolerance. It is light and fluffy and big... it has great "hang time," is very visible in the air and is tasty. All of my catching dogs have learned on popcorn first.
 
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