23. Things To Remember When
Teaching Reaching For
The Dumbbell While Walking
Keep moving the dumbbell slowly AWAY from the dog.
Give the command ONCE.
Follow the "Take it!" command with praise.
Apply pressure on the collar by tugging at the leash held in the LEFT hand.
Give praise when you tug on the leash.
If your dog clamps her jaws together and refuses to open her mouth, apply STEADY pressure by holding the collar taut. Slip the dumbbell into the dog's mouth, release the pressure, and give praise and a pat. If response is slow, give a sharper tug on the collar.
When teaching your dog to HOLD, to CARRY, and to REACH for an object, be definite about your dog's training. When you give your dog something to hold, she should hold it until you take it away, providing it is a reasonable length of time. When you give her something to carry, she shouldn't drop it without permission. And when you tell her "Take it!" she should reach AT ONCE for what you tell her to take.
Perhaps you accomplished this training through play, and only minor corrections will be necessary. But if you failed your objective, be more demanding, so that you and your dog will make progress. After your dog learns to HOLD, to CARRY and to REACH on command, you can use RETRIEVE IN PLAY to get her to pick things up from the ground. Play combined with OBEDIENCE at this point keeps a dog happy. When dogs enjoy their work, results are more pleasing.
If there is no interest in games, owners should follow the procedure outlined in the next exercise, PICKING UP THE DUMBBELL FROM THE GROUND. Retrieving on command is a difficult exercise for amateur trainers to teach; but if they will take one step at a time, and thoroughly master it before going on to the next, even the most stubborn dog can be taught to retrieve on command. In time, the dog will actually enjoy this exercise.
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