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Thread: Holding the bumper CORRECTLY

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011

    Default Holding the bumper CORRECTLY

    My 6 month old is going through hold and will begin force fetch on monday. She is solid on her OB retrieves to hand and HOLD is coming along nicely.....BUT

    About a month ago she begin to get sloppy with the way she held the bumber on retrieves (holding by end, cigaring the bumper etc.) I attributed it to teeth coming in and I still believe it has something to do with it.

    Today in our hold and beginning Fetch session she did fine held it and even reach to fetch the bumper BUT she wants to reach for the ends and not the middle. If i cover the ends with my hands she fetches fine but immediately starts mouthing it to work to the end.

    Is this a normal problem that I must work through

    How do you encourage holding in the middle

    How do you get the concept across that the middle is the correct way ...I always move the bumper to the middle but it just seems that she may not be understanding that the end is bad and middle is good.

  2. #2


    Hold is a command. A reinforceable command. A sloppy hold leads to dropping. Dropping has consequences.
    When a dog holds sloppy I may tap the bumper with my hand to solidify the hold. If I knock it out of the dogs mouth I correct for that. Place it back in the dogs mouth and then try to tap it out again. They learn this pretty quick.
    If they do this on retrieve and deliver back this way I may knock it out like before or I may ask the dog to transition into walking beside me without taking the bumper. Most times they will drop it once walking along beside me. Then I correct the same way. Over time they will learn to get a better grip knowing that I will challenge there hold.


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