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Open Roads Forum  >  RV Pet Stop

 > Getting my Golden Retriever to "Drop It"

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BENT ARROW

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Posted: 03/14/06 05:12pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I may have started our Golden Retriever off on the wrong feet. I love to toss any and all of his toys across the yard, he loves to bring them back but then I feel like I may pull his teeth out before I get them back. Show him a treat and he drops them but is that the only way? He has learned a lot in 14 months but this is like a brick wall.


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Dernhelm

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Posted: 03/14/06 05:29pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

sounds like you're almost going about it the right way. toss toy, when he comes back show him the treat and say firmly "drop it!" and give him the treat. IMMEDIATELY throw the toy again for several repetitions. The real reward is throwing the toy. While you're going thru this, don't play tug at all for like 4 weeks. I also recommend, after a couple of days of toss-treat-"drop it!"-toss repetitions, replace the treat with very gently cuing him to drop it by touching his cheek where the jaw joins; you shouldn't have to actually force his mouth open. Maybe once. He should learn Drop it! really quickly if it's connected to a great reward like a treat or tossing the toy again.

A good command to learn, in case the dog picks up something it shouldn't like, say, a kitten or bird.....


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Posted: 03/14/06 05:53pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Since he knows how to drop it you dont need to train the action. He knows that. You need to train him to do it on verbal command. You need to teach him a word that triggers the action. You also need to do it with the least amount of compulsion as possible to avoid lowering his drive to play fetch.

Choose a word like OUT or DROP IT and stick with that word. You are going to use operant conditioning to pair the word with the action.

Throw the ball. Reward him with praise as he comes back to you. Dont go to him. He needs to know that you are letting him play with your toy. Say the word of choice even though he doesnt know it and immediately show another play item or treat. The second he drops the item throw the new toy or treat. The timing is what get the association to the dog. Dont make him wait. He needs to be immediately rewarded. He doesnt know that he is dropping anything. You are rewarding the action of him letting go with his mouth. The sequence is command, desired action, reward. This is building association ( positive association).

For very high drive dogs, and retreivers ( hunting dogs by design) can be high drive.

After you have done the above. Put his collar on and a short pull tab ( 12 inches). When he comes to you with the toy grab the pull tab with out him seeing your hand go to it. You can be rewarding his return to you and reinforcing the come command by petting the head and neck area. This will make it easier to get the pull tab. Say your new word ( with authority but not volume) and give a light correction towards yourself. In otherwords you pull the tab towards your self which will transmit that you administered it. Do not have some one pull from behind. This will trigger a fuller bite on the item. You want to pop the leash as light as possible to get the desired response. It does not need to be hard. But it should come quick. The surprise it what works in most pups with zero compulsion. Sequence is command, correction, desired response, reward. If he drops item eliminate correction.


Remember to praise, praise, praise. And you end the game before he loses interest.


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xthread

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Posted: 03/14/06 05:58pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Bent Arrow, I am new to this, but this topic, I have to answer. We went through the same thing with our Lab.We had two tennis balls, tossed one, he'd retrieve it, but absolutely would not drop it.Then, we'd toss the second, he'd drop the first, chase the second. It didn't take long until he got the message.





snowhawkwoman

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Posted: 03/14/06 06:44pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Don't you just love goldens!! Our guy is 6 months old - he is now learning "drop it" - never had to teach him to fetch and retrieve - he did that on his own first time I threw his toy! - he heels already, does sit and down - Golden's are so dang smart! The other day we were out in the field and he scared up a rabbit - he froze and didn't chase it - just looked at us for direction! That's just instinct! (if our Yorkie could get thru the high grass she would have been GONE - she loves chasing small prey!!) I've been training him the same way as Dernhelm - ours will do about anything for a treat!


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bdpreece

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Posted: 03/14/06 11:34pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Remember you have to be smarter than the dog to train it!! Thats been a problem for me.

Goldens; Love on a leash.


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Deb and Ed M

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Posted: 03/15/06 08:13am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Another trick, in case you don't have a treat or another toy to throw: as you take a hold of the item, give the command to drop or whatever, and if they don't immediately release, stick your finger into their mouth and poke the roof of their mouth.

It's how you get a stubborn horse to open their mouth and take a bit.

Deb


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Tweety Girl

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Posted: 03/15/06 08:44am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Golden Retrievers aren't only smart about their toys they also know how to play escape artist from their pens.

My Nicky will get his nose in one of the openings and lift the door up and unlatch it. Now we have to actually lock him in.

We now call him Houdini.


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BENT ARROW

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Posted: 03/15/06 08:49am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the guidance everyone. This is the most loving and eager to please dog we have had. I don't think there will be a problem now that I have some idea from your posts.
Tweedy-- I just read your post before mine was posted, ours looks long and hard at the kennel latch every time I close the door, you can see he's thinking it's to simple to keep him in.

* This post was edited 03/15/06 08:55am by BENT ARROW *

Code2High

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Posted: 03/16/06 01:05am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My golden retriever taught herself to drop it. I just never pick up her toy to throw it until she drops it. They figure it out pretty darn quick. Of course, like every decent retriever I've ever had, she's a cat. She's golden, though!

Now for the dogs (none of whom have ever been worth beans as retrievers, regardless of breed) I teach and use "spit" instead of drop it. They seem to get what that means the first time they hear it. And if they don't spit, I simply take hold of the dog, open up its mouth, and remove the item. Just like any other command, say it and then cause it to happen.


susan

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