So today Mom started teaching me a new cue/trick: Hold it. The cue means to take an object from Mom's hand and hold it until I am allowed to drop it. Mom is using positive reinforcement, clicker training and free shaping to teach me this, just as with anything she teaches me. We are using a flying ring/disk as I find this the easiest to hold onto and it is also one of my favourite toys, so I'm happy to hold on all day. The treats we are using are various 'Wagg' treats and 'MisFits' treats. As a jackpot reward when I do something extra good I get a bit of sausage or hot dog. The method we are using is the following:
1) Take the toy and hold it in front of your dog. When the dog gets interested and sniffs it, paws at it, licks it and makes contact with it in a any way, shape or form; click and treat. If the dog opens his mouth and touches the toy click and treat: THIS IS A JACKPOT MOMENT!!! A CRUCIAL MOMENT. GIVE THE DOG A SPECIAL REWARD OR PLAY WITH A TRAINING TOY. MAKE IT SPECIAL!!!!
2) Once the dog has touched it with their mouth do not click anything else. The dog should figure out at the mouthing brought on the fun and treats, so they will repeat it. When they do click and treat.
3)Slowly increase the challenge/criteria by making the amount of time the dog has to hold the object for longer before you click and treat.
4) Now you let go of the toy and let the dog hold onto it for a short while. Click and treat. Again make the time increase slow and click and treat.
5) When you are 97% certain that your dog will hold the toy when you give it to him, start introducing the verbal cue: Hold or Take it.
6) PRACTISE! PRACTISE! PRACTISE! PRACTISE!
If your dog isn't interested in the toy use a chew
Licks and Wags,