First, I just want to say Hi to everyone! I have been traveling in and out, so Riley and I have missed about 5 classes. Agh! We are still working on loose leash. I have been reading a couple of good sites tonight and decided that we need to go back to the basics on this one.
Anyway, I like to teach something fun in between the required stuff. What is the best way to teach her to hold something in her mouth. I try to give her a grocery bag and she is so excited, she won't take it. Tonight, I tried to teach her to hold a towel and take it to my hubby in the pool. No dice!
Thanks for the help!
You can start with a thick dowel (8 to 10 inches long) and place it in her mouth and hold her mouth closed while telling her "good hold, good hold". Only make her hold it for a few seconds and ask her to "give". I would only use the dowel for now and when she knows that consistantly progress to other objects. What you are teaching is the beginning of retrieves.
"In moments of joy all of us wished we possessed a tail we could wag." W. H. Auden
Linda, Kona and Bo
I started teaching the hold with my gloved hand in Murray's mouth. I put my gloved hand in his mouth and held it there while saying "hold" and "give" to release. Just like Linda, I started with just a second or tow and I gradually increased the time. Eventually I just slipped my hand out of the glove while it was still in his mouth. Then I went to proofing by tugging gently on the portions of the glove that were hanging out of his mouth. At first, he would release the glove on the first tug but eventually he learned to hold on snuggly until I gave him the release. My trainer told me to use this glove method so I could tell if he was actually gripping or just barely holding on. I could also correct mouthing immediately.