anyone got any ideas for making a dumbbell remotely interesting in a obedience ring?
First of all I do a lot of proofing before I go into the ring. Then I do lots and lots of retrieves in all kinds of settings--parks, run-thrus, school yards, etc. The more going on the better. If you have a solid retrieve outside the ring you'll get a solid one in the ring with the proofing.
UCDX GRCH Dunn's Marsh Caleb of Waltona UDX3, OM3, RAE Canadian UD, RE
FallRiver's Micah of Waltona GN RAE, Canadian CD, RN
About the only things that you can do would be to throw it with your left hand (closer by the dogs head/eyes) and throw it flater (Not a high arc) or higher (more of an arc). You could try a different dumbbell.
Not sure if this is exactly what you are asking... If your lab is just more interested in other things in the ring rather than fetching back the dumbbell then you need to start proofing in very distracting places and rewarding heavily for retrieves performed in such situations. you might also stop playing ball or anything like that for a while while you proof. Only do retrieves as you would in the ring require holds untill you send and then reward greatly for a retrieve.
there are two real problems lack of drive for the dumbell and distractions. always leave your dog wanting more retrieves, never train till your dog loses interest in the "game"
The other option is training a forced fetch. Some people don't like training forced fetches but all dogs that I have seen have come thru the process with an incredible drive and enjoyment for retrieving. If you do decide to train a forced fetch make sure you understand the whole process and don't skip any steps. It may seem silly to start again by placing a dumbell in their mouth and making such small steps such as 1 inch retrieves and 6 inch retrieves and then 1 foot and then arm length then off the ground then leash length etc..but you have to do the whole process. Once you have it done though it works great on every dog.
Kelly and Amber
Murray HATED the dumbell. Dispised it, in fact. I ended up teaching him the ROF and ROH using a white training dummy. I carried the dumbbell with me everywhere I went and wouldn't allow him to touch it. It was MINE, all mine. One day when we were training, I tossed the dumbbell instead of the training dummy. Murray went right out and brought back as if he had been doing it all along.
I also tease with the dumbbell in the ring. I rev Murray up but won't let him have it until the fetch.Remember, if you want to try this, that you can not give the stay signal with the same hand that you use to toss the dumbbell. That means if you throw with your left hand, you would have to use a voice command or use your right hand to give the stay signal.Originally Posted by KzunellIf you decide to use force fetch...DO NOT use your dumbbell for this. It may cause the dog to have a further aversion to the dumbbell. Use wooden dowels instead.Originally Posted by Kzunell
Yes don't use the dumbbell at first for forced fetch work. But do use alot of different things as you progress. I have about 20+ different items that I work through that include metal, wood, plastic, leather, cloth and even a dried out corncob. Our dumbell sits on the desk in my room and Amber wants it most of all because she doesn't get to retrieve it very often. The only real trouble we had was with a big canvas training bumper. All other bumpers we have were no problem but this one she doesn't really like. (I think because it is so big around) And yes carrying around the dumbbell and not letting her have it will also help. Labs are alot like 3 year old kids they want what you don't want them to have, so you convince the lab that this is a very special toy..
Kelly and Amber
I know that quite a few people start force fetch by using paint rollers. They are good size and soft.
Ok, I have a little bit of progress! I have been teasing it with him for the whole day, but its MINE...until about an hour ago when I threw it! he came straight back and i gave him loadsa fuss. I'm working on it so it will become the toy he would sell his sole for! and the first day we have progress!!Murray HATED the dumbell. Dispised it, in fact. I ended up teaching him the ROF and ROH using a white training dummy. I carried the dumbbell with me everywhere I went and wouldn't allow him to touch it. It was MINE, all mine. Wink One day when we were training, I tossed the dumbbell instead of the training dummy. Murray went right out and brought back as if he had been doing it all along.
I also tease with the dumbbell in the ring. I rev Murray up but won't let him have it until the fetch.