Pup grabbing bumper by the eyelet/string

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Pup grabbing bumper by the eyelet/string

Postby dgram36 » Tue Jul 08, 2014 6:43 pm

My pup is 8 months old and I've run into a bit of a snag that I really can't figure out how to resolve. I just finished FF and my dog now has a bad habit of grabbing the bumper by the end like a cigar or even by the string at times. It's really annoying and I'm getting the feeling as if it's a means of avoidance, like he's saying "you can make me fetch this but you can't tell me how to bring it back." When he returns to me I simply put the bumper in his mouth the correct way, say "fetch" firmly and make him hold for a little while until I tell him to leave it. I am following "fowl dogs", I am part of a retriever club and I see a professional trainer every week for the better part of a day. Everyone that I ask about the issue tells me to do exactly what I've described. Place it back in his mouth the right way, and say fetch firmly. At times the bumper will be so insecure in his mouth when he returns that it will fall out and I'll ear pinch him to the ground to pick it back up. He's definitely hit a stubborn phase and after this I will begin to collar condition but I didn't want to move on until I've taken care of this issue. Any help will be appreciated. Thanks.


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Re: Pup grabbing bumper by the eyelet/string

Postby SC_YellowDawg » Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:09 pm

I am by no means a pro and I'm sure the resident experts will chime in here shortly so take my advice with a grain of salt...other than what you're already doing, I'd suggest also revisiting the hold part of FF and walking hold. I know what you mean by the loose hold and cigaring, mine tried the same thing for awhile but a cuff under the chin and correcting the grip during the hold part of FF snuffed that fairly quickly.
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Re: Pup grabbing bumper by the eyelet/string

Postby dgram36 » Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:35 pm

Thanks for your advice. The weird thing is that once I reposition the bumper in his mouth, he holds and does a walking fetch very well. If he holds it loose he does get popped under the chin. It's almost as though he knows as long as he's out of my reach, he can mess around with the bumper. Once within reach he doesn't mess around as much.


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Re: Pup grabbing bumper by the eyelet/string

Postby SC_YellowDawg » Tue Jul 08, 2014 8:25 pm

dgram36 wrote:...It's almost as though he knows as long as he's out of my reach, he can mess around...


I would say he thinks the fetch standard only applies at close range or with your hands on him. Is he doing this when you're just throwing fun bumpers or marking drills or what? Lots of folks suggest stop throwing marks until the dog is finished with FF, probably for these reasons.

How far did you space out walking fetch before going to him fetching without your hands on him? Did you start back close in when fetching without contact? I would move to CC to fetch. Start back with what he responds well too and knows (the ear pinch) and phase in the e-collar paired with the pinch.
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Re: Pup grabbing bumper by the eyelet/string

Postby swampbilly 1980 » Tue Jul 08, 2014 9:05 pm

Well- how'd FF'go? Did pup cigar objects then?

For me this stuff of having a big HOLD lesson after a retrieve can suck the fun right out of --> retrieving in general, so be careful with these doldrum types of lessons on the line like that.

Keep those lessons separate, you don't want all this pressure while retrieving. "Placing it back in his mouth commanding HOLD", is something that was hopefully done in FF'.
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Re: Pup grabbing bumper by the eyelet/string

Postby dgram36 » Wed Jul 09, 2014 4:38 am

He doesn't do the cigar thing unless he is far enough away where I can't get my hands on him. I will revisit walking fetch and start close in and see if I can transition him through it. I am also worried about making the retrieve a dull thing, I've been trying like hell to stay positive with him but the last two days I've turned the pressure up on him and I think if I stay that course it will have negative effects.


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Re: Pup grabbing bumper by the eyelet/string

Postby Tanner01 » Wed Jul 09, 2014 4:49 am

Use the larger bumpers, if you are not already and remove the ropes. Go back to hold in a F.F. environment.
Ever time the dogs has a loose grip knock it out of his mouth and force fetch to the bumper. I appreciate a soft mouth but a loose sloppy hold is unacceptable. Careful how you do this, it should be done in a modified training session with that the goal and purpose. You don't want to sour the dog on the retrieve. Sometimes the dog cleans it up themselves as they advance in training, when they start to run hard they don't want to drop it.
Real birds can help also, if it is attitude related.
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Re: Pup grabbing bumper by the eyelet/string

Postby Duck Diver » Wed Jul 09, 2014 5:12 am

I didnt read all the comments but -

Keep in mind its July - I'm not sure where you live. But the heat/panting certainly isn't helping the hold on my dog.


I'm sure there are some folks on here demanding a solid hold on 110 degree day after a 300 yard retrieve...but I'm giving mine a little slack.
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Re: Pup grabbing bumper by the eyelet/string

Postby dgram36 » Wed Jul 09, 2014 5:16 am

Tanner01 wrote:Use the larger bumpers, if you are not already and remove the ropes. Go back to hold in a F.F. environment.
Ever time the dogs has a loose grip knock it out of his mouth and force fetch to the bumper. I appreciate a soft mouth but a loose sloppy hold is unacceptable. Careful how you do this, it should be done in a modified training session with that the goal and purpose. You don't want to sour the dog on the retrieve. Sometimes the dog cleans it up themselves as they advance in training, when they start to run hard they don't want to drop it.
Real birds can help also, if it is attitude related.


Thanks for the advice, I will try this as well.


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Pup grabbing bumper by the eyelet/string

Postby dgram36 » Wed Jul 09, 2014 5:18 am

Duck Diver wrote:I didnt read all the comments but -

Keep in mind its July - I'm not sure where you live. But the heat/panting certainly isn't helping the hold on my dog.


I'm sure there are some folks on here demanding a solid hold on 110 degree day after a 300 yard retrieve...but I'm giving mine a little slack.


I live in the northeast and I do my work with him after 8pm. Even still the heat may have played a part in it. He doesn't seem to do it at all when we are working in the water, just on land.


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Re: Pup grabbing bumper by the eyelet/string

Postby ScaupHunter » Wed Jul 09, 2014 12:48 pm

My 2.5 year old is great on hold all the way back to hand until she gets a bit warm, or tired. Then she can get a bit sloppy on the firm but gentle hold.

I found that the cigarring went completely away after CC and sessions that specifically focused on a nick and Hold command during the retrieve. Giving her a low level nick when she started mouthing or being sloppy on the hold during the retrieve fixed her lightly rolling the bumper in her mouth while running back to deliver to hand. The dog knows what she is supposed to do and will still try and do it the convenient way if she thinks she can. Dogs are just like young kids. They are going to try everything they do in a bunch of ways and will do what they want when they think they can get away with it.
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