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squirrel shooter

Lab not wanting to hand dummy over

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Posted (edited)

Hi my 2 year old lab has developed a habbit of not wanting to surrender the dummy to me after a retrieve, when i issue the command 'dead' and go to take it out of her mouth she keeps turning her head not wanting me to have it back.

Any advice greatfully recieved! 

Edited by squirrel shooter

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It is probably worth going back a stage as she is just being immature. She is obviously coming in okay so that is the big plus. I would sit on the ground, give her a retrieve and call her in. Make a fuss of her but don’t take the dummy and just get her used to being with you holding the dummy. Give say ten or twenty seconds and then whilst still making a fuss give the dead command and hopefully she will release. Take it and then give it back with the hold command same again and see how it goes. If you can crack that do it with a standing retrieve, same again.

You are trying to achieve a security that giving up the dummy isn’t the end of it. Sometimes giving an immediate retrieve works, as does offering a treat but it can result in spitting the retrieve out which you don’t want.

One of the things I do to avoid this developing is teach my dogs to put their nose into my palm whenever they come to me. This is the basis of a good delivery and you could perhaps try this even at this relatively late age.

Hope it goes well, good luck.

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I agree with Dave. Many people rush to grab the dummy from the dog which can lead to spitting or worse, a tug of war. Young dogs need praise first, the dummy isn’t the prize, the getting back with it for a fuss is. With young pups I practise retrieve and delivery almost as separate entities. Delivery is done with heel work: heel for a short walk, sit, present, praise, dummy given back to sat dog, heel repeat.... On retrieves I leave the dog with the dummy for the praise whilst knelt down, ignore the dummy somewhat, give a cuddle. If the pup spits the dummy then all praise stops until it is picked. It becomes clear to the dog that you are not trying to snatch the dummy, they get confidence and then always happy to deliver. I also practice repossession of treats like rib bones with “leave” command, give-take, give-take, give... so the dog knows I can take anything off it but it will get something back. 

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Ask someone to video the retrieve / delivery and post it up here if you can. There will be lots of little pointers. Also it is often to see your own mistakes from an external perspective. 

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