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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How do you teach a dog not to shake when he comes out of the water? I'm afraid that if Tito comes out with the duck and drops it to shake, he might or might not pick it back up again, I don't know. Never tried it. But in dock diving, if he drops the toy to shake (at that point he's up on top of the exit ramp), he generally does not pick it back up unless I tell him to.
Thanks!
 

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OOO

That could be hard. I taught my dogs to not shake at bath time until I told them to, however I have not worried about that nor have I paid attention to what they do out of water.

Actually Belle likes to run off and play, shake and hide her bumper. That could be our problem. LOL


Ann
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
um yeah, I'm thinking running off and hiding the duck might not be *exactly* what they're looking for ;)
 

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I shoot, they fetch.
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Work on your hold command! Remind him to hold as he approaches the shore, and back away to encourage momentum out of the water. I also train to shake on command, so the habit instead becomes to wait to be told to shake, instead of shaking upon leaving the water. If my dog goes to shake before delivering the bird, I interrupt with a sharp vocal correction (Aaahh!).
 

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chew chew chew
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One thing you can work on, is stand on the shore where there's lots of cover, and as he's returning to shore, run and hide so he's got to come and find you. Anything to break the habit of shaking. And work on the formal 'hold it' command so you can remind him what you want. Don't correct him too much though, a friend of mine did that and the dog thought she wasn't supposed to get out of the water, started going in circles avoiding the shore because she thought that's what she did wrong....

Lana
 

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Barley & Mira's Mom
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I can tell you how I taught Mira.... BUT I don't know how most people would do it, so I am giving a disclaimer! I train her pretty much all reward/positive based, so not the norm for field work. Also I play tug with Mira, she has learned good tug manners and does NOT have any inclination to tug on a bumper or a duck. She is also operant and knows how to change her behavior to achieve her desired reward.

First you do have to have a good hold and retrieve to hand without the water. If you don't I would start there... For water delivery I started on the very edge of the water (even slightly in the water). When she brought it to me here I would tell her good and play tug (with her tennis ball/rope tug toy, NOT the bumper/duck). Then I backed up as that was working. If she dropped it to shake I would snatch it up and say oops, can't play anymore. Wait a minute. Then toss it back just a bit into the water and try again. She never shook the second time. As she was reliably not shaking at that distance I would back up again. She caught onto it pretty quickly and will reliably bring it a long distance without thinking about shaking. If we have not done water work in awhile, I will move a little closer again...
 

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I shoot, they fetch.
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Personally, I would not play tug in a hunt/WC retrieving type situation in the field. I will do it with a bumper when training the initial hold in the yard but not beyond that.

Stickiness, aka refusing to give up the bird is a serious problem that can result in failure in a test. As desire for the birds increases with experience it can also become self rewarding--ie I love birds, and this is MY bird!! It is listed as a fault in the regulations, and if you get into a "fight" over the bird on the line, the bird can be damaged. Had to fail someone in JH summer before last as the dog refused to release the bird and they ripped it from the dog's mouth, tearing an inch deep, two inch long gash in the breast of the bird in the process. That lady has spent a year undoing that behaviour and the dog is still not entirely reliable.

There was also a lab on the FT circuit up here that summer who was just smashing all of the tests, but then getting dropped for freezing on the last bird of the last series. He knew there were no more retrieves coming, and would not give up the final bird. One weekend the handler had his front feet off the ground trying to get the bird, and by the next he had to leave the line bird in mouth. On line he could not shove the bird in farther to make him spit it out, and because the owner insisted on having the dog entered, the problem was reinforced and progressed.

Teach a good, proofed hold first, and then reward the appropriate behaviour when you move to working on water. Then don't test until the dog is reliably coming up on land and delivering to hand.
 

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Grumpy Old Man
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Hold is important but so is obedience. When the dog stops at the waters edge, what is it doing? (It's blowing off your recall command.)
Back away from the waters edge so the dog has to clear some ground to complete the retrieve. As the dog is exiting the water, repeat the recall command to put a little more zip in the return. Get after him if he dwadles at the edge.

I also teach the dog to shake on command. It takes a little of the guesswork out of it for the dog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you, that's very insightful. I hadn't thought of it as part of a recall, because we've never done a water retrieve. We only come out of water when we're dock diving!
That gives me a whole different way to look at it. If we get the recall 100%, the shaking will just go away on its own.


Hold is important but so is obedience. When the dog stops at the waters edge, what is it doing? (It's blowing off your recall command.)
Back away from the waters edge so the dog has to clear some ground to complete the retrieve. As the dog is exiting the water, repeat the recall command to put a little more zip in the return. Get after him if he dwadles at the edge.

I also teach the dog to shake on command. It takes a little of the guesswork out of it for the dog.
 

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Where The Bitches Rule
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I agree with Swampcollie. Teaching to shake on command is a lot like teaching to pee on command for me. What I do in the beginning is as the dog comes out of the water and begins to shake I tell them "GOOD SHAKE!!". I do this everytime I "see" then about to do this. I then start to try to initiate the command before they start to shake. And again as they do it I praise "GOOD SHAKE!!" Once I see the dog understands I then start the "no shake" command BEFORE I see they are about to shake. If you see they are about to do it, do not give the no shake command as there is no way you are going to stop it, especially in the beginning.

A side note about "stickiness". At a seminar given by an obedience judge recently she gave us this little goodie. It is for the dumb bell but I would think it might work with a bumper/bird. I will try to draw you a mental picture here.
With the dog in front of you with the dumb bell in it's mouth place both hands over the ends of the dumb bell with your palms on the ends. now wrap your thumb around the front and the middle, ring and pinky fingers around the back. So you have a hold of the dumb bell and both your index fingers are free. You now take your index fingers and gently slide them between the dogs lips as you give your release command. You should not need to apply any pressure/force. Just very gently pull the dumb bell out oof the dog's mouth. My young bitch can get "sticky" sometimes and I was amazed at how easy this works. And I can do it with just one hand.
 

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the party's crashing us
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Okay, here's what I did and it made a lasting impression. Fisher got into a habit of coming out of the water, gently putting down the bird, shaking off, picking it up and coming back in. Well that's all nice but it wastes time. Sometimes you just gotta show them what you want. Get yourself a bumper and a 26' flexi. Sit dog at heel, throw in bumper just enough for the dog to get all four feet off the bottom, as soon as he puts one foot on the shore to exit the water command "HERE" and reel him in with the flexi. Repeat this several times, then try one without it. Bet he comes right in!
The above poster is exactly right -- stopping and shaking off is a violation of "HERE." Therefore the command/correction is HERE.
The only time I let this slide is if it's obvious the dog didn't have a good grip on the bird and now that water isn't floating it, they have to reposition the bird in it's mouth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
thanks guys! now that it's been put in the context of the recall, I think I know just where to head with it.
Now where's that flexi??
 
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