When to Add the Release – Bad Dog Agility Academy

When to Add the Release

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  • Kaz says:

    For the reason you mentioned above, I’m not ready to teach my 6 years old collie a release cue. He has never been a tugger, but since I started following your instructions, he started tugging. When I let him “win,” he loves to run away with the toy and wants to play keep away. Should I let him do that?

    • Esteban Fernandezlopez says:

      In general, no, you should not let your dog do that. However, I will let the dog do that at the very end of a session. And now that your dog is tugging, it’s okay to introduce the release and give lots of praise with the immediate re-bite. I’d get the tugging, do a release, mark and give the toy right back, get some good tugging, mark that and let go and the session is over, let the dog play keep away.

      The next session I would try 2 or 3 re-bites, and then mark and let go and end the session.

      This way, your dog can win and play keep away, but only after the last repetition of the session, and only if they are tugging strongly. I don’t let them win unless they are tugging well. If they let go or tug so weakly and I can easily take it away, I end the session but without giving them the toy.

      Please let me know if this is clear.

  • joseph.sheedy@verizon.net says:

    Here is a session where I tried to reduce chatter and use “good” when his grip is good. This toy is a stuffing free snake and the kind he really loves and can grip well. I think this video is better. Is there a time limit per week for video submissions? I was trying to find where that is specified. Thanks in advance for your feedback.

    Should we get better at the release before we work on the retrieve? We need a lot of work with retrieve. We call him Jake the Ripper because his favorite thing is to run away and rip them to shreds. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jnkxGSHdKMs

    • Esteban Fernandezlopez says:

      Beautiful work!! Excellent job praising when he’s head shaking and shifting backward. Yes, you can start working the retrieve, I would put him on a 6 foot leash/line or work in a very small enclosed space to start and make sure you go through the routine in your mind before you do it for real. Expect it to be crunchy and difficult at first but you’ll get better and then he will learn. Let me know how it goes.

  • joseph.sheedy@verizon.net says:

    Hi..Here is a video from our tugging session today. This was a new toy which typically is not a problem. I do think this new toy was a bit wide and it took him a little bit to really bite it. His favorite toys seem to be the long, thin type without stuffing. I’ll use one of those next. For the release I have been trying to just hold still. I do think I need to work on that more. Am I ready to add the release cue? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTs_CjqtGC4

    Thanks…Mary Ellen

    • Esteban Fernandezlopez says:

      Great job taping this session, great work in here, yes you are ready to add the release, and the best time to do it is when the dog is tugging well (strongly). It takes some practice, so have a few sessions and feel free to submit one for feedback on your mechanics. Feedback here: https://youtu.be/7qEigcmx9b0

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