How to Mark When Teaching the Retrieve – Bad Dog Agility Academy

How to Mark When Teaching the Retrieve

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  • Collene says:

    So what is the reward for the first mark – when they grab the toy? It makes sense that the reward for the second mark when they return it to your hand is continued tugging, but just wondering about the other one.

    • Esteban Fernandezlopez says:

      The reward is the same as for the second mark–tugging with you. In this video, you’re looking at a dog that has already progressed through the training where two toys are used. The dog is marked for picking up the toy and a second toy is immediately presented by the handler. Then the mark is delayed bit by bit until the dog bring the first toy to hand, but even then the dog is rewarded with a second toy. In this video, there’s no second toy, so the dog must find tugging with you rewarding enough to be an effective reward otherwise the dog might prefer to run off with the toy, etc.

  • says:

    Once successful in a small area, do you just gradually increase the size of the practice space? Starting indoors in small areas and branching out into a small enclosed area of the yard?

    • Esteban Fernandezlopez says:

      Yes, this is a logical progression. If you have a “zoomie” dog, add a leash that you hold at first, but you’ll find the dog usually stays with you when the leash is on, even if you let the leash drop to the ground. You can use a long line the same way, just make sure you don’t accidentally jerk the dog with it during training.

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