Retrieving with the Holee Roller – Bad Dog Agility Academy

Retrieving with the Holee Roller

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  • Collene says:

    Now that I am trying this with an actual puppy, I am having a problem. He likes to just lay down and chew on the Holee Roller.

    We’ve gotten pretty far following the rest of the class and have a good tug sequence up through the release. But no retrieve. He is only just now 13 weeks. Maybe I should wait to work on retrieve and just continue to work on the rest?

    • Esteban Fernandezlopez says:

      Yes, you can take a break. You can also encourage him and click the smallest move toward you and then present a second toy and run away. I’d try this before using a leash, especially if he isn’t running away.

  • Collene says:

    Hmmm, this is a subtle thing I wouldn’t have picked up on if you hadn’t mentioned it: Even when the dog slips off the toy themselves, they need to be cued to re-bite.

    So is this an example of how much time you would spend each day working on the tugging skill? That is, this is one complete session. Then would you have more than one session/day?

    Also, it seems like there is SO MUCH to teach a puppy. Realistically, they are learning all the time even if you aren’t officially doing a “training” session.

    But even so, how do you balance tugging training with other training sessions you want to do or even if you want to do multiple tugging sessions in a day? I’m sure it depends on the individual and the puppy’s age, but are there any rules of thumb?

    • Esteban Fernandezlopez says:

      I would only have multiple sessions in a day for very energetic dogs who enjoy tugging. For puppies you can have multiple sessions easily, as long as each session is just 30 seconds or less and mostly happens in between clicker training, for example.

      As soon as possible (for dogs who find it rewarding), I bring tugging into play for training, but without the teaching or requirement of retrieving.

      For formal sessions of tug, that’s the only thing we do in that session–we aren’t teaching tunnels or wraps or sits, and those are 1-3 minutes long (for dogs not puppies), and we have goals for those, like tugging with distractions, improving bite, releasing the toy, retrieves, etc. These I do 2-4 times/week if they are actively training on tugging skills.

      I didn’t rush either dog, and the poodle is still learning the retrieve. The golden I didn’t bother finishing the retrieving until a few weeks ago, and I had 2 months off from tug training with both dogs when things got busy in June. The poodle I gave several months off with no formal tug training.

      For puppies the correct focus is on enjoyment, avoiding applying any pressure to the activity, and fostering love for the game rather than demanding any compliance. Over time, you shape the dog to give the responses you want, but the dog thinks it has been their own plan all along and that they are shaping you.

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