Previously we talked about how to avoid possessive aggression. The best way to prevent this is to teach the dog that fair exchange is not robbery… which is the underlying principal of the retrieve exercise.
Teaching the dog how to retrieve
- Find two similar toys.
- Keep the toys away from the dog and under your control.
- The dog only gets to play with your toys when you produce them
- You the owner, should always initiate and terminate the game.
- The game should end before the dog gets tired or bored.
- The game should end with you in possession of the toys.
- As you know when the game is over. You should always exchange the last toy for a biscuit.
- This allows the dog to learn. That the game is over when he gets the biscuit.
- The game commences from the dog’s bed or resting area.
- Throw the toy a short distance from the dog’s bed, allow him to bring it back to his bed. When he does gently stroke him down his lower back and rump. Keep your hands away from his mouth.
- Do not make any attempt to remove the toy from the dog. Remember dogs are very proud when they have something in their mouth. If you try to remove the toy, the dog will start to worry about his prize. He will very quickly learn that there is no reward in bringing the toy back to you!!
- Try to distract him from the first toy by pretending to have loads of fun yourself with the second toy
- As soon as he lets go the first toy, you immediately throw the second one and so on.
- After three goes… Exchange the last toy for a food reward. And remove the toys out of sight of the dog until the next time.
- Build up the exercise very slowly indoors. The exercise has to be clearly understood indoors before it can be taken outdoors.
- Remember fair exchange is not robbery.