Delivering a game bird to the hand is what a well-trained gundog is expected to do. But this command is also deceptively useful for regular pet dogs, for a variety of reasons.
For one thing, imagine a game of "Fetch" where you never have to bend down to the ground. With the ball beautifully presented and released into your hand, it saves strain on your back.
There are also huge safety advantages to teaching a delivery to hand. You only have to think about the dog who's got hold of your Jimmy Choo shoe and is about to play chase with your prized possession. The dog that is trained to give an object into the hand, will come to you and deliver his ill-gotten gains without a whimper...in return for praise end a treat, so everyone's a winner.
Delivering to your hand literally means what it says. The dog delivers an object he's holding in his mouth, into your waiting hand. In the context of a gundog, he's also trained to retrieve a game bird, carry it back with a soft mouth, and the final step is to drop the bird into your waiting hand.
This guide looks at the final part of that chain of events, the delivery. But this is arguably the most useful component in the context of a well-behaved pet dog, as it protects your possessions, keeps him safe, and facilitates an epic game of "Fetch".
If you are struggling with a dog that keeps running away with the toy in his mouth, then avoid giving chase. When you run after the dog, this is ace-fun in the dog's mind and he is teaching you to play rather than the lesson being on him. Instead, ignore him, or better still, walk away. This sends out a powerful message that the game is over and will have him running back to you in no time.
To get started it helps to work in a corridor. This encourages the dog to return to you, rather than running off with his toy booty. The training sessions should always be the equivalent of a game to the dog. Look for an enthusiastically wagging tail, and if he starts to lose interest then bring the session to a close.
You can even teach this command during a game, rather than during specific training sessions. You will need:
My dog keeps dropping the ball couple feet away from me. How can he bring the ball to my hand.
Hello Augustine, There are a few things you can do to fix this. Choose which one seems to work best for Whiskey. 1. When Whiskey gets within three feet of you (before he drops the ball), quickly back up and act really excited so that he runs over to you. When he gets close, put a hand on the ball, tell him to "Drop It", then praise him when he drops it in your hand. After you praise him, either give him a treat (if he will not forget about fetching because food is present) or toss him another ball. After he eats his treat, then toss another ball. 2. When he drops the ball, run over to him, and make the ball move with your foot (pick it up and bounce it a little if a small kick doesn't get him interested again). When he picks it up get him excited by running away a bit - excitedly!, then praise him when he comes all the way to you while chasing you. Repeat this every time that he drops the ball, until he starts to figure out that he should hang onto the ball until he is in front of you. You can also require him to put the ball in your hand and get him to pick it up again anytime that he drops it anywhere besides your hand. Praise him a lot when he touches it to your hand though and put your hand under his chin to help him learn in the beginning. 3. Practice fetch on a long leash while he is wearing a back-clip harness (in case it gets pulled - to keep his neck safe). When he starts to drop the ball, reel him in with the leash quickly until he is all the way in front of you, then tell him "Drop It" when your hand is under his chin or on the ball and ready for him to drop it. If he needs extra encouragement to drop it when you do this, tell him "Drop It" and show him another ball. When he drops the first ball, then throw the second one. 4. Teach a hold command, then tell him to "Hold" on his way back to you with the ball. Back away from him excitedly if he doesn't come all the way to you while holding it - to get him to come. When he arrives, tell him "Okay" or "Drop It" to let him know that he can let go of it now. You will need to teach him "Hold" and "Drop It" before practicing these things during a game of fetch though. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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