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: