Watercubs & Kivisilmän

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Teaching Give



It's very simple, as is all training :-). But there are a few things you have to remember and keep in mind:

-never pull back when you want him to let go of something. If you do, he'll just think it's a fun tug game, and will just pull harder to win it for himself.

-always change the toy to something better (treat, another toy), or continue playing with the toy for a short while after he has let go of the toy (play starting with “ok”
or “take” command).

If you always take the toy away from him when you say “give”, he'll soon realize it, and won't let go.

So, always make it FUN (change it to something better, or continue playing), and never chase after him! Otherwise he'll quickly learn that if he doesn't give it to you, you'll start the fun chasing game. You want your dog to have a good strong Give command, which will also help with the retrieving (necessary for waterwork).


Here's how you do it:

  1. Grab the toy with your right hand (remember not to pull!)

  2. Place your left hand (palm down) over your dog's muzzle, so that your index finder's tip places behind the canines (first red dot), middle finger next to it. You can use more than two fingers if you need to, but be careful that they don't get stuck in between the molars (light red dot). The premolars are smaller and usually there's a little “gap” where you'll be able to fit the fingers. Your left thumb should go on the opposite side and point to your index/middle fingers.

  3. With your left hand fingers push the dog's lips between the teeth behind the canines, and give the command “Give”. Usually the dog will drop the object almost instantly, though sometimes you'll have to push harder, depending on how fun the toy is :-). Praise a lot! Give the toy back and play tug with the dog for a while.

  4. Repeat step 3 a few times (always end with the dog still being excited about it!)

  5. After a few sessions, your dog will learn to let go of the toy when you say so, because he'll associate it to FUN = continuing playing with you.

    In the picture: where to place your fingers


(c) Salmelin