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As a Guide dog I've been trying to train Hermione to take things when she is told to. If I drop something I can't find, it would be nice if she could pick it up. To get to there though I've been trying to get her to take something like a toy out of my hand first. I've been clicker training her and I can get her to sniff the object but I can't ever get her to use her mouth on it. Another thing I've been trying to do is basically to fetch. The dog trainer in a service dog training class I go to said to throw an object and click and treat the dog when they show interest in it. Eventually the dog is supposed to put their mouth on it in some way. Again though, after months of working on this, she'll sniff it but she won't put her mouth on it or even lick it. When I do manage to get her to run after something like a ball she'll pick it up and either run with it or sit down and start chewing. If you call her she'll come but leave the ball behind. The few times she does come toward you with the toy she'll drop it at least 4 feet before reaching you.

This is really frustrating cause she loves to carry toys when she is playing, she just looses interest if you try to interact with her while she's got a toy:doh:. I also don't understand why I've made so little progress after months of trying to get her to use her mouth.

Anyone have any suggestions?
 

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I don't know if this will work for you guys, but this is how I would try to teach it...

I would teach "take it" (or whatever phrase you want to use) during regular day time. Like, you have a treat in your hand, say "take it!" and have her take it from your open palm. You could do the same thing with a toy you guys are playing with. Get her all interested in whatever toy it is; play a little keep-away with it. The big thing is to get her really really interested in it. You said she likes to chew on toys, so you could even use a delicious chew like a Bully Stick for this. Since it tastes so good, they should want to put it in their mouth. Hold it out in your hand and when she grabs for it, say "take it!" and click/praise her enthusiastically when she has it in her mouth. Even if she drops it right after you start praising, that's fine. Keep working with her though. Try and get her to keep it in her mouth for longer and longer. After a lot of practice with this kind of thing she should understand that when you say "take it" you want her to hold the object in her mouth until you say she can drop it. When she understands "take it" you can try teaching her to apply it to different objects as well, not just toys.

Also: I don't know exactly about getting her to pick things up from the floor. I would just try to branch off of "take it" into her getting things from your hand, and then getting them from the ground directly after you have set them there. Again, this is just how I would do it. You may have already tried this stuff and it didn't work, but good luck anyway. :)
 

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if she understands and enjoys clicker training, then you can usually hold out a little to encourage them to continue trying *something* to get the click. If she's only getting clicker for nosing it, then that's what she thinks she's supposed to be doing. It needs to only be a few times of consistantly nosing it before you need to be progressing on to holding out for a little more from her. If she isn't 'clicker savvy' yet and doesn't know how to offer 'more', then perhaps leave the 'hold it' stuff, and start training her a new trick to get her in the mindset of offering 'more!'

The other option is physically placing it in her mouth, with an instant click and reward. She'll likely be confused and a little worried about what on earth you're doing, but when you always click & reward when you've done it, it will help her association of holding it in her mouth. You still need to work on her offering to pick it up, but it'll help bridge that gap!

When you DO get her to run after and pick up something, do you click and reward her for grabbing it? Or are you expecting her to bring it back to you for the click? Perhaps in this case your expectations are too high for now (seeing the holding is the first problem, let alone bringing anything back to you), and you need to be clicking and JACKPOT for when she runs after and picks up something, regardless of if she brings it back yet!

FD
 

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You need to teach a "take it" then a "hold" . Your dog should be able to walk around the house and even jump a small jump without dropping the dumbell. Then you would go on to teaching the actually retrieve. As I've said before, I taught an ear pinch forced retrieve.
 
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