Our good friend Alfie Bear enjoyed the sunshine and played with our Lez Graham Gencon Retrieving Roll
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I’m sure I’m not the only one who can say that have sat playing that one sided game of fetch? Or in other words, you throw the ball then wait until your dog has finished running round like a loon playing on their own… Sound familiar? Well I could have the solution.
Recently we were asked by Gencon to try their Lez Graham Retrieving Roll, which could not come at a better time! As it is about time we got things sorted once and for all.
There was a time where Alfie had his retrieves perfected to a fine art, whether we were playing fetch or training he would scurry off direct to his retrieve proudly bringing it back to present it to my hand… Those were the days! I’m slightly ashamed to admit that training has been put on the back bench and his inner diva has come out. He now prefers to do a couple of laps before coming back to sit to heal, facing the other way in hope that he can keep it.
How I used the Lez Graham Retrieving Roll…
When introducing any dog to the retrieve I will always teach hold first, for me I want to get the dog used to giving back, as like all my training it has to be a positive experience! Because if you start by throwing the dummy out for the dog to retrieve, it is highly unlikely they will bring it back to you first time… As it is far too much fun! For this to happen it would also reinforce a negative behaviour as your dog will soon lean that they don’t have to bring it back to you. By introducing the hold first you are making things simple for them.
With Alfie I used the retrieving roll alongside the clicker. The hold was very easy to introduce as he is the type of dog that likes to carry things around the house. I always start the training at home where there are far fewer distractions. So I’d start by making him sit in front of me then passing him the roll, wait a couple of seconds then take it back [I always say thank you, so he know this as the release word] as he releases I click and unroll the roll and treat, slowly increase the length of time I want him to hold. This is something that is perfect to do at home, grab a cup of tea or a glass of wine and practice in front of the TV… Multitasking at it best!
Once I have a good solid hold from Alf, I then introduce the retrieve. I always start with them close, I will drop the roll about five feet away then let him retrieve – You may need to add a bit of excitement at this part depending on how enthusiastic your dog is, for Alf with just the sight of a retrieve he can hardly contain his excitement. Then over time slowly increase the distance, remember that it is always ok to take a step backwards if your dog doesn’t understand or starts to get a little sloppy, it is much better for both you and the dog to make things easier until your dog understands what is asked.