How To Stop Chewing When Holding Items

Discussion in 'Dog Tricks' started by kcmetric, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. kcmetric Well-Known Member

    I'm trying to teach Chaplin to hold a rose (or anything else) and he's fine putting it in his mouth... but he chews on them! He uses his teeth too much.

    This isn't a problem Baby had so I'm not sure what to do to stop that...

    He's a water dog, he should have a soft mouth...
    Tâmara Vaz likes this.

  2. fickla Experienced Member

    Is he dropping the item or just mouthing while keeping it held? If the latter, I would approach it one of 2 ways:

    1. Switch to having him hold a variety of objects, including ones that fall easily if mouthed such as an envelope or hammer (or other object that is weighted on one side). That way he can teach himself to stop IF he understands dropping the item causes the loss of the reward

    2. Retrain your hold from step one so there's no mouthing from the start. For mouthing problems, I often use shaping but reward a tug back on the item since if the dog is putting effort in to tug the grip is obviously quite firm. I've also successfully used reverse luring to cure mouthing issues. There's been a thread about that recently.
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  3. Tâmara Vaz Experienced Member

    Reverse luring?:confused:
  4. kcmetric Well-Known Member

    Oh, the tug is a cool idea but we're working on "pick-pocket" right now, will that interfere with the trick?. Yeah, he started chewing on it as soon as he picked it up. He doesn't drop it or anything, he just holds it in his mouth and chews -- like he does with his squeaky toy; maybe it's that obnoxious toy he loves so much that's got him a chewing frenzy =)

    I'm not sure I understand reverse luring, I'll go find the thread here.
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  5. Evie Experienced Member

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  6. fickla Experienced Member

    I wouldn't think so. The tugging back is done while your hands are still on the object, doesn't need to be a tug toy as it can even be done with a dumbbell, you're just rewarding a tighter grip. Pick pocketing is a retrieve trick that doesn't involve your hands anywhere near it.

    Although, if he is chewing on it as soon as he picks it up I don't think he understands the retrieve criteria quite well enough and would go back and visit that first. I personally like to teach a great retrieve to hand before I work on sitting there and holding something as the dog has more fun and it is a much simpler concept. I would say most dogs you can get rid of any mouthing while moving without every trying to address the hold portion as adding speed to the retrieve fixes that right up. dogs don't mouth if they're sprinting back to you.
  7. sara Moderator

    Oliver mouths and chomps his toys when playing fetch, but I accept that as he is a terrier, so have always allowed it and never tried to train it out. however he has never mouths or chomped a "hold" item, but I think I did the tug think Flicka talked about, though I didn't know it at the time LOL.

    Side note. a friend of mine who has a strong background in obedience tried to tell me that I was teaching Ollie's retrieve all wrong, and I needed to start over as he chomps and squishes his ball. I told her that I allow it, and she was horrified LOL. I told her that: 1- he is a terrier, they're supposed to "kill" their prey, 2- he is a mutt and will never to competition obedience, and 3- he enjoys it, and I'm not going to prevent him from doing something he enjoys, if it's not harming anything.
  8. fickla Experienced Member

    Sara, I compete in obedience with my dogs and could care less what they do with toys :) Hell, I actually encourage my dogs to tug on the dumbbell and on the gloves so they see them as potential rewards in and of themselves; they know the difference of when they're sent formally for something AND even if I break off to reward them with play before they complete a formal front. The same logic of your friend is also why field trial people are terrified of playing tug with their dogs
  9. 648117 Honored Member

    I do obedience with Holly (although we don't compete yet). What has being a "mutt" got to do with competing? Any breed/mix can compete in obedience.

    Holly learn't to do a formal retrieve recently, she doesn't chew/mouth the item (we use a piece of hose at the moment - I haven't gotten her a proper dumbbell yet). It took a bit of effort because she wanted to run off with the hose to chew it so I had to convince her that it was more rewarding to hold it still and bring it to me in a formal front. Holly is a major chewer normally and she really did want to chew it but she now knows that when we are doing obedience she is not to chew the item (or run off with it). Although I don't mind if she chews, drops, runs off, doesn't get all the way to me before dropping it normally (yeah, she does all these things when not doing a formal retrieve).

    Now we are moving onto her retrieving scent cloths (just started this week). When Holly picks up the cloth she gives it a good shake ("kills" it), I asked our trainer about it and she said that a lot of small dog do that and that if she was judging she would not take any points off if the shaking was not excessive, the dog does not drop the cloth and does not "chew" it (ie, has a firm grip). So I'm not going to train the shaking out of Holly because it's cute :X3:, she likes doing it and it probably wont result in a point deduction (or if it does it will be small so I don't mind).
  10. fickla Experienced Member

    It sounds like you're not in the U.S. if your scent articles are cloth, but I would double check with some judges about the shaking. I know here if the dog does even a small shake on the glove retrieve it's points off. I'm working on that issue right now with my Toller as he likes to give a tiny shake as he picks it up. Speeding up the retrieve so he sprints back to me as SOON as he picks it up is a common solution as just like a dog can't mouth if they're running, if the dog is spending the time to shake it even while he's starting to move he's not moving as fast as possible back to me.

    But depending on your goals, some things aren't worth the training :)
  11. 648117 Honored Member

    Yeah, I'm in New Zealand.
    The "Scent Discrimination" is with cloth.

    I guess when we start competing I'll find out if the shake that Holly does is alright.

    A couple of weeks ago I heard our trainer saying that a judge took points off a competitor because they turned the wrong way for the "sit-stay", they left their dog and when they were told to stop and turn to face the dog they turned to the left rather than the right or something (I don't actually know which way is "correct") and lost some points O_o . And I think it was at Novice level (I'm not sure when you stopping facing the dog for the "stays"). I guess if a judge really wants to take off points then they will find a way to do it.
  12. sara Moderator

    Not in my little corner of the world, they cant. yes you can get an "activitites" registration with the CKC (I don't know the actual name of it lol) for dogs that "look" like a breed (which Oliver does not LOL). Also in some places, there are clubs and such that mutts can compete in, however not here. I'd have to drive more than 2 hours to find anything like that. Besides, I don't like formal obedience. I would, however do Rally-o, but again, there's no clubs allowing mutts here. So I train tricks, and play :)
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