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Old 07-25-2018, 02:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
 

Bradparis is an unknown quantity at this point
Looking for advice with training

Hi there,

I recently posted that I rescued a 3 year old pitbull/lab mix. He was never abused in his life, I know the owners and they are good people but he was just not getting the proper attention that a pitbull needs. He's been with me now for the past week and he is adjusting to his new home. He is full of energy and sticks by my side wherever I go. He's got a great personality and is very affectionate.

I have a few things I do need to work on with him, but it is obviously a bit more difficult since he is now 3 years old.

The first thing is playing obedience. He is well trained, doesn't go to the bathroom in the house ever, can sit, give paw, lie down, roll over... But he will NOT give up a toy when playing fetch. It seems like they never played fetch, because Duke wants to play fetch but after you have thrown the toy once he will grasp onto it for life if you try and take it back to throw it again.
I'd really like advice on that because when we're in the back yard it would be a great way for him to burn energy!

My second concern is what I'm sure most owners have is... Other dogs. Duke is super loveable and wouldn't hurt a human, he just wants to play. With dogs... I'm not sure honestly. He's NEVER been around other dogs so I'm so scared to introduce him to other dogs at a dog park because if he did bite I couldn't fathom him getting put down or something crazy of the sort. Where I live pitbulls are banned (Canada) so it is just a worry I don't want to have.

I'm okay with Duke not going to dog parks, right now it is a risk until I figure out how I will deal with it. I take him every day for a walk on the leash in trails or around the block (he also pulls hard as well) that's another thing I am trying to work on... But again this isn't Dukes fault because he never went for walks..

None of these things are Dukes fault, he's never been introduced to them so he doesn't know how to act.

I know I could look for a trainer but I hear it's quite expensive. Looking to see if I can work these things out myself.

Thanks in advance!!
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Old 07-25-2018, 08:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Sounds like Duke just needs to learn what "Drop it" means. After giving him the command, try substituting the ball/toy with a small training treat. If he drips it give him the treat and heap on the praise. If he doesn't drop it, no treat and quit playing with him. Once he knows what to do he'll be eager to please and play fetch. Don't try to wrestle it away from him as he will think it's part of the game and confuse him.

Bully breed dogs and dog parks do not mix. When you get a minute give THIS thread a read.


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Old 07-25-2018, 09:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jttar View Post
Sounds like Duke just needs to learn what "Drop it" means. After giving him the command, try substituting the ball/toy with a small training treat. If he drips it give him the treat and heap on the praise. If he doesn't drop it, no treat and quit playing with him. Once he knows what to do he'll be eager to please and play fetch. Don't try to wrestle it away from him as he will think it's part of the game and confuse him.

Bully breed dogs and dog parks do not mix. When you get a minute give THIS thread a read.


Joe
I'm going to try that! Piccolo still doesn't understand the meaning of "suelta" (drop it in spanish)
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Old 07-26-2018, 01:12 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Something to add to what Joe said.... when you start to teach this command start in the house in a small area. Give the dog the toy/ball whatever and when they drop it treat like Joe said. When they don’t ignore them until they do and then treat and praise. Once they get the hang of it inside move it outside but on lead. And slowly work up to a game of fetch. This gives the dog a chance to learn to command and what you want them to do without all the extra distractions or desire to run, run, run.


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Old 07-27-2018, 11:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
 

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Have you ever worked with a clicker? If you can, find someone locally to teach you how to use a clicker and timing. This is a great tool to incorporate with all the previous training suggestions. It makes the Give activity really clear to the dog.

in addition to swapping a toy with another, you can work on just the "give" separately as a distinct exercise. Start with a low-value toy or a neutral object (a dowel for instance). Have Duke sit in front of you and simply take the toy in his mouth while you gently hold the ends. Do NOT tug or engage. No talking at all if possible. Wait to see if he'll let go in 3-5 seconds. A second is longer than you think...

If he won't let go, SHOW him a treat so he opens his mouth, click to mark his letting of the object, then praise and reward with the treat. Repeat. After a while, he'll anticipate the treat and let go w/o your showing it. That's when you can add a cue (like Give or Let Go). You're basically building a retrieve in reverse.

The funny thing is most people have to work to get their dog to take the toy or object at first. You may not have that problem at all.
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