Retrieve Over High Classroom

Hold your horses –
Please sign up to see this awesome content.

WELCOME TO CLASS

Over the next 4 weeks, I am going to teach you my secrets, drills, and training methods to teach, improve, and proof your _________________.

CLICK ON THE GREY TABS BELOW TO TAKE YOU TO INDIVIDUAL TOPICS.

IntroductionHow to TrainGamesSequencingTypical ProblemsProofing
Description of Exercise/Skill:

Visualization
text here

________________ Forum – Place to ask questions and post YouTube videos! This is a PRIVATE group only for _______ participants.
Questions will be answered until ———-.

Exercise Discussion

During the Retrieve over the High (ROH) Jump Exercise, the handler and their dog will move to a position in front of the high jump. The handler will stand in heel position, while their dog sits in heel position and will wait for the Judge to hand the handler their dumbbell (DB). On an order from the Judge, the handler may give their dog a command and/or signal for their dog to stay. Then the Handler will throw the DB over the High Jump. On command from the handler, their dog must go directly to and jump over the High Jump, take the DB, return over the High Jump with the DB in his mouth and sit in front of the handler. The dog must not touch the jump while jumping it in either direction. On the dog’s return, he must sit directly in front of the handler and hold the DB until the Judge orders the handler to take the DB and the handler gives their dog the release command. The dog must remain sitting in front of the handler until the Judge orders “Finish”. On the handler’s command, the dog must go briskly into heel position and sit.

The DB should fit properly in the dog’s mouth. If the DB is too wide, it will wobble in the dog’s mouth. If the DB is too short, it will be uncomfortable on his cheeks and possibly pinch his mouth. In either case, an improperly fitting DB can impair the dog’s vision as they are jumping.

List of skills that your dog needs:

  • Line-up and sit next to his handler.
  • Stay while the handler is throwing the DB.
  • Have a retrieve including picking up and holding the DB, and returning to their handler.
  • Needs jumping skills that includes caring the DB over the jump.
  • Able to front with the DB in his mouth.
  • Be able to finish.

Visualization

When doing this exercise, my dog remains forced on me as we line-up. On command, my dog will stay while I throw the DB. My dog watches the DB as it lands and then redirects his attention back to me awaiting a command. When directed, my dog will leave my side, go over the High Jump and directly to the DB. Once there, he will take the cleanly pick up the DB, promptly turn around looking for the High Jump, and thinking about getting back to me. He should hold the DB while returning to me and sit in front. Lastly, my dog will release the DB when asked as well as finish into heel position.

What you will need:
• List of items needed for training

_________ Training Log
PDF Points to remember

Questions? Ask DebbyQ

STEPS TO SUCCESS

Teaching your dog HOW to take and jump correctly is an important step in this exercise. Any jumping problems can be addressed and fixed BEFORE add a DB. Begin teaching this to your dog WITHOUT the dumbbell.

How to introduce the High Jump.

Level 1

  • Set the jump very low, 4-16”. The height will depend on your dog’s height. My goldens and border collies, for instance, where introduced to the High Jump with it set at 8” jump height .
  • Sit your dog approximately 8-10 feet on one side of the jump.
  • Go to the other side and recall your dog over the jump.
  • Let your dog gain confidence going over before progressing.
  • Once they were comfortable jumping 8″,  raise the jump 2” until your dog’s competition height is met.
  • NOTE: when adding the DB to the sequence, LOWER the jump back to the being of height.  I.e. 4-16”.

Level 2 – holding the DB

Description of the Exercise: This exercise is similar the Retrieve on the flat, except that dog must jump a solid jump (a high jump), retrieve a dumbbell, and return over the jump to the handler.  The high jump is as high as the dog’s shoulder height. The handler and their dog line up on one side of the high jump. On command from the judge, the handler throws a dumbbell over the jump. The handler then commands their dog to retrieve the dumbbell. The dog must jump over the jump, take the dumbbell, and with the dumbbell in his mouth return to the handler by jumping over the jump again. The remainder of the exercise is the same as the Retrieve on the Flat.

Prerequisite – Your dog should be able to retrieve and hold a dumbbell before teaching Retrieve over the high jump.

***************************************

Visualization for the skill.
The handler and dog will move to a position in front of the high jump and the dog will sit in heel position. On order from the Judge, the handler may give the dog a command and/or signal to stay and then throw the dumbbell over the jump. The dog, on command, must go directly to and jump over the jump, take the dumbbell, return over the jump with the dumbbell in his mouth and sit in front of the handler. The dog must not touch the jump while jumping it in either direction. On his return, the dog must sit directly in front of the handler and hold the dumbbell until the Judge orders the handler to ‘Take it”. The dog must remain sitting in front of the handler until the Judge orders ‘Finish’. On the handler’s command, the dog must go briskly into heel position and sit.

The dumbbell should fit properly in the dog’s mouth. If the dumbbell is too wide, it will wobble in the dog’s mouth. If the dumbbell is too short, it will be uncomfortable on his cheeks and possibly pinch his mouth. A dumbbell that shows ragged edges, pits from chewing, etc. indicates to the judge that the dog may mouth or chew the dumbbell. Points can be taken off if the dog mouths or chews on the dumbbell while holding it. Mouthing can be common in some breeds.

***************************************

Teaching the skill
Retrieve over the high jump

Level 1 – Introduction
Begin teaching this exercise by teaching your dog to go over the jump WITHOUT the dumbbell. Set the jump very low, 4-8”. With your dog at your side, step over the the jump. Once your dog is comfortable with going over the jump as you step over it, place your dog on a sit about 4 feet in front of the jump. Tell your dog to stay and walk to the other side of the jump by stepping over the jump. Continue walking beyond the jump about 6-10 feet then turn around and face your dog. Call your dog to you and reward him with a game of tug or jumping up for a treat. (You may use your recall word or a jump word such as “hup” or “over”). PRAISE YOUR DOG FOR COMMITTING TO THE JUMP! There is no front at this level. Once your dog becomes confident sitting and jumping with you directly in front of the jump, put your dog in a sit to the right or left side of the center line of the jump. Again walk to the other side of the jump, step over the jump, turn and face your dog, and call you dog to you. Point to the jump if needed. If your dog goes around the jump, simply show your dog the correct way to perform the skill and try again. This begins to teach your dog to “look” for the jump. Once your dog will confidently jump the high jump and come to you it is time to go to Level 2 and add the dumbbell (DB).

Level 2 – Facing and calling your dog
The dumbbell (DB) in your dog’s mouth changes your dog’s balance and how your dog must accommodate the additional weight when jumping. Level 2 teaches your dog to jump with the DB in his mouth. Put your dog on a sit in front of the high hump. The high jump is still low, 4-8”. Place the DB in your dog’s mouth. Leave your dog in a sit 6-10 feet behind the jump, walk to the other side of the jump by walking over the jump,, turn around and face your dog. Call your dog to you. (You may use your recall word or a jump word such as “hup” or “over”). PRAISE YOUR DOG FOR COMMITTING TO THE JUMP. Greet your dog with verbal praise as you remove the DB from your dog’s mouth and reward your dog with play or several treats. NOTE: There is still not a front added at this level. As your dog gains confidence, offset him from the front of the jump so he will learn to look for and take the jump. When working on offset jumping, be sure to place your dog slightly off the center line of the jump and gradually increase the distance off side. Also make sure that you place him off side on both the right and left sides of the jump.

Level 3 – Jumping and picking up the dumbbell
This step teaches your dog to jump the jump, pick up DB, and bring it to you. it is important to spend time extra at this level if your dog is driven or hits the DB with his feet. Place your dog on a sit in front of the jump. The high jump is still low, 4-8”. Leave your dog and walk to the other side of the jump. Place your DB on the ground about 6-10’ past the jump. Stand behind the DB about 2-4 feet. Call your dog. (You may use your recall word or a jump word such as “hup” or “over”). PRAISE YOUR DOG FOR COMMITTING TO THE JUMP. (If needed point to the DB so your dog sees it on the ground). As your dog goes over the jump, point to the DB if needed and command your dog to pick up the DB (take). As your dog takes the DB, take a step or two backwards to draw your dog to you. Greet your dog with verbal praise as you remove the DB from your dog’s mouth. Reward you dog with play or treats.. NOTE: There is still not a front at this level.

Level 4 – Retrieving the dumbbell
This level teaches your dog to jump the high jump, pick up the DB, look for and go back over the jump, and bring you the DB. Place your dog on a sit with the high jump set low, 4-8”. Leave your dog and walk to the other side of the jump with the DB. Place the DB on the ground about 6-10 feet past the high jump. Return to your dog. Give your dog your “jump” command. As your dog is taking the jump, remind him to “take” the DB. After your dog has picked up the DB, remind your dog to “jump” the high jump by repeating your “jump” command. Greet your dog with verbal praise as you remove the DB from your dog’s mouth. Reward your dog with play or treats. *Remind your dog to “jump, take it , jump”. NOTE: There is not a front added at this level.

Variation of this level. Once your dog is confidently going over the jump, picking up the DB, jumping back over the jump and returning to you, place the DB slightly of the center line of the jump. Remind your dog to “jump, take it, jump”. Start to randomly drop the extra commands as your dog gains confidence and the ability to look for and take the jump with the DB.

Level 5 – Throwing the dumbbell
Add throwing the DB only after your dog is successful with all the previous levels. Have your dog sitting in heel position 8-10 feet in front of the jump. The hight jump is still low, 4-8”. Throw the DB over the jump. (I prefer that my dog to looks back at me before I send him for the DB). Send your dog with your “jump” command followed by “take” and then “jump”. Wean off the extra commands as your dog understands his job. Start adding fronts at this level. When adding a front, remind your dog that you are expecting a front by saying his “front” command once he has cleared the jump and is heading towards you.

***************************************

Trouble Shooting
Your dog starts toward the jump, then stops and refuses to jump

  • First check with your Vet to make sure your dog is not having any physical problems. If all is fine, go back and review levels 1-4 to make sure your dog understand to jump when set in line with the jump as well as off sides.

Your dog returns without the dumbbell

  • When your dog starts back without the dumbbell, mark the error with a none reward marker and stop the exercise. Calmly go out to your dog and remind him to “take” the DB and then to jump the jump. Go back and repeat Level 3 and 4 to insure your dog understands his job.

Your dog picks up the dumbbell but doesn’t jump coming back

  • If your DB makes a bounce to the side of the jump, be prepared to give an additional jump command during the teaching stages. If you are proofing offside throws and your dog comes back around the jump, mark the error with a none reward marker and stop the exercise. Repeat by either re-throwing the DB or placing the DB in the same spot as in level 3 and 4.

***************************************

 

 

Games – Getting the most out of Training

Reminder: To teach your dog a fast out, pick up with a spin and fast back, review the following games: “Get It” and “Cookie Toss” Games and visit the “Retrieve Foundations” page.

Once my dog understands the Retrieve over the High Jump (ROH), I start adding fun ways to keep retrieving over the high jump fun and interesting.

Set-up, throw, and PIVOT. After you have thrown the Dumbbell (DB), pivot with your dog to the right or left, then send your dog for the DB. Your dog will need to remember to take the jump, then retrieve the DB and locate the jump to come back to you. NO FRONTS when you first start teaching this variation. Instead, use loads of rewards when your dog makes the correct choice.

Chair retrieves. Sit on the ground or in a chair. Throw your DB and have your dog retrieve it.

Different objects. Once your dog understands the ROH, add in other types of objects. Examples include: a toy, article, water bottle, etc. Don’t forget to work with these objects first in the Retrieve on the Flat.

Video Notes: We are working on the ROH in this video. We do not ask for fronts while working. Instead, we do fun releases to keep our dog’s desire high on this skill. We try a pivot after the DB throw and then front and through before sending our dog. Using various skills or tricks during training will keep our dog in an “active” state. On the last repetition, while we are sitting in a chair, we add a “chair front”. This skill is taught in my “Fab Fronts & Finishesclass.

Challenge

  • Add some games to your ROH.
  • Video trying the above ideas (ROH with different objects, pivoting after throwing the DB, etc.).
  • Did you have any problems?
  • Was your dog staying engage and focused?
  • What do you see that can be improved?

Before you start to Sequence this exercise, first teach your dog HOW to look for and jump correctly. This is an important step in this exercise. Any jumping problems can be addressed and fixed BEFORE add a DB. Begin teaching this to your dog WITHOUT the dumbbell.

Examples:

  • When introducing and high jump, keep the jump very low, 4-16”. The height will depend on your dog’s height. My goldens and border collies, for instance, where introduced to the High Jump with it set at 8” jump height.
  • Height of the jump is kept low until all the sequencing is complete.
  • Call your dog over a low High Jump while your dog is holding a dumbbell (DB). This step teaches your dog to jump with the DB in his mouth. Placing the DB in your dog’s mouth changes your dog’s balance and your dog must accommodate the additional weight when jumping.
  • Add jumping and picking up the dumbbell. Once your dog is comfortable holding a DB and jumping the High Jump with the DB in his mouth, proceed to sequence your dog to pick up and bring the DB to you.
  • Throwing the DB is the final piece of the sequencing puzzle. Once your dog can retrieve a placed DB, it is time to progress to throwing the DB over the jump. Only continue to sequence this exercise once your dog is successful with all the previous steps. It is best to keep the height of the jump low, 4-16”.

NOTE: I apply the same concept as in the ROF of my dog looking back to me before I will send my dog over a jump. This skill will help your dog focus on your command and not on the perceived situation.

Video Notes: In this video we demonstrate how to sequence the Retrieve over the High Jump. No fronts are required at this level. Instead we are looking for enthusiasm and desire to retrieve. The jump is kept at a low height to help the dog gain confidence. Also, we release the dog to a toy/treat when he is returning. It is OK for the dog to drop the DB when released to a toy/treat. This is also the time to start watching your dog’s jumping to make sure he is confident and jumping well. Problems caught at this stage are much easier to set right!

Training secret – As a separate drill, I teach my dogs to look for and jump the jump. This is done with a jump set at 4 – 16”. I sit my dog in front of the jump, then walk to the other side of the jump. With me on the opposite side of the jump, I ask my dog to jump and come to me. No fronts and no DB! Next, I set my dog slightly off the center line. Again, I walk to the other side, and then ask my dog to jump. I always remain in the middle or centered to the jump. Over many training sessions, I expose my dog to an increased angle or distance of the jump. My dog needs to “look” for the jump in order to take it. Only when my dog is confident doing this skill, will I add a DB or object such as a toy to the picture.

Video Notes: Here Riker is learning to “look” for the jump. I start with both him and me centered to the jump. Only after a successful repetition, will I move him slightly more off to the side. I always remain centered to the jump and give nothing but a verbal command. Notice that Riker is actually LOOKING for the jump when I give the verbal command to jump. At no time do I ask him to front, rather I give treats or let him do a “Jump to Hand“.

Challenge

  • Analyze and write each skill of the Retrieve Over the High Jump Exercise.
  • What is YOUR criteria for each skill. Your criteria and vision should be as detailed as possible. The more detailed the better since this will be the vision you want to achieve and train.
  • Sequence several of the ROH skills and video them. Note any problems you might be having and how to solve the issue/s.
  • Is your dog focused? Does he jump well? Pick up and hold the DB?
  • Video, check, and post possible problems or issues.
Typical problems/solutions

The following are typical issues for the Retrieve over the High Jump (ROH) Exercise that could happen during training or while in the show ring. It is not a list of EVERYTHING that could happen. If there has been a situation that has happened to you when training or in the show ring, PLEASE post it in the FaceBook Group.

Problem
Your dog starts toward the jump, then stops and refuses to jump or goes/comes around the jump.

Solution
First, check with your Vet to make sure that your dog is not having any physical problems. If all is fine, go back and review the sequencing steps you used to train your dog the ROH. A review will make sure your dog still understands his criteria. Check to see that your dog is comfortable jumping straight on and offside jumping. Practice with and without a DB. The review will ensure that your dog is comfortable jumping with the added weight.

Problem
Your dog goes over the jump but returns without the dumbbell.

Solution
Question? Was there a distraction that your dog was uncomfortable running towards?

If so, then you need to make sure that your dog understands his job. If I am training and my dog fails to retrieve, I will mark the incorrect behavior by saying something like “nope, oops, that is not right”, etc. In this case, I will mark when my dog starts back without the dumbbell (DB). This will abort the repetition. I calmly go out to my dog, take him by the collar and over to the DB where I will remind him to “take” the DB. Then we will turn toward the jump and I will say my jump command, “hup” or “jump”. We will then repeat the sequence to make sure that my dog understands his job. If he does well, I greet him with loads of rewards. NO FRONT. If he doesn’t, I need to look at the reason and possibly increase the distance of any distraction my dog might be having issue with.

Problem
Your throw is bad and off to the side of the jump. Your dog goes out over the jump and picks up the DB but doesn’t jump the High Jump when coming back.

Solution
First, practice your DB throwing. :>)

When training, if your DB makes a bounce to the side of the jump, be prepared to give an additional jump command, i.e. “hup”. DO NOT try to go to the jump to get your dog to jump it. Remember, if you are at the jump, you are blocking your dog from taking it. If you are proofing offside throws and your dog comes back around the jump, mark the error with a non-reward marker and stop the exercise. Repeat by either re-throwing the DB or placing the DB in the same spot as the first repetition and sending your dog to retrieve it. Simplify the angle or distance if your dog is incorrect the next time.

Training Tip -When teaching, perfecting, and proofing exercises using jumps, I use lower jump heights. This simplifies the actually jumping for my dog so he can concentrate on the concept he is trying to learn. The height is raised again once my dog is confident with the skill he is learning.

Challenge

  • Video and analyze your dog’s retrieve over a high jump.
  • What problems do you see?
  • Note any inconsistencies or issues you are having. Example: how is he jumping, your dog goes out much quicker than he comes back, mouthing the DB.
  • Does it meet your criteria?
  • Are there any skills that need improvement?

Proofing – the last Steps to Success

The following are some proofing ideas from “Success is in the Proofing.” The book covers the how to’s and why’s of proofing for all levels from Novice to Utility. Here are a few ideas;

  • While your dog sits in heel position, throw the dumbbell (DB) over the jump. Instead of giving your jump or fetch command, twitch, take a deep breath, cough, or sneeze. Hahahahahha. This is great for a dog that anticipates.
  • After your throw your DB, give a command other than your retrieve command, such as a front command, or pivot to the right or left, BEFORE sending your dog. Reward your dog lavishly for his effort. Only send your dog for the DB when he is THINKING about you!
  • While your dog sits in heel position, throw the DB. Send him to the jump and to fetch the DB. Repeat this sequence once more. On the third time, throw your DB . However, this time instead of telling your dog to jump, say a word that is different from or similar to your fetch command.
  • Place obstacles in and around the jump so that your dog has to go around them to get to the jump. Chairs or trashcans work well for this proofing exercise. Simplify by having fewer objects or moving the objects further away from the jump.
  • Set up your High Jump in an area where the DB will be thrown into darkness or bright light. For example, throw your DB into a dark room, or into a ray of light on the ground. When you start training this, simplify by lowing the jump height.
  • Place a number of metal bowls or chairs on the opposite side of the High Jump from where you and your dog are to practice. As your dog sits in heel position, throw your dumbbell in such a way that it lands hitting the bowls or chairs. Send your dog as you normally would to jump and retrieve. This is also great training for the handlers accuracy of throwing the DB. :>)

Note: if your dog makes a mistake, mark the error and show your dog how to be correct. Start with easy proofing and gradually add difficulty as your dog becomes a STAR.

Video Notes: Handlers are working on testing their dog’s attentiveness on commands. The first dog, Secret, is having a hard time since she wants to retrieve the DB. This tells me that the handler does too many straight retrieves without adding games and fun! As the handler adds in different turns and commands, her dog finally starts to respond and think about her handler. When a dog locks onto the DB and will not listen to commands and focus on their owner the solution is simple, KEEP YOUR DOG THINKING! :>) While working on proofing, there is no need to have your dog front every time he retrieves. Make your dog work for it as the handler at the end of the video is practicing.

Challenge

  • Videotape a short training session of your dog on the Retrieve over the High Jump (ROH).
  • Write a list of any problems you feel you have or any areas of the ROH Exercise you wish to improve.
  • Write a list of any problems you feel you have.
  • Did you add surprise releases and games when your dog gave effort?
  • How was your dog’s retrieve? Pick and return?
  • Was your dog staying in an “active” state while in heel position?
  • What do you see that can be improved?