Direcred Retrieve – Gloves Classroom

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IntroductionHow to TrainGamesSequencingTypical ProblemsProofing
Description of Exercise/Skill:

Visualization
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PDF Points to remember


The Glove exercise consists of your dog sitting at heel, retrieving a glove that he is directed to, go to and pick up the glove and return to his owner and front. When on the judges order the handler will take the glove from the dog. This exercise has a “dead” retrieve.

A ‘dead’ object is something that the dog doesn’t see thrown and it never moves. The glove exercise is the exercise where gloves are placed out and do not move. The techniques used in this class not only teach your dog to run out quickly, retrieve the glove, and return it to you but also in a happy, animated, and focused, manner. Furthermore techniques are taught to the handler so that they handler can pivot with confidence towards the correct glove each and every time.

Exercise Discussion

The Glove Exercise or the Directed Retrieve consists of your dog sitting in heel position, pivoting to face a glove, marking the glove, and then retrieving the glove that he is directed to go to, pick up the glove, return to and front his handler. On the judge’s order, the handler will take the glove from their dog and the dog will then finish.

This exercise is more difficult because it is considered a “dead” retrieve. A “dead” retrieve is where the dog retrieves something that the dog doesn’t see thrown. In the Glove Exercise, the gloves are placed out by the steward and do not move.

Skills that your dog needs for the Directed Retrieve:

  • A retrieve.
  • A pivot.
  • A mark on your hand signal.
  • A front and finish.

Visualization

While doing gloves, my dog should stay in an active state, and remain focused on me during the pivot, and until I mark the glove. That is, my dog should not look at the glove, until my hand drops for the mark. Upon sending to the glove, my dog should go directly to the marked glove, pick it up without mouthing or playing, remain focused on his task without looking around, promptly return to me and front. Lastly, my dog will remain in front of me, holding the glove, until he is given a release command. On my command, my dog will finish promptly with attention.

PDF Files to help your training!
Problem Solving PDF
Training Log PDF
Points to Remember PDF

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Visualization
While doing gloves, your dog should maintain energy and focus on you during the pivot. Your dog should not look at the glove until your hand drops for the mark. Upon sending, your dog should go directly to the glove, pick it up without mouthing or playing and, without looking around, promptly return to you and front. Your dog will remain in front of you holding the glove until given a release command.
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Teaching the skill – Marking

Level 1: Teaching the Mark – Cookie on Plate (starting with one plate).

Begin with your dog at your side holding his collar in your right hand. One white paper plate is already placed a few feet in front of you.

  • Place a treat on the plate with your left hand (your left hand will be over the right which is holding the dog’s collar).
  • After placing the treat on the plate, hold your hand out and next to your dog’s head marking the direction of the treat and plate.
  • When your dog looks at the treat/plate, give your “get it” command (since it is a treat) and release his collar.
  • As soon as your dog gets to the plate, urgently tell him to come as you move away. You want to see a quick tight turn.
  • Now is when you will instill the habit of turning tightly and coming to you quickly.
  • Make sure you play either a Jump to Hand game or present a toy for a great game of tug. Energy and focus back to you is built at this stage.
End Goal – To have your dog to stare focused at a plate that you place a treat on. Run out and grab the treat and turn to come back to you for a game.

Level 2: Growing the game

Once your dog is successfully (80-90% of the time) marking the treat, going quickly to it, picking up the treat, turning tight and racing back to you, add another plate. There are still NO fronts or pivots towards a plate.

  • Place the 2 plates so they are 10 feet apart. Play or line your dog up close to and facing the new plate.
  • Again hold the collar with your right hand and the left hand places the treat on the plate and marks the direction for the dog.
  • Send the dog to the treat once he is looking at the plate.
  • Remember to encourage a tight turn AND a fast return to you. Greet him with a Jump to hand game or a game of tug.
  • Continue to add more plates until you have 3-4 placed out.
  • The plates may be in a slight curve or in a straight line.
End Goal – To have your dog to stare focused at one plate that you place a treat on. Run out and grab the treat and turn to come back to you for a game.

Level 3: continue to grow

Your dog is now marking the plate, running out, grabbing the treat, and running back to you while you are moving away and greeting the dog with a treat or tug game when he catches you.

  • Intermittently discontinue holding the collar.
  • Play with your dog and line-up facing a plate.
  • Have your dog in a sit next to you.
  • Place a treat on the plate in front of you, stand up, mark the plate and send your dog as before.
  • Still encourage a tight turn and fast return.
  • If your dog anticipates leaving for the treat, do NOT correct.
  • On the next try simply give your dog a reminder to sit or use a slip lead to prevent the dog anticipating.

Also once your dog will sit and you can mark the plate while your dog remains at your side, over time, gradually add distance from the plates. Ideally you want to be 10 to 15 feet from them. Continue to build drive and enthusiasm for the pickup and the return.

End Goal – To have your dog to stare focused at one plate that you place a treat on. Run out and grab the treat and turn to come back to you for a game.

Teaching the skill – adding gloves
When your dog will mark a plate consistently when you are 10-15 feet away, you will add gloves. Your dog should have set retrieve criteria. Before adding the glove to the directed retrieve, it is a good idea to review ALL your criteria with your dog using a glove.

Level 4: adding gloves

  • Start with 2 gloves approximately 10-15 feet apart.
  • Line up about 10 feet from the glove you want to mark and face the glove.
  • Remember that your dog should always be looking at you until you drop your hand for the mark.
  • Send to each glove separately while the other lies out as a distraction.
  • You can add the third glove once the dog is confidently marking, picking up and holding the glove, turning tightly, and returning to you quickly.
  • Increase your distance from the glove from 10 feet to 25 feet.
End Goal – To have your dog to stare focused on a glove. To run out and grab the glove and turn to come back to you for a game.

Games – Getting the most out of Training

  • Building Desire on a Dead Object (the Gloves) – To encourage your dog’s desire, put a string on the glove. Place the glove on the ground 4-6 feet in front of you. NO PIVOT. Mark and send your dog for the glove. If your dog is slow, pull the glove away by the string, saying “you missed it, get it, get it”. Laugh and have fun. Repeat and see what your dog does. If needed, go back and review desire building games before proceeding with teaching gloves. This would be the “Get It” and “Cookie Toss” Games.
  • Tap your dog’s rear or tail when he is leaving. Want to speed up your dog going to the glove? After the turn and as you release your dog, tweak his rear or tail. Stand still and start to tweak only after your dog is heading out and looking towards the glove.
  • RUN! – As your dog is retrieving the glove, run away from him. Want a tighter turn? Run away in the opposite direction of his turning. Example: as your dog is going for glove # 1, he would usually turn to the right as he picks up the glove. I will run to my left as he starts to pick up the glove and turn back towards me. This will make him circle tightly to get to me. Play with your dog when he catches you by playing tug or a “KrazyKookie” Game (found on the “welcome” page).
  • Play retrieve – Once your dog brings back the glove, place your hands on it, give your play words, i.e. “get it”, and break into a game of tug like you would with a toy. Anytime I go from work to play, I use my play cue “get it”.

Video Notes: In the first clip, Sly is have a great time with a glove on a string. This is a great way to build desire to retrieve a “dead” object or an object that is not thrown. I move the glove as Sly is going to get it which builds desire. In the next clip, Rip and I are showing the butt tap, or me moving away, or releasing him to toy as he picks up and starts to return with the glove. The last section of this video, show variations of the different games. Mix and match games and releases to keep retrieving gloves FUN!

Challenge

  • Video you and your dog doing Gloves and add games to each skill randomly.
  • Which game is your dog crazy about?
  • Did you have any problems?
  • How was your dog’s glove pick up and turn back to you?
  • What do you see that can be improved?

Level 5: Adding pivots

Only AFTER your dog understands and is confident about the mark and retrieving the glove with the criteria you have established. The pivot needs to be taught as a separate skill and needs to be understood and accurate before integrating a pivot into the Directed Retrieve.

  • When adding the pivot, start with one glove.
  • Stand 5 to 10 feet from the glove.
  • Only add distance and or additional gloves once your dog is confidently doing the pivot.
  • Never send your dog to the glove when the pivot wasn’t performed in the manner which you require.
  • Doing so is communicating to your dog that the pivot and effort he gave you was acceptable.
End Goal – Our goal is to teach the dog to stare focused at the glove when marked by the handler. Once commanded, the dog should go quickly to the glove, pick it up without mouthing or dropping. Lastly, the dog should look for and come directly and quickly to the handler.

POINTS TO REMEMBER-

  • Work on your hold or retrieve problems separately.
  • Work on pivots separately only adding to gloves when marking and retrieving is perfected. NEVER accept a bad pivot.
  • Always work on and balance drive. To encourage drive, use a string on the glove. If your dog is slow, pull the glove away by the string, saying “you missed it, get it, get it”. Go back and review drive building games before proceeding with teaching gloves. If you have a driven pup, keep your praise and rewards low value.

This exercise contains three main parts, the pivot, the mark, and the retrieve. Before Sequencing this exercise, it is important that your dog understands all three pieces separately and have a clear criteria for each.

Once all three parts are trained, begin to sequence two (2) skills at a time.

Examples:

  • Line-up and Pivot toward a glove. Reward and release your dog.
  • Place your dog on a sit with a glove between your dog and you. Command your dog to get the glove and bring front. Take and release.
  • Pivot toward the glove, and send your dog to the glove. As your dog picks up the glove, praise and run away. Your dog can drop the glove. Greet your dog when he catches you with play.

Training reminders: When starting to sequence, have the gloves closer to you and your your dog. Increase distance ONLY when your dog is confident in many new locations. NEVER proceed with a sequence if the first skill is incorrect.

Video Notes: We are working on sequencing the Directed Retrieve in this video. Our dog is doing a great job marking, but his pivots are off, and he is being sent to the glove. To the dog, that means he was correct on his pivot. :>0 We will need to go back a review pivots again BEFORE adding to the Directed Retrieve sequencing. Once our dog drops the glove, no biggy, since he is new to sequencing these skills, we simply reminds him of his job. We add lots of games to our training and keep retrieving the glove fun!

Challenge

  • Analyze and write down each skill of the Glove Exercise and then document YOUR criteria for each. Your criteria and vision should be as detailed as possible.
  • Practice sequencing 2 Directed Retrieve skills together at a time.
  • Is your dog meeting your criteria?
  • Note any areas and problems you are experiencing.

This exercise contains three main parts, the pivot, the mark, and the retrieve. Before Sequencing this exercise, it is important that your dog understands all three pieces separately and have a clear criteria for each.

Once all three parts are trained, begin to sequence two (2) skills at a time.

Examples:

  • Line-up and Pivot toward a glove. Reward and release your dog.
  • Place your dog on a sit with a glove between your dog and you. Command your dog to get the glove and bring front. Take and release.
  • Pivot toward the glove, and send your dog to the glove. As your dog picks up the glove, praise and run away. Your dog can drop the glove. Greet your dog when he catches you with play.

Training reminders: When starting to sequence, have the gloves closer to you and your your dog. Increase distance ONLY when your dog is confident in many new locations. NEVER proceed with a sequence if the first skill is incorrect.

Video Notes: We are working on sequencing the Directed Retrieve in this video. Our dog is doing a great job marking, but his pivots are off, and he is being sent to the glove. To the dog, that means he was correct on his pivot. :>0 We will need to go back a review pivots again BEFORE adding to the Directed Retrieve sequencing. Once our dog drops the glove, no biggy, since he is new to sequencing these skills, we simply reminds him of his job. We add lots of games to our training and keep retrieving the glove fun!

Challenge

  • Analyze and write down each skill of the Glove Exercise and then document YOUR criteria for each. Your criteria and vision should be as detailed as possible.
  • Practice sequencing 2 Directed Retrieve skills together at a time.
  • Is your dog meeting your criteria?
  • Note any areas and problems you are experiencing.

Directed Retrieve – Typical problems/solutions

The Directed Retrieve or Gloves is a relatively easy exercise to teach. The key to being successful in this exercise is for your dog to have a GREAT mark. This is when you signal/mark the glove. Your dog should hold that “MARK” until you verbally send your dog for the glove.

Problem
Your dog just cannot pivot when you are doing gloves.

Solution
Review your foundation for pivots. After the review, put out distractions, such as gloves or paper plates, and pivot towards the distractions without sending your dog for anything that is out there. Make sure that your dog pivots to your criteria and maintains focus up on you. Practice all pivots and after each, reward your dog while he is in heel position and release. Repeat with a different pivot.

Problem
When marking the glove, your dog will not mark or look at the glove.

Solution
Review your foundation steps. I use a plate with a treat on it and 5 feet from my dog and me. I stay close and only add distance only once my dog is locking in and focused on the glove/plate.

Consequence when adding distance, if your dog is looking incorrectly, take your dog’s collar with your right hand and with your left hand mark over your right. Move up a few steps with your dog and see if he will look at the glove/plate. Quite praise, then send him if he is looking at the glove. If he does not mark, hold his collar and your mark and move up again.

Problem
Your dog goes to wrong glove. You think he is looking at the glove, so you send him but he veers off to the wrong glove.

Solution
To start, abort the repetition with your negative marker (“nope”, “oops”, etc.). Use the same consequence as above and move closer to the glove. Place your right hand on your dog’s collar and left hand marking over your right. Send your dog to the glove IF your dog starts looking at the glove. If not, continue your mark, and move him closer to the glove again.

NOTE: this is a great consequence and I use it for many training issues especially when adding distractions. You know, that annoying time when a person is standing next to your dog and he will not mark because of the person. :>0

Problem
When bringing back the glove, your dog mouths or drops the glove.

Solution
This is a retrieve foundation issue. Review your foundational training first. Make sure your dog is holding onto the glove and no mouthing is happening.

Next, check for inadvertent training. This would be your dog practicing the mouthing behavior in other areas of life. For example, while out playing with your dog and he is mouthing and dropping a toy OR you are playing tug and he is mouthing or letting go and re-gripping the toy. In both instances, your dog is rehearsing mouthing and playing.

Challenge

  • Video and analyze your pivot, mark, and glove retrieves.
  • How is your dog’s responding?
  • Is your criteria being meet?
  • What problems do you see?

Proofing

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.

Proofing relating to anticipation:

  • As you pivot toward a glove, freeze your motion. Your dog should stop when you do and not continue to turn.
  • Place three gloves out in the usual manner. Instruct your helper to stand where the judge normally would if you were showing your dog. Execute a pivot and mark the glove. Have your helper say your fetch command or any other word while your dog is looking at the glove.

Proofing involving environmental factors:

  • Place your gloves on the ground in preparation for the directed retrieve. Stand with your dog in heel position while your helper stands approximately two feet from you and facing you. Talk with your helper briefly. While he is still talking use a very quiet voice to give your pivot command and begin to turn.
  • Test your dog’s ability to hold the glove firmly. Attach a string to the glove. Hold onto the other end of the string. Send your dog to retrieve the glove. As he is picking up the glove or bringing it to you, gently pull on the string.

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.
Directed Retrieve – Proofing – the last Steps to Success

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.

  • As you pivot toward a glove, freeze your motion. Your dog should stop when you do and not continue to turn.
  • Place three gloves out in the usual manner. Instruct your helper to stand where the judge normally would if you were showing your dog. Execute a pivot and mark the glove. Have your helper say your fetch command or any other word while your dog is looking at the glove.
  • Place your gloves on the ground in preparation for the Directed Retrieve. Stand with your dog in heel position while your helper stands approximately two feet from you and facing you. Talk with your helper briefly. While he/she is still talking use a very quiet voice to give your pivot command and begin to turn.
  • Test your dog’s ability to hold the glove firmly. Attach a string to the glove. Hold onto the other end of the string. Send your dog to retrieve the glove. As he is picking up the glove or bringing it to you, gently pull on the string.
  • Practice the Directed Retrieve on concrete, hardwood, tile, or asphalt. Hold your dumbbell or scent article in your right hand as your dog sits in heel position. Tell your dog to pivot and begin to turn. At any time during the pivot or during the Directed Retrieve, drop the scent article or dumbbell at your right side.
  • Practice the glove exercise close to or in a noisy location. For example, ask your dog to retrieve gloves placed at a busy storefront. Or, place your gloves near a park or playground crowded with active children.

Video Notes: In this video, handlers are using other people as distractions near the gloves. Reminder, do not send for the glove if your pivot does not meet criteria. Either stop and train the pivot, OR omit the pivot and face the glove. Add games and rewards to keep training sessions fun and your dog focused on his task.

Challenge

  • Videotape a short training session doing gloves.
  • Write a list of any problems you feel you have.
  • Did you add surprise releases and games when your dog gave effort?
  • Was your dog staying in an “active” state during the pivot and when sending for the glove?
  • How was your dog’s retrieve? Pick up and return?
  • What do you see that can be improved?
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