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UKC Glove Exercises: Directed Marked Retrieve & Directed Signal Retrieve: Part I

The UKC Utility degree contains two glove exercises.

The first, the Directed Marked Retrieve, requires the dog go directly to one of three gloves. The handler stands in the middle of the short end of the ring with his dog in heel position and the gloves are placed in the middle of the remaining three sides of the ring. This exercise is done prior to the jumps being set up (Diagram 1).

 

The second exercise, the Directed Signal Retrieve, is similar to a baseball or casting drill that you might do with your retriever when field training. The dog is sent toward glove two and then stopped in the middle of the ring with a sit command. Then the judge tells the handler to retrieve glove 1, 2, or 3, and the handler casts the dog to one of the gloves.

There are two pre-requisites for these exercises. First, your dog must understand a correction for failing to retrieve and secondly, a good foundation of the Go-out exercise.

Part I: The Directed Marked Retrieve

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Perfecting the Dumbbell Pick-Up

 

Perfecting the Dumbbell Pick-up

One of the most frequently asked questions that I receive is about dogs that have poor dumbbell pick-ups. Some dogs hit it with their feet, some push it with their nose, but in either case, they lose points for a poor pick-up.

This can be a difficult problem to fix. How do you say to a dog, “I love that you’re picking it up, I hate how you are doing it?” If you’re not careful, you will communicate to the dog that you don’t want him to pick it up at all.

Most trainers, when they see that this problem is developing, do everything they can think of to prevent the mistake, for example, they place the dumbbell up against a wall, under a chair, or on a piece of chicken wire. Those approaches work as long as you use them. The theory is that if you prevent the problem long enough, the dog will get in the habit of picking the dumbbell up correctly.

What makes this difficult to fix is that dogs often find the activity to be...

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