In 7 Schritten zum ruhigen und festen Halten des Apportierholzes

Hardly any detailed exercise presents the IGP trainers with such problems as holding the dumbbell calmly while at the same have dynamic and fast retrieves. Exactly this rapid change (from the action to a frozen picture) is the challenge.

We are convinced – the solution is a good plan.

On the one hand there is the collecting game with a lot of drive and action. Here we practice the fast-running routes and automate them.

On the other hand, completely detached from this, we train the holding exercise in a calm and relaxed mood - we will go into this aspect below.

As a rule, we only begin the holding exercise when our dogs have already learned good basic obedience and thus also waiting - i.e. at around 9 to 12 months. Only much later, when both elements have become a matter of course, do we put them together and go into the complete processes.

• Week 1: Preliminary practice to create the perfect calm and controlled mood

• 2nd week: Wood is placed in the muzzle for a brief moment, just behind the fangs.

• 3rd week: Bello is allowed to take the wood himself and we create understanding for the command "firm"

• We continue to increase the time frame until we have about 10 seconds of constant, steady holding of the dumbbell. We may use a jute stick for easier understanding.

• Now we gradually take our hands off the dumbbell and Bello learns to hold it without help.

• When we have created perfect understanding of the firm command, we increase the drive, e.g., with a ball, thereby reinforcing the learned behavior. So Bello uses the calm and firm hold of the wood as the key to reaching the instinctual goal.

• As a last step, we learn to work Bello into the front sit with the dumbbell in the muzzle - first from a side position, which we gradually let go into the front sit.

Have fun training!