Day 66 of #100DaysofDogTraining
The ever-elusive steady hold. (Link in bio!) How ironic that we spend all of puppy-hood pulling shit out of their mouths, but when we want them to hold something, all they want to do is spit it out. 😝 This one can be a real tricky one sometimes! Be patient, reinforce generously, and keep in mind there are so many ways to approach the duration aspect of this behavior.
I chain the hold behavior to the release of the object (the drop) very early in the process. My dogs’ drop behavior is stronger than their hold behavior so there’s a bit of premack happening. Plus, the dog needs to drop the object in order to eat the treat anyways. If your dog doesn’t already have a drop on cue, the “click” or “collect reinforcement” cue should also function as a cue to spit the object out in order to begin the eating behavior.
If you’re struggling to achieve the first two seconds of duration, you can experiment with piggybacking off of other behaviors your dog already knows. Chin rest, stay, and zen hand are examples. In the video, I demonstrate a stay with Whizbee and zen keeper with Severus. I didn’t learn about zen keeper until after I taught this to Sev, but I do think it’s clever and can help some dogs get the duration concept more quickly.
Let me know how this behavior goes with your dog! Ask questions if you have any! 👇🏼
Photo by Severus and Whizbee on November 13, 2019. Image may contain: dog