Shaped retrieve 2


Today I started teaching the shaped retrieve. A few people on the Psychiatric Service Dog Partners’ free online peer guidance group are teaching this together!

I teach a shaped retrieve, which starts out with me dropping something soft and easy to pick up like a cloth hankie. At first, whenever Hestia looks at the hankie, I click and treat. Repeat repeat repeat. Then once she has that down, I up the ante to requiring her to look at it and move towards it to get the click and treat. Repeat that a million times. Gradually over time I up the ante until she walks over to it, puts her face near it, touches it with her mouth, and eventually picks it up, holds it, and gives it to me.

I’ll be documenting this training process in videos as we do it, so expect many more to come!

Today we did the first video, where I really only worked on Hestia looking at the dropped object. Other than 15 minutes 4 years ago, I have never worked on this with her before. She did an OK job with it, though I don’t think she has a clear idea yet of what I’m looking for in the first step.

I’ll do one or two 5-10 min training sessions a day every day, and every few days I’ll document our progress.

Below is the video Brad made (he really does a great job in getting good angles and editing videos!) of me teaching retrieve, and below that are some still pictures he got of Hestia doing the retrieve.

I am a woman with long curly brown hair wearing a white linen dress. Hestia is a tiny white and black dog with a smushed nose and googley eyes. The hankie is a dark blue hankie with burgundy and white flowers on it.

Hestia looks at and starts to pounce on the hankie as it is falling.
Hestia looks at and starts to pounce on the hankie as it is falling.
Hestia does a spin as the hankie falls.  Oops!  Not the right behavior.
Hestia does a spin as the hankie falls. Oops! Not the right behavior.
Hestia sits and looks as the hankie falls.
Hestia sits and looks as the hankie falls.
Hestia turns and looks at the hankie as it is falling.
Hestia turns and looks at the hankie as it is falling.
Hestia sits and looks as the hankie falls.
Hestia sits and looks as the hankie falls.
Hestia starts to pounce and looks at the hankie as it falls.  Her eyes are so googley that it appears the hankie is falling right between where her eyes are pointed outwards around it!
Hestia starts to pounce and looks at the hankie as it falls. Her eyes are so googley that it appears the hankie is falling right between where her eyes are pointed outwards around it!

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2 thoughts on “Shaped retrieve

  • Tracey

    Just a tip: you don’t need to drop the hankie every time. You can get multiple looks for every drop. She is doing good for her first lesson.

  • Windy Williamson

    Fantastic! I would have to say that was the best thing she ever learned to do! She gets pens, rulers, credit cards, my phone & a whole bunch of other things.