In My Hand

IN MY HAND can be a great "trick", solution to resource guarding, or not wanting to drop toys. The concept of IN MY HAND can be difficult for some dogs so it is best to break the request down into steps. Below is a collection of videos demonstrating how to work IN MY HAND with two very different types of dogs. The first dog is very soft and while he is very toy motivated he can get fixated on treats, the second dog is extremely toy motivated and doesn't like to release toys when asked.

Skoo step 1:

The first step is to get the dog interested in the toy. Like stated above Skoo is very toy motivated, however he will not pick up things when asked unless it is originally thrown. The technique of asking a dog to pick up specific things when asked can be very useful. If your dog like to steal socks you can teach him/her to put away dirty laundry. Or if you dog has resource guarding issues teaching him/her to bring you what they are guarding can help redirect that negative behavior into something useful.

The step below can be used for dogs who will choose food over toys or do not have a lot of toy drive at all. What I am doing is putting the treat first on top the toy and then clicking with he gets the treat. Next, I am putting the treat under the toy and clicking when he moves the toy to get the treat. Both of these steps teach Skoo that when I point at something to touch it and then eventually pick it up. The last step I simply point at the toy and click and treat when he touches it. Make sure you click every time he/she touches the toy.

Skoo Step 2:

For Skoo the next step was getting him really interested in the toy and for him that means fetch. I break down fetch into 3 parts: GET IT, BRING IT HERE, DROP/IN MY HAND. Drop is when you want it at your feet and "in my hand" is obviously putting the object in your hand. I get him interested by tossing the toy. I say GET IT for him to go get it and put it in his mouth, bring it here on the way back.

Skoo Step 3:

The next step is to take out the toss and just to point at the toy. I still say GET IT so that he puts it in his mouth. Click and treat first when he just picks it up and then gradually ask for more. Periodically toss the toy if the dog starts to lose interest. Jack pot (give 4-5 treats one at a time) if the dog should actually put it in your hand. Once the dog consistently puts the toy into your hand when you point and say GET IT change the words to IN MY HAND. The difference between GET IT and in my hand is "get it" is the dog going somewhere to get it and IN MY HAND is the dog either having something in it's mouth and giving it to you or picking something up close to you and handing it to you. I transition the two for young dogs to help the enthusiasm.

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