Our friend and instructor, Åsa Jacobsson, has kindly let us use this article with her 101 tips about retrieving. Åsa does obedience and rally obedience, but the retrieving and delivery to hand training is the same so you’ll get lots of tips on how to train your dog to retrieve an object. We’ve split them into four blog posts and this is the third one. Enjoy!

Delivery to hand

If a dog is good at delivering an object to hand depends, of course, on if the dog knows how to take and hold an object. I prefer to practice delivery to hand close to me before I let the dog run long distances to me with the dummy, this because I want the dog to understand exactly what the whole exercise is about. Back chaining is great!

  1. Start training in a small space without any distractions. The bathroom works fine.
  2. Be generous with tidbits if you have a dog that wants to “own” the dummy herself
  3. Proof the exercise “nose-to-handtarget”. Then let the dog do the target-exercise with an objects in her mouth. Reward this the first times, sooner or later, the dog usually holds on to the object the whole way, and you can start with more difficult criteria.
  4. Move your hand so that the dog automatically needs to “look up” when she delivers the object to your hand.
  5. Relax. Smile. Have patience.
  6. Let the dog hold on to the object a short while every time she delivers to hand (use reversed luring or pull a little in the dummy to check if she holds the object firmly).
  7. Let the dog wait with the object in her mouth before you take it.
  8. Teach the dog to deliver the object close to your face (sit on your knees).
  9. Play tug of war. Let the dog take the object. If the dog wants to play the game again, she has to press the toy against your hand.
  10. Use two (or more) objects (for instance balls). Drop one of them on the ground. The only way to get you to drop the other one (so that the dog can chase after it) is to deliver the first object to your hand. Switch between the two different balls.

I discovered that I didn’t have a film that shows this … maybe that’s today’s project!

Good luck with your training! We’ll be back with the last blog post soon.


Retrieving for All Occasions - Foundations for Excellence in Gun Dog Training
Retrieving for All Occasions - Foundations for Excellence in Gun Dog Training

%d bloggers like this: