At this juncture, the dog may continue holding the dummy when you wish him to release it, being apprehensive that, if it is not in his mouth, the pressure of the force collar may follow. Reassure him kindly every time he surrenders it to command. If he will not let go promptly upon order, grasp the end of the dummy in the left hand, but do not pull strongly on it. It is unwise to take it by direct force.
When you have grasped the end of the dummy with your left hand, command him to “Give.”
Be prepared, if he refuses, to step lightly on the toes of his forefoot. Use just enough pressure on his foot to force him to open his mouth and this will require but very little. After a few repetitions, he should surrender the dummy instantly upon the order to “Give.”
If you twirl the dummy temptingly and playfully before the dog’s nose he may attempt to grasp it. It is a distinct gain if he will do so. Then he can be taught in a few lessons to pick up the dummy. Too much playfulness should not be encouraged. The lessons must not lose the character of discipline. If too much playfulness is permitted, the force system will have no advantage over natural retrieving.
Having trained the dog so that he will step forward to grasp the dummy as ordered, the next stage is to teach him to lower his head to grasp it. This is accomplished simply by the process of gradually lowering the dummy at first only two or three inches at a time so that the change of position is not too sudden. You can tempt the dog with the dummy from the floor after a few attempts, particularly if you are tactful and do not proceed in too much of a hurry. A dog that is really anxious to please requires very little punishment and there may not be any perceptible stages in his progress; but in most instances the successive stages have to be formally and thoroughly observed. The dog requires time and schooling to comprehend his lessons. Hurrying him faster than he can comprehend or remember simply results in loss of time in the end.