Obility - Teaching the Retrieve over High Jump (ROH)

Here's a simple video showing how I'm working on Lyra's retrieve over high jump.

She knows how to fetch.  She knows how to jump.  She knows how to stay.  She has a reasonable clue about fetching over a jump in the outbound direction, but definitely shakier about the return.

Now I'm focusing on proofing the return - teaching her to find her way back to the jump when the dumbbell is off center.  To accomplish this, I use "obility" and substitute an object for a dumbbell.  This allows many more repetitions and I can keep her enthusiasm up since there are no "stay", "front" or "retrieve" components to worry about.  The more I can isolate the issue, the better my chances of success.

I do need to work on her front with the dumbbell.  Had it for awhile but guess it's lost now.


pauline hosenfeld

I want to live in your neighborhood, Denise, so I can watch your dogs having all this fun in the back yard! Thanks for sharing this unique way to build that skill – love it! and so will Chase!


Query—did Lyra already have a right-hand turn when she picked up an object, or did you shape that behavior? Would you put the ‘fly’ on the other side of the high jump for a dog who perfers to turn to the left after the pick up?
Guess that’s 2 questions.


This is timely, as I am just starting working on the ROH with my dog, and have been pondering different ways to get across the idea that if she goes over the jump, she also needs to come back over it. I’ve been working on getting a habit established by asking her to go out over the jump, and when she’s committed (and not looking back at me – that’s one of my criteria), tossing a treat for her to get. Then asking her to jump back, marking the jump verbally as she takes it. I like this ‘fly’ business because it emulates the dog whipping around once they’ve got the dumbell, getting them in the habit of looking for the jump after they whip around, without the db in the picture until they’re solid on this.


Oooo I really like this! And my collie pup isn’t one to really carry stuff around… but this could really make it fun for him. Thanks!

ml carroll

Great video and explanation.  Thanks!  

ML Carroll Chicago, IL 

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