If the dog doesn’t give the disc or will not get close with the disc, there is a simple fix for that: cue the drop, mark it, then reinforce with a bite on a disc in hand.
The bite reinforces the cued drop, so she will want to carry until hearing the bite cue. Reward placement drives the dog towards you. The bite is also a backchain of the give, which is clever.
If the dog believes that the cued drop makes everything happen she will have to carry the disc because,”I can’t drop it if I ain’t carrying it.”
This will help the dog maintain possession of the disc as she approaches the handler and moves around the field. That’s essential for a give.
The reward placement of a bite adds value to the immediate area around the handler. A bunch of repetitions of drop to bite will make driving into the handler’s hand a hard habit to break.
The bite on the disc in the handler’s hand is exactly the same picture as the give. During the bite, the dog and handler share the disc, and during the give, the dog and handler share the disc. A Take is a cued Bite that replicates the placement and timing of a throw. Usually used with overs, vaults, and flips, the Take is a powerful teaching tool for the right freeze frame of any bite or give video and it would be hard to tell the difference between the two.
A bite is a natural backchain to the give. Create a habit of driving to the hand and getting heavy reinforcement while sharing the disc with the handler, and what happens when there is nothing in the handler’s hand? What does the dog need to do? She needs to get something and put it in the handler’s hand.
When the cued drop triggers this reinforcement, and the dog knows she has to carry the disc to make that awesome reinforcement
happen, and she sees an empty hand, what do you think is going to happen?
Your dog is going to go find a disc jam it into your hand so she can make a bite and tug happen. That’s the give with a retrieve as a bonus.