Using shaping techniques we are able to teach the owners to train their dogs to do more complicated exercises such as the retrieve, with some breeds you will be able to throw a toy and the dog naturally want to bring it back.
With some breeds they will need to be taught. Shaping is breaking the exercise in to small and easily attainable parts, with the retrieve we teach the dog to mouth and hold the article whilst we sit in a chair.
Once this is achieved we move on to rewarding the dog for holding the article whilst in the sit position, the next phase is then to drop the article onto the floor and reward the dog when it picks the article up and holds it. Obviously the next stage is to throw the article a short distance and very quickly we have shaped the dog into performing a retrieve.