There are at least three ways I use my hands around my dog’s head for positioning – Chin rest (dog places their head in my hand), Pocket hand (dog places the side of their head/muzzle against my hand) and Nose bridge (dog pushes their muzzle up into my hand).
I use a chin rest to stabilize my dog in a position – usually a stand. I can also use it for medical procedures and elements of the hold portion of the retrieve.
I use pocket hand to teach heeling. I also use it for positioning straight fronts, in particular when using both hands at the same time.
But today I’m going to show you a nose bridge via the following video. I have narrated what I am doing here, so turn on your sound.
Nose bridge is hard to beat for a close front. I’m also experimenting with it for a steady/calm retrieve, especially when using awkward/floppy objects that make a chin rest difficult. The jury is still out on how well it works for this application; I’ll come back and talk about it in the future when I have a stronger opinion.