Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
I'm not sure I totally get the question (or the goal) but I do a lot of training where instead of luring the dog (food in hand, holding a ball on my shoulder) I'm deliberately showing the dog what they want, putting it where they know it is, and making them do what *I* say first. So with Nikon this would be doing a little teasing/loading him up for the ball, then I drop the ball on the ground and do stuff like heel around it, even walk over it. When I'm satisfied with the intensity and attention I mark and release him to go get the toy.
In the formal retrieves I want fast, powerful retrieves so I'm more careful about how I do things i training. Normally I work on the impulse control (waiting in basic position for the retrieve command) separate from the actual retrieving, so I don't do many retrieves where I throw the dumbbell and then make the dog wait longer or do other stuff before retrieving. I say this because I've never had my dog leave me early in trial but I did have one instance where I had to give him a second retrieve command.
Whatever you do, just be sure to always mix it up and not unintentionally pattern train behaviors or anticipation that you don't want.