I've been playing fetch with Sam ever since he was a puppy. Every now and then he'd go through a phase of not bringing the ball back all the way but sooner or later he would get the point and all would be good.
He's now a year old and for some reason does not bring the ball back all the way to us. Oh wait - he's picked up this bad habit, ever since the ground has been snow covered, that he will "double-back" every time he chases after the ball.
So we throw the ball or frisbee, he chases it, once he pounces on it he drops it and circles back retracing his steps while sniffing the ground. Then he finally goes back and eventually brings the ball back to us anywhere between 6-20 feet away. Since I've been training him to come back to us all the way he will drop the ball and come back to us on his own.
I've tried taking him to get the ball back. I've tried waiting him out telling him to "get the ball" but no dice. I tried giving him lotsa praise and even treats when he actually brings it back closer but he just doesn't understand that I don't want to have to go walking to get it every time he retrieves it.
This has become soooo frustrating as it's been pretty cold outside. Plus, he's not making the best use of his exercise time when he just sits there staring at the ball while we tell him to get it. I would just LOVE to get back to the same routine of him dropping the ball and fetching x repeat.
Has anybody else gone through this? Any tips to get him to bring it all the way back again?