Fetch.... Help! - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-17-2009, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
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Fetch.... Help!

Ok.. I've NEVER owned a dog that played fetch.. Ever.. Weird huh? Lol.
But I'm wanting to build a ball drive in both my dogs. Mostly Sandy since couldn't care less about toys in general.. Some days I wonder if I got a defective JRT. Lol.

Now I've got two new Sandy sized balls on hold at the petstore so I can get them next week but how do I go about teaching Fetch? Maze will chase the ball then that's it.. She won't grab it, won't bring it back.. Nothing.

I know they need more daily exercise besides just their walks but they just won't play outside.. HELP!


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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-17-2009, 07:16 PM
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Re: Fetch.... Help!

Haha, I have no idea. I'm just going to throw this out there and hopefully don't sound like an idiot. Maybe if you smear a little pb on it or something she'll pick it up at least, then call her, and if she carries it back to you reward her. Maybe it could work? Bella brought me the ball the first time I threw it for her, so I've never had to worry about it.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-17-2009, 07:23 PM
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Re: Fetch.... Help!

Keep trying! Jerzey used to have zero interest in fetch. Now, literally all the sudden, she's a frisbee dog: running and jumping for the frisbee. She's even showing more interest in going after tennis balls and catching those from mid-air.

I would say keep trying! Some dogs don't like to fetch balls. Jerzey used to love to catch sticks so try different things. Keep treats with you and literally train your dog. Throw the stick a short way and when they show interest treat. Perhaps your dog will be more willing to bring it back if it knows that it'll get a little treat from doing so.

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-17-2009, 07:26 PM
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Re: Fetch.... Help!

I've never had to teach a dog to fetch, I've always had natural retrievers, so I'm not sure what the best way is. Maybe you could try backchaining it, so you teach her to take the ball from your hand and then give it back to you and work your way up to rolling it a few feet. Basically you're starting at the end and working back to the beginning.

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-17-2009, 07:29 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Fetch.... Help!

I do treat when Maze brings it back. Lots of luvin, a piece of food and then I throw it again.. She usually get this look of "Why did you throw it away again??"
I'm thinking of going right back to the basics with Maze.. Slap a leash on her and just roll it away from me then call her back and reward... See the weird part is, Maze will fetch in the house but not outside! LMAO!

Oh! And she couldn't care less about sticks, hates frisbee's (She feels it's her job to kill them after ducking to the ground as they fly). *sigh* My unique lab and a defective terrier.. Lol


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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-17-2009, 07:30 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Fetch.... Help!

Good idea Cassidy's Mom! Duh.. Back chaining.. Why didn't I think of that...


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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-17-2009, 07:37 PM
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Re: Fetch.... Help!

I have no idea if it will work, but it's worth a shot! Usually I just have to teach them to give it up when they bring it back, which is easy by trading for a treat.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-17-2009, 07:55 PM
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Re: Fetch.... Help!

I think back chaining is great for shaping a formal retrieve using positive methods. However, for fetch I want it fun, hyper, and a lot less formal. Nikon fetches, but he did not start that way. First, I had to make him really want the object to be used for fetch. For that, I do some back-tying and basic prey drive work, getting the dog all revved up for the ball or whatever it is. Then, once we're ready to move to fetch, I started him on a long line and would "reel" him in because at first he wanted to run off with the toy. Now he has learned the "aus" and also learned that the game stops if he doesn't bring back the toy.

So for me, fetch as a fun game/exercise is more about the dog's obsession with the object and wanting to play with you than actually doing any formal training (other than training the "aus" if you want, as an easier way of getting the toy back).
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-17-2009, 08:33 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Fetch.... Help!

I do want to build Sandy's ball drive since I'm gonna be using tennis balls in her agility training.. But I'm not to sure how to start build drive.. Cuz she has NONE! Lol. With Maze and the tug toy it was easy since she's already obsessed with the rope.


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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-17-2009, 09:29 PM
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Re: Fetch.... Help!

My dogs love the large red Kong balls.

First get them interested in playing with the ball - don't worry if they don't bring it back.

Once they love the ball, throw it and then produce a second ball and tease them with it. They'll inadvertently bring back ball #1 to get ball #2.

Not sure if it'll work for you. My dogs go ball crazy and I have to hide them between playtime or they'll drive me nuts.

Good luck

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