No Stinkin' Leashes Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: SF Bay Area
I've always had natural retrievers so I've never had to work very hard to get mine to chase a ball and bring it back. I usually start by just rolling it a foot or two rather than trying to throw it very far. The only part I've had to actually teach is to give me the ball when they bring it back. But since you can get him to go after it, but he won't bring it back, I'd try backchaining - teaching the end of the behavior first, and then working backwards to the beginning.
Start by handing him a ball, praising him, and then stick a treat right up to his nose. When he drops the ball to take the treat, mark it ("yes!") and give him the ball back. After a few tries, add whatever command you want to use ("drop it" "give" "out") right before putting the treat to his nose. As soon as he's dropping the ball readily, stop showing him the treat first, give the command, wait for him to comply, THEN mark it and give him a treat.
When you've got him consistently giving you the ball on cue, have him take the ball, and then run backwards a few feet, encouraging him to bring it to you. (I use "bring it", but you can name it anything you like.) The next step would be to roll it a few feet away and encourage him to bring it to you and trade it for a treat. Eventually you'll phase out food rewards - the continuation of play will be the reward, but at first I'd be marking and treating as much as necessary.
As I said, I've never actually had to try this, but it's what I would do if I had a dog that didn't seem to grasp the concept of chase the ball and bring it back. The fact that he's interested enough to chase after the ball is good, so this shouldn't take too long to teach.
Keefer 8/25/05-4/24/19 ~ The sweetest boy
Halo 11/9/08-6/17/18 ~ You left pawprints on our hearts
Dena 9/12/04-10/4/08 ~ Forever would have been too short