No Stinkin' Leashes Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: SF Bay Area
With a ball we use the Chuck-it. If he brings back the ball and drops it you can pick it up right way without bending down, and if he tries to grab it before you can scoop it up, just step on the ball and body block and then back him away.
Keefer used to be bad about grabbing at toys so we had to work on teaching him that he's not to take anything until released to do so. Do some impulse control work with Ben, having him sit or down on cue and remain in place until you release him and then throw the ball. If he breaks - "oops"! or "ah ah" and wait for him to sit or down again. He must hold the position until released or the toy doesn't get thrown. From there, you can work on having him remain in place AFTER you throw the toy, if you like. I start this on leash and progress to off leash, usually in an area where I can body block before attempting it out in the open. We have a long skinny dog run that's perfect for this. It's important to make sure that the dog is not allowed to get the toy until you say so.
I do lots of focus work as well, so the presence of a toy (or food, or a high value treat like a bully stick) becomes a cue to ignore it and look at me. They can stare at it all they want but they'll never get it until they give me eye contact, and then I release them to take it. Once they have the idea that they have to wait to get what they want and do what *I* want first, I start teasing them with a toy. I'll pretend to throw a ball, I'll whip a frisbee around in front of them, trying to get them to break. Only when they maintain the stay do I release them to play. They figure out pretty quick what the rules are and what they need to do to "make" me give them the toy.
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