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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-26-2012, 12:35 PM Thread Starter
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retrieve

I have had Nadia for nearly three years. In that time, I have tried everything I can think of to get her to bring a toy back to me.

I have tried using treats. Toss the toy and have food ready when she comes back-she won't come close enough to smell the treat

I have tried a long line. She is already doing her own thing by the time I reel it back in. Either that or the line gets so tangled that I can't reel it in for fear that I am going to trip her or hurt her.

I have tried a shock collar. She drops the toy as soon as she feels even the slightest little vibration let alone a shock.

I have tried walking away as soon as she comes towards me, to get her to follow.

I have tried to use a non squeaky toy for her to fetch and a squeaky toy in my pocket to get her attention to come back. As soon as I squeak the pocket toy, she loses interest in the non squeaking toy and while I have her total focus, it is that she is intent on getting the one I have (squeaker)

I have tried to tie a rope onto the toy and it turns into an instant tug game. She is strong, and can/has destroyed toys or nearly pulled my shoulders out. If I give in because it is painful to me, she wins. If the toys breaks, she wins.

I have tried praising her.

But without fail as soon as she gets the toy, while she will come back towards me, she will not bring the toy to me. If I reach out to get it, she turns away faster than I can get ahold of her collar.

The only way to date is to get her to lay down, tell her leave it and then take it away to throw again. The only other thing that ever worked was having two of the same item/toy and a large area to play in..throw one and get ready with the 2nd as she comes back. Then she would run back, get about half way to me, drop that one and run after the other. But to get her to bring just one toy back so I can throw it again...doesn't happen.

Zisso will do it. He brings it to me, and if I am sitting down will drop it in my lap. I can leave him in the house or take her some place else and work on it and get the same results...she will not bring a toy back to me. Doesn't matter what kind of toy. She will not chase after a tennis ball, so the Chuck it would be a waste of money.

Ideas?

Nadia - GSD -DOB 12-29-07
Zisso - GSD- DOB 9-16-07
Pepe & Kiki`my sweet kitties

Zisso is my heart~Nadia is my Love~My kitties bring me everything in between~Together they bring me Joy!
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-26-2012, 01:33 PM
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It sounds like she's used to the retrieve being more of an obedience exercise than a fun one. I would keep on playing two toy with her, with you in the middle. Throw the toy to one side, call her name, then when you get her attention, throw the other. Back and forth, back and forth. I'd just keep working on that until you start to see her look to you for the next toy. Once you see her starting to give you more attention, you can work on calling her in closer.

I think you'll find her coming in a lot closer once she thinks that it is more of a game than a training exercise.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-26-2012, 01:37 PM
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Not sure if this will work, as you have 3years of mixed signals to overcome..... But google Shirley Chong's clicker retrieve.
I am using a version posted by Lou Jollyman and so far, so good. The proof will (hopefully!) be in the pudding when we trial for our Sch1.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-26-2012, 02:05 PM
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Have the same problem with my dog. The only thing that works is to wait her out or walk away. It is fun for dogs to play keep away and to try and make you chase them. If she doesn't bring it back to me I just walk away and she has to wait until next time. Most of the time if I just hold my ground she will bring it back and I will tell her to drop it, then leave it. She will do that about 75% of the time.
I also found that it depends on where we play. If I go out into the yard with her she will bring it all the way back, usually, and give me an opportunity to grab it. So, the keep away game is my fault because I am not consistent about making her drop it and leave it.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-26-2012, 02:08 PM
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Zisso wrote: The only way to date is to get her to lay down, tell her leave it and then take it away to throw again. The only other thing that ever worked was having two of the same item/toy and a large area to play in..throw one and get ready with the 2nd as she comes back. Then she would run back, get about half way to me, drop that one and run after the other. But to get her to bring just one toy back so I can throw it again...doesn't happen.

JaneaUlva on this board does a two ball and has her dog trained to not drop the first until she says. Maybe she wil pop in and give some pointers.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-26-2012, 02:53 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
It sounds like she's used to the retrieve being more of an obedience exercise than a fun one
Actually it is just the other way around. She knows it is a game. But her version of the game is to play keep away and my version is to share so I can continue to play with her. Due to the fact that she won't bring it back, I end up playing with Z while she just dashes about, pacing, prancing, all with a toy in her mouth, because unless she brings it back, I ignore her. It has been about a year since I have been able to play with her because our yard shrunk when a new house was built in the lot next door.

Another thing I have tried is to not let her play with toys unless she engages with me. The only time she got to play with a toy was when she would play with me. Sadly, as soon as she gets the toy, the game over because she won't bring it back, so the idea didn't work.

Also I try to wear her out with off leash time somewhere, end results are the same. I can run her hard and she will come home and do the same thing. If we take a toy out where we run she is only slightly better about bringing it back. Most times she will carry it around a bit, then drop it wherever.

This is something I have tried to work on ever since I adopted her. I am almost ready to give up and accept that she won't ever bring it back.

Nadia - GSD -DOB 12-29-07
Zisso - GSD- DOB 9-16-07
Pepe & Kiki`my sweet kitties

Zisso is my heart~Nadia is my Love~My kitties bring me everything in between~Together they bring me Joy!
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 10:29 PM
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Here is what worked for me when Tank wouldn't bring the ball back to me.

I would take two balls, and throw one. Usually he would grab it and go off on his happy way, so I would walk over to him and entice him with the other ball by throwing it up and down, causing him to drop the one he had in his mouth.

I then put my hand close to the ball on the ground and pointed at it which caused him to grab the ball, and then I would walk back towards where I started from, if he followed, it was praise, if not, I would just throw the ball in my hand up and down again until he dropped the one in his mouth.

I repeated this until he had brought the ball back to where I originally threw it from. When he finally dropped it at my feet, it was lots of praise and the ball would get thrown again.

There was alot of going back to the ball pointing and walking away from it, but it only took a day for him to start to realize that bringing the ball back to me meant the game continued and fun could be had for all...except now I can't get him to stop.

Every few minutes I'll throw in a sit, down, or stay before throwing the ball but then it's back to just throwing the ball over and over again when he brings it back...he loves this and tires out fairly quickly

Last edited by Tankin; 03-15-2012 at 10:37 PM. Reason: Formatting, paragraphs are our friends.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-16-2012, 12:33 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you Tankin. That sounds like something I could try

Normally when she sees me walking towards her she grabs the toy and walks away briskly as if she is trying to play keep away...frustrating. I did get her to bring it back a few times last week. I normally don't bother to try using treats because she is not food driven and will often ignore the hotdogs to keep the toy but two days last week she took the food in exchange for the toy.

Nadia - GSD -DOB 12-29-07
Zisso - GSD- DOB 9-16-07
Pepe & Kiki`my sweet kitties

Zisso is my heart~Nadia is my Love~My kitties bring me everything in between~Together they bring me Joy!
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-16-2012, 01:11 PM
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My trainer recommended this: Throw the ball and run toward it yourself (about halfway to where it landed or a little more). As soon as your dog gets to the ball, give some very excited praise as you turn around and run in the other direction back to where you began. The dog should follow. Praise again when the dog gets to you.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-22-2012, 06:25 PM
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This is what worked for training Bailey.

I used a very short distance (inside), with her ball (her favorite toy), I taught her "give me the ball", and click when she puts it in my hand. She is very motivated by treats though. I then increased the distance. She's doing very well with it.

Prior to this she wouldn't bring anything. She would drop it then come to me.

Once I started increasing the distance, as she was bringing the ball, I would praise her continuously, and immediately stop praising if she dropped it before getting to me.

I had read somewhere that it's easier to teach this end of the trick first (giving me the object), than trying to make her understand that when she's thirty feet away i want her to bring it to me.
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