exactly ! "I kinda think the teaching fetch can help with the recall. The ball has to be more important then any distractions"
so what do you do ? You remove yourself from a wide open stimulating area where the dogs attention can drift and take an option to run, run, run, for the horizon or ignore you , grrr. Find a smaller room -- maybe an area of your basement, laundry room , go after hours at the local "dog training classes" and use their facility . Get a hard super bouncer , lacrosse ball , india rubber -- hard surface flooring , wall space . Go . Close door behind you. Just you and the dog. Let do go . Stay in one place start boucing ball , see if dog stops investigating and looks at you with curiousity , comes over to investigate. Praise dog if it does but don't confine, allow free range of motion. He has to offer to come on over. Start with allowing dog to grab ball from the bounce so that the dog is pretty well "recalled" (close to you ) - take a step back . This will draw the dog in . Progess by having that ball go further away, ricocheting off the walls , randomly moving quickly on the floor . Dog goes into party frame of mind . The moment he doesn't participate how you want him to , which is return to hand recall, then the game-power is off . He returns to you - the game gets more exciting . You gain recall and you gain ball play you gain being central . I had to use this once in a malinois that I was handed over to give the dog focus. Outside the dog was so distracted it was like the other thread -- oh look a leaf ! , By removing things to distract and to build the intensity , after a while , (this dog was one hard case) the dog could focus on the handler with intensity. This dog later on went to French Ring trials.
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