How do I teach Zeeva to play fetch if her recall isn't good? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-01-2013, 11:35 AM Thread Starter
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How do I teach Zeeva to play fetch if her recall isn't good?

How do I teach Zeeva to play fetch if her recall isn't good?

I use a retractable leash and real her in when she gets distracted and won't bring back her fetch toy. A long lead also works.

Any other suggestions? Does recall have to be perfect in order to play fetch?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-01-2013, 11:49 AM
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I use a long line with Storm.

I throw the toy, tell her "bring", she goes and gets it. Now because she is VERY stubborn and independent, she will try to run off here. SO, I take the leash and reel her in.. I call her, at the same here "Storm Here"...... Once she gets to me and sits, I reward her. For Storm, She just wants her toy back to run around with. I usually have another toy with me. One of the soft ones she likes to beat up. I drop it for her to catch. She runs and plays... and that makes her happy. When she was younger, I used food. It was a bit easier then.

Fetch is actually a good way to work on recall (makes it fun!). No reason you shouldn't be able to do that now. Just makes sure you have 100% control of her and she doesn't get loose. Try it first in the house... then backyard. Once she's gotten used to the recall and understands what she's being asked, you can try in front of the house, or elsewhere. Always make sure you have the leash ready to go though, and that you're in a more quiet area with no other dogs around.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-01-2013, 11:49 AM
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I don't think you need to have a perfect recall to train fetch, but I do think fetch can help with your recall. Fetch is about her coming back to you so that play can continue - if she doesn't bring the ball back, fetch is over, so drive for the ball is more important, IMO. Is she really into balls?

Here's a previous thread with some tips on teaching fetch: https://www.germanshepherds.com/forum...ont-fetch.html

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-01-2013, 12:03 PM
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Yeah this is kind of one of those things that if your dog isn't into it...it won't work. It's not a game, its just work then. And unless they have a really strong drive to do repetitive work it will be very difficult to teach.

If she does have ball drive...maybe 2 ball would work? Show her the other ball and make sure she brings the other ball to you before you throw the second one? Do this until she gets it.

Like...I can only do the formal retrieve (with a dumbbell) so many times before my boy gets bored with it (probably 20-30). He'd probably keep going to please me after that but not with the same enthusiasm. I can do a tennis ball retrieve for days on end before he gets bored and loses any enthusiasm.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-01-2013, 12:05 PM
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Zoey plays fetch if I only have 1 ball but I usually have 10-15 balls outback and just keep hitting them back and forth, drains her energy faster since she's a Mali, although she is still ready to run a marathon afterwards lol I trained her to retrieve the ball run it back to me and while I hit the other ball, she drops her ball mid run and it ends up somewhat near me lol

How's her ball drive? I would start back at the basics and teach some stay and come with treats. Then incorporate the ball into that.


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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-01-2013, 12:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrickyShepherd View Post
I use a long line with Storm.

I throw the toy, tell her "bring", she goes and gets it. Now because she is VERY stubborn and independent, she will try to run off here. SO, I take the leash and reel her in.
Backchaining would be perfect for this scenario - teach the end of the behavior first, and then work backwards towards the beginning. I explain in this thread, start with this post and continue reading down to the end: https://www.germanshepherds.com/forum...ml#post1831281

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-01-2013, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassidy's Mom View Post
Backchaining would be perfect for this scenario - teach the end of the behavior first, and then work backwards towards the beginning. I explain in this thread, start with this post and continue reading down to the end: https://www.germanshepherds.com/forum...ml#post1831281
Thank you, but she already does fetch/retrieval. I was just explaining how I worked with her when she was small to give the OP some food for thought.

But thank you for the information. It was an interesting read. I've seen that technique used before, seemed to work well.

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Last edited by TrickyShepherd; 03-01-2013 at 01:20 PM.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-01-2013, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeeva View Post
How do I teach Zeeva to play fetch if her recall isn't good?

I use a retractable leash and real her in when she gets distracted and won't bring back her fetch toy. A long lead also works.

Any other suggestions? Does recall have to be perfect in order to play fetch?
I kinda think the teaching fetch can help with the recall. The ball has to be more important then any distractions.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-01-2013, 01:49 PM
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Keep in mind - it doesn't have to be a BALL. Fetch is a game played with anything you can throw.

Mauser loves to run and get the object but his return isn't the greatest. He's always stopped a few feet out of my reach and dropped the object there. MY mistake was walking to the object instead of teaching him to bring it back to ME.

Now I use a ball on a tug. Mauser LOVES to tug and he LOVES balls. So the ball motivates him to run and get it and when he brings it back TO me we play tug.

It's slow but steady process.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-01-2013, 02:34 PM
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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.

Carmen

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