help with retrieving fetch - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-09-2016, 05:56 PM Thread Starter
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help with retrieving fetch

Right now my dog is good at chasing the ball and retrieving it, but when she returns she stops maybe 3 arm lengths from me to my left or right.

She also is hesitant in giving up the ball. I think she doesn't want to give up her reward.

She not very treat driven so I cant lure her with some food. I try waving another ball in her face but that doesn't work.

Any ideas?

Kona |Long Hair GSD | 55 lbs | 3 years old |
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-09-2016, 06:20 PM
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Teach her to take the ball, hold it, and drop it in your hand as an obedience exercise, apart from fetching. Sit on the ground or a chair, so you are not towering over/dominating her. Use the ball and get her to take it, hold it, and drop it in your hand on command. Do this indoors, or some different spot away from where you usually play fetch. Once she picks up toys, holds them, and drops them into you hand on command, put the ball a few steps away, so she has to walk to the ball, pick it up, and bring it to your hand. Then a few more steps, etc. Pretty soon you'll be ready to move outside and really build distance.



A lot of dogs won't come in close out of respect of your personal space, so coming in close to you when you call her in is also a trained behaviour.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-09-2016, 09:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Castlemaid View Post
Teach her to take the ball, hold it, and drop it in your hand as an obedience exercise, apart from fetching. Sit on the ground or a chair, so you are not towering over/dominating her. Use the ball and get her to take it, hold it, and drop it in your hand on command. Do this indoors, or some different spot away from where you usually play fetch. Once she picks up toys, holds them, and drops them into you hand on command, put the ball a few steps away, so she has to walk to the ball, pick it up, and bring it to your hand. Then a few more steps, etc. Pretty soon you'll be ready to move outside and really build distance.
This! It's called "backchaining" - you start by training the end of the behavior, and work your way back towards the beginning. Not only is it easier for the dog to grasp the behavior you expect than throwing the ball and trying to get her to bring it to you and then give it up, backchaining also tends to strengthen the end of the behavior, which in this case is exactly what you want.

One minor difference I'd suggest over what Castlemaid describes is once she'll take the ball and drop it into your hand, instead of putting it on the ground you can hand it to her and then back quickly away a step or two and encourage her to bring it and drop it in your hand. Increase the distance she has to bring it, and at that point I'd try either throwing or rolling it a short distance away and then backing up.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-12-2016, 02:34 PM Thread Starter
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update

Thanks for the help. Things are improving. I practiced "drop" with her.

But one thing I noticed that helped me improve the retrieve was not grabbing the ball from her but letting her drop it herself either by luring with a treat, waving another ball in her face, or wait it out.

I noticed that after I grabbed the ball from her mouth she would be hesitant in coming back to me on the next throw. Maybe she nervous about me taking her "prize".

After implementing your advice and what I discovered, the fetch game has been pretty consistent.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-13-2016, 01:27 AM
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Good to hear! Keep up the the good work!

Lucia


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