Teaching Fetch - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-03-2018, 02:17 PM Thread Starter
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Teaching Fetch

Hey y'all! It's been awhile.

I have a 5 1/2 month-old Czech WL puppy who I just adore. He's an IPO prospect, and he's showing so many wonderful qualities already. He has high food and toy drive, is a natural tracker, and shows crazy prey drive in protection. He is truly everything I wanted and more.

The one and only thing I've run into with him is that he has no idea how to play fetch. He would throw himself off a building for a ball, so the drive is absolutely there. He gets super amped while it's in my hand, chases it immediately when it's thrown, and then......nothing. He'll pick it up for a second, look at me, drop it back on the ground, and then either stand over it staring at me or will leave the ball on the ground and run back to me without it. If he does pick it up and hold it, he will take it away and lay down with it rather than bringing it back to me. I can't figure it out!

It's almost as if he's too engaged with me, if that makes sense? He knows that the ball is coming from me, and he assumes that if he just waits long enough, I'll either come get it and throw it again, or pull another one out for him to chase. He doesn't understand that if he picks it up and brings it to me, the game continues.

Any insight or suggestions? We've been using a ball on a rope and I'd like to continue with that. The drive is there, I just need help figuring out how to help him put things together!
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-03-2018, 02:24 PM
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Will he play tug with it?

You will walk when it is time to walk
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-03-2018, 03:05 PM Thread Starter
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Will he play tug with it?
Yes! He will play tug with it all day if I give it to him directly and tug with him. He just won't pick it up and bring it back to me after it's thrown.
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-03-2018, 05:19 PM
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Can you get another dog who can show him what to do. Otherwise start out tossing close and encourage him with treats when he brings it back.
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-03-2018, 05:54 PM
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Will he push it back into you if you are tugging and you let him win and then you back up a tad?

You will walk when it is time to walk
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-03-2018, 07:13 PM
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Here is a video that Susan Garrett shared with her Facebook Group: Free Dog Training Workshop. (I'm not sure if you have to be a member of the group or logged into FB to view it.) She shows how to get a puppy started playing fetch.

https://www.facebook.com/SusanGarret...c_location=ufi


I found it on YouTube, in case the other link doesn't work:
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Last edited by techinstructor; 10-03-2018 at 07:15 PM.
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-03-2018, 07:23 PM
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Yeah that garrett style of retrieve teaching is usually my go to for most dogs

You will walk when it is time to walk
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-03-2018, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
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Can you get another dog who can show him what to do. Otherwise start out tossing close and encourage him with treats when he brings it back.

To be totally honest, I think playing with our other dog has kind of influenced the problem. My older female fetches like a champ, but she beats him to the ball each time and brings it back to me immediately. He chases the ball, but she's older and faster so she always wins. I almost wonder if he just thinks "well someone will get it" whether it's her or me because of that.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-03-2018, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
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Will he push it back into you if you are tugging and you let him win and then you back up a tad?
Yes, as long as I'm moving and being "exciting." Otherwise he tends to drop it on the ground and come to me without it. Every once in a while he'll try to take it away and go lay down. It's really weird. It was like he'd spit it out and immediately come stare at me, ready to engage, but without his toy. I can't figure him out.
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-03-2018, 09:34 PM
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To be totally honest, I think playing with our other dog has kind of influenced the problem. My older female fetches like a champ, but she beats him to the ball each time and brings it back to me immediately. He chases the ball, but she's older and faster so she always wins. I almost wonder if he just thinks "well someone will get it" whether it's her or me because of that.

I play fetch with a 4 year old female and a 7 month old male. When we started this Natty was 5 mos old and I always made them take turns - one then the other. I also use two different colored Kong bones and they learned whose is whose. Dasha is not allowed to go after Natty's or vice versa. I always call the name of the dog whose bone is being thrown. Natty, the younger, never tries to go after Dasha's bone. I think he knows he can't beat her to it. It takes some persuasion and reminders to keep Dasha from going after his. Interestingly, one day I called Dasha's name but threw Natty's bone. She went after it, instead of him, but when she got to it, she looked at it but didn't pick it up. She knew it wasn't hers.
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