Re: retrieving the ball!
Tazer has been one of those who wants to zoom by with the toy (her squirrel frisbee is her favorite). I found that throwing another frisbee meant that she would drop the first one, but often it was pretty far from me.
So what I've done is when she's returning to me after getting the frisbee, I turn away from her (to make my body language look like I'm going to move away, which encourages her to come to me) and then I hold out one hand with a treat and I praise her as she's coming toward me. I don't move toward her - she has to come to me for the treat. Because I was encouraging and praising, she started carrying the frisbee closer and closer before she'd drop it. Once she figured out that I always had a treat, and that I always threw the frisbee again, she was much more comfortable in bringing it all the way to me.
I also started doing a lot of massage/petting when she would return to me. Even if she dropped the frisbee, I would lean over and say "Tazer! C'mere, sweetie .. gooood girl!" and when she came to me I would rub her back and sides as she leaned against my legs. She's not a real "huggy" dog but she got into this kind of petting. And when I stopped she'd run to the frisbee and pick it up again, which was fine.
It took a while - actually we worked on it for months. I was in no hurry and I didn't want to stifle her enthusiasm for the retrieve. I knew that she wouldn't lose her enthusiasm for the frisbee but she could very well decide that bringing it to me was no fun if I forced the issue. So I kept everything very happy and upbeat and it's worked out pretty well.
She doesn't hold the frisbee for me to take from her mouth, but that's our next step. I will teach a hold command separately using a dumbbell and once she's solid with that, I'll incorporate it into her toys.
I never did the "game over" with her. In part that's because she would willingly drop the frisbee or ball if I told her "leave it", and in part because throwing the frisbee/ball and her running to chase it is an important part of her exercise. She has a ton of energy and she NEEDS to run! So making this into something more of a training exercise just wasn't important to me.
Melanie and the gang in Alaska
Positive 1ST! More reward, less correction makes a GREAT trainer.
Chows: Khana CD RE SD & Dora NA NAJ GSD: Tazer SDIT
Total of 2UDs 3CDXs 12CDs 2REs 8AgilityTitles 1BH Chow!
20 Yrs Training/Teaching Experience