Administrator & LOTR Addict
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Bloomington, IN, USA
If he likes bitework you should be able to work with him. Is he food driven? If so you can use this as part of your engagement.
It does sound like you need to free him up. You might try back tying him and teasing the heck out of him to build drive for the toy and wanting to engage with you. Be exciting kicking the ball around or the tug, grabbing it, swinging it in front of him, throwing it, racing over to snatch it up, etc, but for the first few times I would not give him a bite. I would toss it a little ways (not super far) and while he is all excited, slowly pull him into the house as he tries to drag you to the toy. After a bit this should really build the frustration and then you can add in a few bites on the toy and some quick fight before, again, teasing and then slowing taking him into the house while he tries to drag you to the toy.
Do you just throw the ball or do you get in a good fight, tug game with him? Elena will chase a ball at home in play all day, will chase it while training, but it is very half hearted. She prefers tugging with me. Her main drive, though, in obedience is food and I used the ball as a jackpot in certain spots. Like your pup and Jane's she loves bitework. I probably could have built more drive for toys if I had done what I described above.
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SG1 Deja IPO3 AWD1 KKL1 B/HOT, SG Elena IPO1 KKL CGC B/HOT, LB (the ugly little sable) IPO2 KKL B/HOT, and gone but not forgotten, Vala SchH3 AWD1 FH2 CGC B/HOT, Donovan IPO1 TR2 AD, Nike SchH1 OB1 TR3 AD CGC HOT, Treue SchH3 CD CGC HOT