What games do you play with food? do you teach him to push into your hand to get food? Do you throw food to let him chase? do you hold the food in your hand and let him chase your hand to get it? (Not bite, just chase). All of these things will help you when you are outside.
as far as the ball inside, sounds like he's just more independent and he doesn't know that he needs to come back to you. Really...he has the object, why come back? It's his. He owns it.
Working line generally have a higher possession and aren't just going to come back to you.
Have you tried playing 2 balls? Tease him with one ball then throw it a short distance. when he has it, tell him to come and start reeling him in. He MUST come with a distance that you can touch the string of the ball in his mouth. when he does, pull out the second ball and wait for him to drop the first then throw the second. It won't be long before he's coming back to you.
Outdoors is sooooo much more interesting. You have to remember that whatever you teach him inside has be be started at step one when you take him somewhere else. Dogs don't generalize.
Look up Dave Kroyer. I haven't signed up for his site but it's only $10/mth to access all of his videos.
Denise Fenzi has courses online.
And where are you located at? You might be better finding a local trainer than looking online.
Hi Jax, I'm in Edinburgh, Scotland. We have a single IGP club that is about 45 minutes away. Unfortunately, I am unable to attend this club at the moment but will look into applying again next year. Currently I am working through an online course by Tobias Oleynik. I am also waiting for Denise's engagement through play class to start up at the beginning of August.
I do in fact teach him to push into my hand for the food and he does this brilliantly. I have also tried to make him chase my hand for food and when I do this, he constantly just takes my arm in his mouth. My arm, not my hand. And just to be clear, he isn't biting down on my arm, he's simply holding it in his mouth.
I have also tried the two balls game and when I'm reeling him in, he'll stash the ball he had where he was chewing it and come to me very reluctantly. He'll happily take the second ball though and then run back to where the first ball is stashed.
I desperately want to bond with my boy and get a more engagement and focus from him.
He's cute and handsome. Looks a lot like mine last year. He's my first working line too.
So if he's not interested in the toys, you have to make him interested. Don't just throw the ball or drop the tug on the ground and expect him to get excited about it. Tease him with it. Wriggle it in front of him. If you have another person, throw it to him/her and "throw a big party" after you catch it. Make excited sounds. Maybe if he shows interest then you give him treats. Do you have a flirt pole? Try that.
Hi tc68, it's not that he's not interested in the toys; it's more that he wants the toys all to himself. I do tease him with it, I do run about with it, I do act stupid with it. He will jump about for the toy and once he gets it, it's astalavista baby! Oh and his favourite thing to do is chase a flirt pole. He just absolutely love the flirt pole above any other of his toys.