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I have an 9 month old ddr german shepherd and he has an excellent food drive but I'd really like to get him more engaged in fetch. He loves the flirt pole, but will only run after balls and then becomes bored or disinterested. If I take out food to reward him for fetching then he looses all focus on the toy. I would really love to be able to play fetch with him, so any suggestions for help are appreciated!
 

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I know I have read that DDR can be slow to mature and I assume hopefully not incorrectly that some drives can be slow to develop. Maybe just doing super short 2 toy fetch in short burst before he bores of it then move to a new game he enjoys will slowly build more drive for the retrieve? I think again could be wrong but if you push it it can kind of hinder drive for that game. If you do sports I know the retrieve is important and you don't want to make it a challenge to teach even more so when the dog is ready to preform...
Does the dog have a tug toy? I recently saw a video working retrieve/out with a tug.
 

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Also I know nothing about dogs I am raising my first sooo...thought I should add that. I just like the discussion.
At 14 months my dog is still highly food motivated and toy driven. I love that I can get the food out and switch things up.
 

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Zelda is pretty much the same way, she is 13 months old from ddr lines. When I first got her at 8 weeks she wasn't interested in toys at all but had great food drive, now that she is older she loves to play tug, and will play fetch some. She is more crazy about tug than balls, but food trumps everything! She will work for food in new places, but will not engage in tug at a new place.

Does your dog like to tug? Maybe you can start out playing tug, then throw it for him to fetch and then play more tug as a reward?
 

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I'm in the same boat!
I thought all dogs love to fetch, but Rumo would watch the ball / frisbee go and be like, "meh."

He is getting slightly better...
1. I make fun noises and wave the ball around and get him all excited, before I throw it.
2. Instead of throwing it long and low, I throw it in an arc more up in the air, closer to him, so he can kind of leap up and then pounce on it
Then he runs around with a bit with the ball in his mouth, and eventually zooms near me and drops it in my vicinity (if he wants to play again)
But our maximum repetitions is maybe....5? 5 is a really good day.
I know we are done when he gets the ball, takes it to a shady patch of the yard, and lies down with it. Done.
Fetch will never be his favorite thing. :-(

My neighbor has a golden retriever who is a really focused Fetcher.
She can be offleash in her street and she will ALWAYS bring the ball right back at a full gallop...
I know my neighbor, and he is a fairly casual dog owner (not like he's trained her a ton).
So maybe there is something in the breeding...
even if I trained Rumo a lot to really retrieve, I think he would never do it with such joy!
 
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