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Discussion Starter #1
I'm trying to develop Nikon's ball drive and also condition him for the Sieger show. I'm supposed to add in a bit more exercise, and try to do activities where he carries a toy b/c sometimes he gaits with his head down. So I figured fetch is perfect for all three. He is not outing yet and I don't want to get into that so I start with two toys - a Gappay ball on a string and the floating Kong that's on a rope. The first few sessions were great, he fetches one, brings it back, and if he doesn't drop it I distract him with the other until he wants that one instead. The third fetch session, he decided that the Kong toy was better, so it took a little more work with the ball getting him to drop the Kong. He also though it would be fun to come back but stop about 15 feet from me, drop whichever toy he fetched, and just stand there. If I go to pick up the toy, of course he guards it and then at the last second he grabs it and tries to run. I feel like the game should end there, but now he wants to do this every time, and I don't know if he's smart enough to "get it" that I will walk away and quit because he's not coming all the way back to me. Last night I put a line on him and sort of reeled him in back to me and that did work, but it's such a mess. I nearly got clotheslined several times, a few times I threw the toy farther than the length of the line.

I know he CAN do this I just need to fix this new habit. Indoors, he has these Cuz balls and he will drop them in our laps and nudge at us until we throw them, so I know somewhere in his mind he has the concept of bringing the toy to US because we control the game.

Any ideas?
 

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Do you get him worked up while he's on the way back??

What I've seen people do is throw one toy, wait for the dog to pick it up and turn towards them and then they start teasing the dog with the other toy.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I call him back, squat down, clap my hands, and start waving the second toy or dragging it on the ground as he comes back. He will stop, drop the toy in his mouth (or keep holding it) and stare at me, the little turd! LOL He comes running *almost* all the way back.
 

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Keep teasing him with the toy until he comes to get it.

If he likes one of the toys better go buy another one just like that.

When I watch people like Denise working Iso she throws one ball and as soon as he turns she's already getting him worked up qith the other toy. Iso usually drops the first one on the way to grab the second one.

If you want to teach a formal retreive and carry I would go about it differently.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Nah, nothing formal, just for fun/exercise. I'll try using two balls instead. Maybe he's a little TOO happy to have the kong toy.

One time he came all the way back but never did drop it, so I threw the second toy and he actually spent some time getting both in his mouth and bringing them back!
 

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Originally Posted By: Lauri & The GangDo you get him worked up while he's on the way back??

What I've seen people do is throw one toy, wait for the dog to pick it up and turn towards them and then they start teasing the dog with the other toy.
With Siren, I can't let her see the second one until she gets back to me, it she even so much as sees the second toy, she immediately drops the first one and comed running back "empty mouthed" for the second one.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
^ Even that would be OK as long as he comes back! I feel like he's wanting me to come get the toy FROM him, so he can run and have a chase or tug game.
 

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I had the same problem with Dakota (now 8 mths old). She would retrieve in the house for a short distance. I called her back, squated down, clapped my hands and had a high level of excitement. When she brought it back I treated her with a food reward. At the same time I worked on 'drop it". Things went well - in the house.

Outside was a diaster. Started off in my small back yard. She would grab the ball then run around with it. It didnt' help as my husband made a sport of chacing her when she had something in her mouth. Fun game for him - messed up my training to retrieve. Tried it in a dog park - she would chace the ball, hold it in her mouth and run. Tried the two ball thing, and she would come back to me without the ball. Tried with the extendable leash, but reeled her in like a fish and she would drop the ball. I was disappointed as I wanted a dog to play fetch. Didn't give up. Husband still chased her and I wanted to leash him to hold him back , but that didn't work lol.

A few weeks ago I bought a chuck-it, went to a field with just her and my husband (he promised not to chace her). 1st throw was by my husband (he wanted the toy) and she took off after it. I squated, clapped my hands, calling her and she came - with the ball and dropped it. I don't know what happened it just clicked, or did she do it because my husband threw it? Took her to a dog park with no other dogs around and she retrieved too, but the second another dog showed up she lost interest. I think Dakota has the attention span of a bug.

I did try it with a toy and no luck, she would not return it.

Ok, my suggestions would be - get your husband to try. I'm the one that trains her so maybe she tuned me out? Try inside first - a narrow hallway works because they can't go anywhere else.
 

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I have no idea if my idea will help or hurt your conditioning you're trying to accomplish. What is a Seiger show!? (Sry if that's a dumb question
) But anyways...I taught Marshall by starting inside and treating when he brought back the object. Now whenever I throw something he automatically brings it right back.

BUT (LOL) he kind of does something different...

I can't really use a ball because he doesn't like to hand it over. He'll come right back to me but then chomp on the ball instead of handing it over. I'm not going for anything formal either...just play time.

I've always thought it was because he loves to play tug so much. I've kind of remedied the situation by using a toy on a rope or something like that to play fetch rather than a ball. Then he gets to tug and happily retrieves again.

I don't mind playing tug like this with him, but how would I go about teaching "out" so that he knows when he HAS to hand it over?
 

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We were told at training to never pick up the toy if they drop it. It teaches them behaviour of picking it up and running and then changing the game into chase. That advice really worked and I will go over to the toy if he dropped it and kick it around and make a huge fuss until he picks it up and then will quickly praise and take it away just to start all over again. Got him to the point where he will bring the toy back to me but we're still working on him actually releasing! He likes tug too much to just leave the toy!
 

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Originally Posted By: Liesje^ Even that would be OK as long as he comes back! I feel like he's wanting me to come get the toy FROM him, so he can run and have a chase or tug game.
My issue with this "method" is that it takes me longer to get to toy #1 than it does for the dog to get to toy #2. I spend more time walking to the dropped toys than I do throwing them.
. It is also NOT "teaching" them to bring it to me (or even "near" me), all it is teaching them is to CHASE it.
 

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Originally Posted By: RavenSophiWe were told at training to never pick up the toy if they drop it. It teaches them behaviour of picking it up and running and then changing the game into chase. That advice really worked and I will go over to the toy if he dropped it and kick it around and make a huge fuss until he picks it up and then will quickly praise and take it away just to start all over again. Got him to the point where he will bring the toy back to me but we're still working on him actually releasing! He likes tug too much to just leave the toy!
If you have a super quick dog, they can pick it up and jump back LONG before you can get it from them.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Today I used two Gappay balls instead and that worked better. Slightly less value than the kong toy, but more equal in value to each other. I figured out a good way of doing it: I put Nikon on Coke's tie-out (30 + 6' leash so 36' times 2 since it's staked in the middle of the yard). Then, I start with a toy *just* out of reach, so essentially he is being back tied. Get him worked up for the toy (which is nothing, with these balls all he needs to do is see that I have it!). Then I toss it. B/c of where I stand, I toss it across the yard against the garage, so I know that I can't throw it out of range since the tie-out reaches the garage. I hide the second one behind my back b/c if he sees it, he drops the first one early. When he comes all the way back, I show it to him, still just out of range of him getting out of control and jumping (he's so big now, he's actually bitten my face by accident going after a ball).
 

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Having two toys of the same value really helps, as you've found out!

It also helps when you start to run away from your dog as SOON as they reach the first toy you throw. If you've got something you can hide behind (like your car, or the edge of your house) use that to your advantage too. Make it part of the game - he has to find you. If he races back really fast, go ahead and throw the second toy ahead of you and then when he races past you for the second toy, run the other way (carry a third toy if you want, that sometimes makes it even easier).

At the training facility, we have a huge bag full of tennis balls so that we can use a dozen if we want when we're doing recall training. I haven't had any problems in having my dogs differentiate between the recall game (run in fast because the toy will be thrown) and the formal retrieve (carry the dumbbell in and sit in front of me). I even incorporate the thrown toy in with the formal retrieve at times, even though that means that my dog will drop the dumbbell to go after the toy. Keeping my dog's enthusiasm high is important for competition!

If you want to work Nikon on keeping his head up while gaiting, you may want to teach him to follow a touch stick (a piece of dowling with a ping pong ball or something really visible attached to the end will work). Teach him to touch his nose to the end, and then you can move him around by having him follow the touch stick. That gives you a position to reward - by adjusting the level of the stick, you can set him to the correct position and then mark/reward that position.

Melanie and the gang in Alaska
 

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I agree with melanie and the running away from your dog when they reach the first toy.

I simliar problem with Hella along with hella dropped her head with the barbell and type writter bitting of toys and barbell not to mention when the arm was slipped off she would head to the other end of the working field, this was the biggest problem and why I went to Bernhard Flinks to train.

Your dog is showing a I need to protect the possessions from you which is why your dog is dropping its head and not bringing the toys.

Also not asking for an out directly infront of your dog helps with this as being infront of your dog is a dominant behavior.

you should always turn your body to the side then ask for the out even of they spit it out on the ground this is ok.

However you can use the second toy of higher value as the reward for bring of the first toy! This is something Bernhard teaches and it worked very well with my GSD a trade off but the dog has to come and sit looking up at you with the ball first, then take the higher value toy and trade and reward with a game of tug.

If I can get a short video of me working with Hella I will try.
 

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I have the same issue with Sonny but what I did was a switch game with treats. He brings the ball that is the command and I hold out my hand he places it in my hand and he gets the treat. If he drops the ball I say pick it up and he does and he gets the treat.

We play this game 2x a day short inverals and it has started to increase in time now especially when he is excited and wants to play ball.

To wean him I throw the ball and will have say 3 brings and then a treat when I notice him not interested in the game I don't force I stop the game and say done.

I hope it helps
 

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I had to use treats with my boxer, bring the barbell come, sit, wait, give, then treat.

Try anything that you can but give each method enough time to work.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
He's doing much better now. My balls are slightly different in size, and he does prefer the larger one, but he brings them both back (if he's bringing back the smaller one, I'm just more careful not to show him the larger one until he's all the way back).

I'm not using treats because I actually don't want the dog to give up the toy. The purpose of this is exercise and drive, I'm not working on any sort of retrieve or release. We're working on enforcing ball drive b/c we are switching him off food rewards to the ball. The ball should be what he wants the most, and will only trade b/c I have another ball which I'm making more "live" than the one in his mouth. I really don't want him to just give up the ball at my feet or in my hands.
 

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Originally Posted By: Lauri & The GangDo you get him worked up while he's on the way back??

What I've seen people do is throw one toy, wait for the dog to pick it up and turn towards them and then they start teasing the dog with the other toy.
I did this with Loki in the beginning, it works. Now he brings me the ball, and drops it, without asking for an out.

Also, he runs with the ball, and if I ask him to out it, he does. Jasper on the other hand, abit stubborn-usually on the second time he outs (in the lake with the ball, Jasper outs it instantly, I don't get it).
 

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"The ball should be what he wants the most, and will only trade b/c I have another ball which I'm making more "live" than the one in his mouth. I really don't want him to just give up the ball at my feet or in my hands."

Very true by using treats you get a looser grip on the toys or they spit the toy out too soon. I think good to try then with the ball on a fishing pole to keep his drive for it up real high.
 
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