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I think the answer is partially in your own words-as your starting point.
Originally Posted By: LuckyD I've tried trading for a treat, and that works *if* I have an awesome treat (hot dog, chicken, etc.) but I want to get beyond the treat. Occasionally, she'll trade for another toy...

Any ideas besides just trading for food? Or if food is the answer, how can I be more effective?
Now you need get consistent. First determine what your marker word is going to be - drop it, out, give whatever. Practice without/before the playtime-and before you feed so that the food treat is more alluring. Just give her the object and entice a trade with the treat. When she releases, mark and give the treat. Repeat this one step for a while until she is releasing for a while.

Once she is releasing, start adding the command word. Now she doesn't get the treat unless the release is after your command-so it's important at first for you to anticipate and get that command in before she releases. Slowly extend the time out so she is holding the object until you give the command word. As this gets consistent, you start to fade the treat out of the picture. Once you feel she is doing this to your satisfaction, you can apply it to your playtime.

When I'm playing retrieve/fetch with Kayla, I usually have two-three balls/frisbees to toss. I use the word "out" with her. I never try to physically remove the first one, nor do I play tug/chase when we're retrieving/playing fetch. If I give her the command and she feels like being "ornery," I just stand there with the second object ready to go. Nothing further happens until she releases the first ball.

At times we put this into a sprinting game. I throw the ball in one direction and the second 180 degrees in the other direction. I will out as she's sprinting up on me and she releases on the fly.
 
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