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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
HELP.....

Jake is now 9 months old and every time I try to play fetch be with a sticks, balls or frisbees he will not return the item to me. Most of the time he takes off with it to play by himself.....IF I can get him to come back because I have the second item in my hand he will drop the said item and come to me to throw the other one.

I have in the past when he was smaller keeping him on a long line but he still drops the toy if I make him return to me. Now he is MUCH bigger and I don't see how I could use line. When he was a baby I knew he was just learning but at this age he knows the deal. What can I do? Is he always going to behave this way about playing? It's wearing me out that I can't burn up some energy and enjoy "playing" with my dog. Why does he refuse to play with me?

I take him everywhere, we hike, walk, swim, go to stores.....he is wonderful is most all other aspects however I need some serious help because he isn't improving......as a matter a fact it's getting worse.
 

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maybe he doesnt like fetch? i dont know. I've known several dogs who had no interest in the game at all. have you tried a game of tracking? that may hold his interest more and it would wear him down mentally and physically to track something that smells tasty.
 

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It doesn't sound like he has much of a toy drive. That was one of the things that my new trainer wanted to know was if Jax would return with a toy to me. She'll bring it back to me until my arm falls off.

What does he like? Does he play tug with you? Have you tried a flirt pole?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
He LOVES to get the ball, stick or whatever......LOVES it....but he won't let me have it back to throw it again.....he takes off with it to destroy it. The two method isn't/hasn't worked.
 

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I heard that a lot of GSDs don't like fetch because they're a herding breed, not a retrieving breed.
 

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Work with that then. :) See, he does want to play with you...just not the way you want! You can build his tug drive. What if you throw his tug? Will he bring it back to you and play then?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Sometimes....because I have two....but what the #&^&%%[email protected]# do I do when he doesn't?
If I make a move toward him he thinks it's funny and runs like a wild crazy thing around the yard ( I presume zoomies) or he begins to destroy the said item. His tugs are expensive....;(
 

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Don't tell Jax that! She isn't aware of that! I dont' think it has anything to do with what type of dog they are. :)
Not saying all GSDs are harder to get to fetch, but I noticed that a lot of people seem to have difficulty getting their GSDs to play fetch vs. trying to get a lab or a golden to do it. It's Ozzy's favorite game, and he's a spitz!
 

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I would just keep a long line on him and reel him in with it. And then when he comes back to you, take hold of the ball (if it has a string attached to it), don't move (but don't fight him either. Don't turn this into a tug game) until he lets go. As soon as he lets go, mark it with a clicker or just give lots of praise and immediately throw the ball for him again.

You may have to do this for awhile but eventually he will understand coming back to you and giving you the ball simply part of the game. Coming back to you restarts the game.
 

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hi renee,

it could be he just isn't into fetch. Cody is all about it. Mandi will run up to the ball and then just leave it there. no attempt at all to bite it and certainly no attempt to return it to me.
 

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What about getting a long lead and throwing the ball and pull him back to you using lots of praise and treat. This is just a thought! This way you have control about where he goes. Also playing tug works great it builds trust. Silly Jake :D.... you better play fetch to you mom.
 

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I used Sania (lab) to help teach Ozzy how to fetch. He caught on quick watching her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
How do you firstly keep a long lead on a 80 pound puppy? What do I do if he drops the ball and then comes back? How do I get him to keep the toy in his mouth and bring it all the way to me not drop it 15/20 ft from me?

Jake will chase and catch anything I throw......he freaks when he sees those sorts of toys come out....I am just befuddled to have a dog that won't come back to do it again. For as much as he loves to go get the said item why doesn't he want to do it over and over????
 

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I wonder if you started off in baby steps, to let him know it's much better to return the toy to you. Having a treat, begin in your living room and barely toss the toy. He'll pick it up and turn towards you and you start singing his praises. When he gives it to you give him a treat. Just as if he was a little puppy again.

I don't know if it would work or not - but it seems to me to start back at the beginning since somewhere in the journey he lost the plot. It sounds like he likes to play, just by his own rules.
 

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Get a cheap rope toy to play with then. :) It almost sounds like either he doesn't understand that if he brings it back he gets to go after it again, or maybe the reward to bring it back isn't big enough for him.

When he does bring it back, what do you do? What is his most favorite thing? Maybe when he brings back the toy, you give him the tug and play with him for a few minutes?

Aren't there videos from Leerburg on building drive? There is another one that was suggested to me also but I didn't get them yet. But I was asking how to use toys to train for focus and obedience. don't know if they would help you.

Ivan Balabanov "Obedience without conflict"
Bernhard Flinks "teaching drive, focus and grip" videos from Leerburg

What are your end goals? Is it just to play? Or is it to move on to a sport eventually? I found a trainer who also does Schutzhund to help me.
 

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What I don't see mentioned in the other thread is to teach him "Bring It". How about starting inside? Start with something small. Does he know "Take It"?

I would start inside and teach him to take something from you. Then have him bring it. When he brings it, give him a huge reward whatever his highest value treat is.
 

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What I don't see mentioned in the other thread is to teach him "Bring It". How about starting inside? Start with something small. Does he know "Take It"?

I would start inside and teach him to take something from you. Then have him bring it. When he brings it, give him a huge reward whatever his highest value treat is.
I did cover that with the explanation of backchaining, starting indoors where she'd give him an item to hold and have him give it back for a treat, working up to backing up a few feet so that he has to bring it to her to collect the reward.
 
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