Does anyone have tips on how to do this? I have been struggling with this with Brody forever! There are quite a few tricks and behaviors that he has learned, but none of them are really sharp. I have actually stopped adding verbal cues to new tricks because I am afraid of poisoning them. I would like to sharpen up a few things with Brody, but I can't seem to raise criteria slowly enough(?) so that he understands that I am looking for something more that what he just did. If he offers something completely different from what we had been working on (like rolls over when he had been crawling), then I know I have to take it back a step, but then it seems we just get stuck at the same spot for a long time. One example of this is his retrieves. We play a game with 2 identical balls and a basket. I put one ball in the basket and throw the other ball. I give a cue, "go" and Brody runs for the ball. Meanwhile, I take the other ball out of the basket and wait for him to put his ball in. Sometimes, he runs quickly back and drops the ball directly into the basket. I say yes, or just say go, throw the ball, he runs... Sometimes, he stops and chews the ball a bit before he comes all the way back. Sometimes he tosses the ball toward the basket, but misses. I won't throw the ball until he gets it in, but sometimes he takes 2 or 3 shots without really looking at the basket. Finally, he will actually place it in, then he gets the yes or go, and he's off. Can I get it so he understands that I want a quick return every time, that I want him to place the ball directly in the basket every time? I don't know how to communicate to him that, although he doesn't mind that the whole process takes so much longer his way, I want it to be quicker and more precise. I have tried picking up the ball and basket and walking away when he has done either of these things. I don't know if he makes the connection, but it hasn't made a difference.