Retrieving Game

Discussion in 'General Dog Training' started by running_dog, Mar 12, 2012.

  1. running_dog Honored Member

    I'm sure I read a couple of queries on threads about how to get dogs to retrieve more than 3 or 4 times... but now when I go looking to post this I can't find any of them :ROFLMAO:.

    I have a stupid game I play with Zac that will keep him retrieving countless times though he will often only do 4-5 standard retrieves. It is no use for obedience nor for many tricks but if you want an efficient way to exercise your dog this might work...

    Basically I just chuck the ball as I walk. I throw the ball over my shoulder (check there's no one behind you first :ROFLMAO: ), under arm, overarm, to the side, up high, low throws, a bounce, slow throws, rocket fast throws... he has no idea what will come next, I keep walking and he returns the ball to my right hand and then he dances along beside me 100% focussed waiting for the next throw.

    I tend to mix in 1 long throw to 3 short, that gives Zac some recovery time, sometimes we mix in some tricks on the move with the ball as a reward, I stretch out the time between throws to work on attention (he's learnt that looking at my face not the ball earns a chase). I have to say "enough" when I want to stop because Zac will play it for longer than I ever want to.

  2. Dogster Honored Member

    That sounds like a GREAT game!!!:LOL: Wish that Shivon liked to fetch as much as Zac did....
    running_dog likes this.
  3. running_dog Honored Member

    Honestly Zac DIDN'T love retrieving until we played this game!

    We struggled to get 3 retrieves in a row, on the fourth he'd chase the ball then stand and scan the horizon for anything more interesting...
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  4. Anneke Honored Member

    We also play this game. Throwing the ball over my shoulder, that she has to come back to me. When I throw the ball forward, she will chase, but won't always bring it back to me. She knows I will catch up with her, because I am walking in that direction:D
    Now if I only could get her to love the dummy as much as the ball...:rolleyes::D
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  5. running_dog Honored Member

    LOL if I throw the ball forward Zac chases the ball and then jumps in the river instead of coming back :rolleyes:
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  6. Dogster Honored Member

    I should play it with her then. But, there are too many smells in the dog park (not to mention dogs), our backyard is too small, and there is a fine for letting your dogs off leash in a park. Annoying, I know.:rolleyes: I also need to teach her to fetch properly....
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  7. running_dog Honored Member

    It does work best if you are on a footpath but in England we have a lot less areas with restrictions on dogs that in many other countries so there are a lot more places we can play like this.
    Dogster likes this.
  8. Dogster Honored Member

    There are restrictions in about EVERY park except dog parks.:rolleyes: Ontario is the least dog-friendy province in Canada. :mad::rolleyes: Animal Control has been patroling our streets for the past few weeks (something about dogs being on the loose) and plus, there are more coyotes this year than in a long time. It's really not safe in the city.....:rolleyes::rolleyes: And if I DO want to let Shivon off leash, I need to teach her recall (taking....a....while...):rolleyes:.
  9. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    Does Zac generally like balls?

    buddy doesn't care about balls, at all. ZERO interest in all.

    and Buddy can not understand why anyone would care about a frisbee, period. Wants nothing to do with frisbees at all, no matter what kind we use, he flat out refuses to chase ANY frisbee, just sits there scowling in disgust about any and all frisbees.:cautious:

    His favorite ball is a stuffed ball, made of cloth and stuffing, not even a 'real' ball.:rolleyes:

    I will try this, as Buddy will only do 3 standard fetches in a row.
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  10. Ripleygirl Experienced Member

    I have this problem with Ripley, she is not interested in balls/frisbee/tuggers (the list goes on...) the only ball she has ever been interested in (once...) was a rawhide cricket ball which I gave as a treat to eat and about 2 hours after I gave it to her I was taking her on a walk and she grabbed it and proceded to proudly carry it all round the park on our walk and then ate it when we got home. I tried throwing it for her but she just watched where it landed, walked along with me until we reached it and then picked it up again and carried on carrying it for the rest of the walk.! Do that with any other toy and she just ignores and expects you to go and pick it up. She know bring it because she will do it in the house with anything edible (ie a bone) that we give her, she will bring it to you and present it lovely in front of you (she has no issues sharing food) but I just cannot get her interested in toys.:cry:
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  11. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    oh, i got buddy to love toys, he LOVES LOVES LOVES 'em, but just not balls, and he seems to loathe frisbees.
    Frisbees almost honk him off, like some kind of "pet-peeve" :ROFLMAO: (no pun intended). Just seeing a frisbee being thrown seems to cause a grouchy-looking face on Buddy.:rolleyes:

    cute story about the ONE (1)ball your dog ever liked,:LOL: ha ha. Buddy will retrieve a ball, three (3) times. and then he shuts down, and refuses a 4th retrieve. He CAN count, it's always 3 times....

    but i will try this here idea of Running dogs, to see how he'll do with that, it seems like it'd work!!
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  12. Ripleygirl Experienced Member

    I will be trying it too. I hopes it gets her a bit interested... we have been trying to get her interested in toys since we have had her...:eek:
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  13. running_dog Honored Member

    Zac is NOT by any means an obsessive retriever, the only exception is when he is playing this game. There are lots of things he doesn't like picking up and lots more that he doesn't fetch. This used to include frisbees and sticks.

    I can't really remember how Zac was with tennis balls to start with... it was a long time ago but I know it took a long long time to get more than 3 fetches in a row. For Zac standard retrieves still need a lot of rewards (swap the object for a high value treat every time) but the retrieving game can be used as a reward - I think he likes the variety and unpredictability of it.

    I do have issues with him not retrieving other objects...

    For example last week I forgot to take a tennis ball on one of our walks. I found a safe stick but I knew that Zac will not fetch sticks - he runs after them and then chews them up. If I call him he'll leave the stick and come to me (then run back and chew up the stick). So this time I gave him the stick, click, treat, repeated this a few times, when I threw the stick he almost brought it back but dropped it a few paces away, I picked it up, gave it to him, guided him (he was still holding the stick in his mouth) back to where I'd been standing, click, treat. After a couple of times he was bringing the stick back reasonably well.

    Sometimes if it is a whole new idea (eg/picking up a box) I shape him to approach/touch/mouth/pick up/fetch objects.

    Sometimes I try to get him excited about a new object, I used this for his frisbee. I played tug and catch to get him keen. Zac did a lot of catching but spread over a lot of sessions (maybe 5 a session) before I asked for anything more complex - after all I want him to catch the frisbee not scrape it off the ground. BUT this only worked with the Kong frisbee, Zac isn't very interested in plastic frisbees and they make such a clacking noise on his teeth that I think they hurt/frighten him and you can't really play tug with them because they get damaged and generally they just aren't fun.

    If your dog likes squeakers then the Kong squeaky tennis balls might just capture it's imagination for fun retrieves - I often squeak the ball instead of recalling Zac, it works 98% of the time, his best buddy is going to have a Kong tennis ball just for recall because he comes more reliably for the squeak than for his whistle :rolleyes: .

    Sorry Dogster... I can't solve Ontario's problems :( but maybe when the dog park is quiet if you walk around a little and vary how you throw the ball a lot it might be more interesting for Shivon? I bounce the ball off objects sometimes to make it even more tricky.
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  14. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    Running dog, if it weren't for you encouraging us that maybe we CAN get our dogs to like fetching a lil more, it wouldn't even cross my mind to try!
    Yes, i like the frisbee work you have done to get Zac interested in it. My guy reeeeeeeally wanted a frisbee buddy,
    so i did try really hard, bought every type of frisbee, expensive ones, cloth ones, soft rubbery ones, you name it, we tried one of those frisbees............ Treats, clicking any interest in it, even tugging the softer ones, fed him out of it, big prizes for any interest at all, we tried everything to help buddy "like" any frisbee.
    Buddy wasn't having it.

    lol, listen to this. Buddy adores peanut butter, and so i put dab of peanut butter on a frisbee, showed Buddy how the frisbee had a dab of peanut butter on it! BUDDY WAS STOKED! TOOK OFF CHASING A FRISBEE for the first time in his life---- we were so pleased, :D saying, "Look at him go! :D Wow, he IS going after that frisbee!":D:D

    so Buddy got the frisbee, sat down way over there, and licked all that peanut butter off of it, and then returned to us, empty-handed...............leaving that horrible frisbee wherever it had landed........... :ROFLMAO: we fell over laughing....
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  15. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    but Running dog, i am going to try your ideas on helping Buddy lose count on his fetching, your idea seems great, i bet it will work.
    Dogster likes this.
  16. Dogster Honored Member

    I can try to get a squeaky ball, she LOVES squeaky toys!!! Maybe she'll fetch it???:ROFLMAO: Or maybe she'll chase after it if it had a little bit of peanut butter on it...:LOL:
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  17. sara Moderator

    I just take Oliver out to a gravel road in the middle of nowhere to walk off leash :) Ollie LOVES his ball and retrieves well, unless there's a major distraction, or he's getting tired. I keep retrieve sessions short, and let him mooch around alot... I keep him wanting, and he'll be on the ball like a shot. Trick is to never let them get bored... He's started bugging me for the ball now, and he never used to! He actually didn't even like to retrieve until my friend's ball obsessed Pit Bull taught him! LOL

    I'm uploading a video of Oliver's snow retrieves right now... I'll post it when it's done :)
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  18. running_dog Honored Member

    Oh yes Sara! How did I forget about that!?!?!

    It is the hardest thing in the world to stop playing while your dog is still doing fabulous returns... but if your dog fetches 3 times only throw the ball once or twice... and make it the most fun in the world.

    At the moment I have Gus flying out at Zac to nip his legs every time he brings the ball back O_o. Not the best way to encourage a prompt retrieve.

    I'll look forward to the video of Oliver :cool:.
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  19. sara Moderator

    It's almost done :) it's in HD so it takes forever to upload!
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  20. sara Moderator

    Ok here's Oliver in the dump of snow we had a couple of weeks ago. We got nearly a foot of snow, then 40km/hr winds, so the snow is really deep in places, and not so much in others :)
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