So yesterday while playing fetch with Mud, I threw her toy and had her stand-stay, but then decided to have her do some tricks before I would let her go get it--much like Skidboot, except the toy was a few feet away, not right under her nose. This kind of peaked my interest, and now I'm thinking I want to teach that kind of control. Makes for a dog that has incredible self-control. I want to teach her(and Zeke--but he'll be tougher!) to creep up on a toy, back up, spin, do whatever I say except get it(until I say so of course). I'm assuming it'd be best to start with a boring toy, not one of their favorites. Right? So here's where I'm a bit stuck. As for creeping up on the toy(Skidboot's handler uses "Ease up!", and "Take a step!") would this just be a matter of shaping steps toward the toy? And with Mud, if there is a new object in the room and I'm sitting with a clicker, she knows she has to do something with it, but I don't know that she'd ever figure out that just stepping towards it gets the treat. She always goes right for touching it, pawing it, or picking it up and bringing it to me. As for the rest, is it really just a matter of sharpening verbal cues with no hand signals and working on listening without looking at you? And of course, working on self-control. This is where Zeke will have a REALLY hard time. We've got a lot of practice to do before we can even start this. Anyway, any input is appreciated. It seems so simple, I'm just not seeing it I guess. If anyone doesn't know who Skidboot is, here's one of his many videos. He was an Australian Cattle Dog, and he passed away in 2007. His owner still has other ACDs that he does shows with as well.