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Thread: Teaching fetch tip

  1. #1
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    Default Teaching fetch tip

    So in the 6 months I've had Banjo, I hadn't bothered yet to teach her to fetch. I'll only throw the ball when we're out walking and throw it in the direction I'm walking in. Banjo will catch it and instantly drop it and I will pick it up when I get to it.

    I once started teaching her - based on advice from a training video - but it was pretty boring and I quickly gave up.

    But I thought today that I would give it another go as it would be great to be able to play a game of fetch in the backyard when I can't take her for a second walk. And a quick google found me this article: Teaching Your Dog to Fetch, Dog Training Tips at Patricia McConnell

    I made the mistake of calling Banjo's name or saying "come or come on" and had her drop the ball immediately. The softly clapping whilst walking backwards worked a treat today! Best tip ever, I thought. The advice to not waste time fussing over the dog but instead immediately throw the ball again was useful to me too.

    So we had a very successful fetch session for the first time ever. Banjo got fed up after about 5 or 6 times, which is a good thing.

  2. #2
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    That's great to hear. So good that you bothered to research it.

    Just one small thing from your last sentence. I have found it useful to stop games (including training) before the dog gets tired and gives up. The best thing is to stop just before they reach their peak of enjoyment and start to get tired. This way they're on a high from the success they've had and want to keep playing and then next time you bring out the ball, they'll remember how much fun they were having and get right back into it. If you keep going until they're tired of it, they'll remember that and may not be so keen to continue learning/playing the new game. They will also learn that they can start/stop a game whenever they want to.
    In saying that, I'm sure you and Banjo had heaps of fun and a lot of success

    The old saying "leave them wanting more"

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Pawfectionist View Post
    That's great to hear. So good that you bothered to research it.

    Just one small thing from your last sentence. I have found it useful to stop games (including training) before the dog gets tired and gives up. The best thing is to stop just before they reach their peak of enjoyment and start to get tired. This way they're on a high from the success they've had and want to keep playing and then next time you bring out the ball, they'll remember how much fun they were having and get right back into it. If you keep going until they're tired of it, they'll remember that and may not be so keen to continue learning/playing the new game. They will also learn that they can start/stop a game whenever they want to.
    In saying that, I'm sure you and Banjo had heaps of fun and a lot of success

    The old saying "leave them wanting more"
    Yep, that's what the article said too, but as this was the first time we properly played fetch, I had to find out first how long she would keep going.

  4. #4
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    I just read the article in full. It's a good article. The funny thing is when she says, "most people want their dog to sit, etc, prior to throwing the ball which is bad" and such. I was actually at the park helping a lady two days ago show her dog a new fetch game as the fetch game it created was as follows:
    1. You throw the ball.
    2. I chase after it, bring it back then drop it at your feet.
    3. You pick it up immediately and throw it.
    4. If you don't pick it up immediately, I continuously bark at you until you do.

    This game had been played for about 4 months. I changed the rules of the game for this eager labradoodle.

    It involved sitting and waiting before throwing the ball, as he was obsessed to a point of guarding the ball from other dogs in his water dish. He would stop for a drink by taking the ball to the bowl, dropping it in, lying down with paws either side of the bowl and having a drink.

    I came back the next day. She was there again with her labradoodle. NO BARKING
    Though he had obviously included a new rule to the game after I left. Tug of war. I'll bring the ball back and hold on as tight as possible so you can't get it out of my mouth, OR, i drop it at your feet but the second you go to pick it up I rush in an grab it. And of course the owner had played along. Luckily I had treats to counteract the behaviour, like it says in the article.

    It's so interesting to watch a dog think, and then observe the behaviors it creates to get what it wants. And it's great, because it wears them out so much faster

  5. #5
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    Water training is all about retrieving....I spend hours on asking my dogs to retrieve. one ot the first games we play is "take it" and "thank you".

    It can be done whilst watching TV and is very repetitive....You give the dog a toy, say "take it".......And make a huge fuss or treat. you also do a "hold it", which you slowly extend in time. reward and treat......And we do a "thank you". Which is a give it to me........Sometimes initially you have to help the toy out of the mouth or hold it in the mouth. When you have to have reliable, "hold it" and "thank you's", it works better if you help them do it initially. I used to try and shape the behaviour, but found them unreliable. So now we use a little aversion. be it hold the mouth to "hold it", or take it out of their mouth to "thank you"
    My dogs love this game as we just watch telly....i use lots of positive reinforcement for doing the right thing.

    It makes retrieve games a lot of fun, because they hand you the item and they will hold it until you ask. it also teaches them to pick-up stuff and that can lead to many other games. And comes in very handy when you are in the higher levels of Obedience Trialling
    Pets are forever

  6. #6

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    I cant even get my dog to chase a ball lol

  7. #7
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    Dec 2011
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    Logan, Brisbane QLD
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    Molly is a food dog - she will give anything new a go as long as there is a food reward.

    I taught her to play fetch by cutting a small hole or split in the tennis ball. I call her over & show her where i'm putting the treat (inside the hole) i roll it along the ground with the instruction "fetch" because she knows there is a treat inside she will get it, slowly she learnt she could not get the treat out herself so had to bring it back to mum who will get the treat for her. Gradually the rolls become throws & the throws get longer.

  8. #8
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    I used 2 balls to teach a retrieve. releasing the 2nd at the present, he'd spit 1st ball at my feet and run off for the 2nd. And repeat, add infinitum till YOU are bored.
    This is a sure fire crap method that teaches the game of prey drive. With no accuracy for sitting accurately, holding it in his mouth till you tell him to give etc.

    Depends on if you are going to compete in obedience, or just want to run you dog till its knackered using a ball, with minimum effort on your part "yeah!, lets hear it for the lazy dog owners"

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