Our expert says:
Dog Behaviour Expert
Hi GT, as i receive such little background I sometimes have to 'guess' between the lines to answer the questions. this is much more specific, thanks!
1. Initially I find this exercise easier for a dog if you sit on the grass/floor to begin with. when the dog has got the hang of it, then start standing up.
2. Start off with a ball and thread a long piece rope through it. Toss the ball a short distance away, holding onto it in your hands.
3. Tell the dog 'fetch/get it' etc and as the dog takes hold of it, encourage him to come back to you and release, using a cue such as 'give'thank you' or similar.
4. When the dog is becomming proficient in this exercise, then request a sit and then give the 'give' cue.
5. GRADUALLY, make the distance longer and longer. Dont go to fast or you can blow it.
6. when you start with the standing up part, go right back to the beginning again and toss the ball a short distance and then again, gradually build up the distance.
7. when the dog is retrieving every single time, then is the time to start doing it without the rope attached. Again, start right from the beginning again.
Keep this particular ball/toy ONLY to be used as a training exercise and dont throw other things for the dog in-between, as you will go backwards.
Practise for a few minutes at a time, several times a day. If the dog refuses to release the ball, then the game stops immediately and you always retain possession of the ball.
At a later stage you can start to use other objects, but always start with the object being tossed close to you and if the dog does not return it (unusual), go back to attaching the object to the rope and start again. Dogs are not at all stupid animals and very quickly figure out what works and what doesnt.
Hopes this helps and do let me know how you go, thanks Scotty
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