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my border collie won't fetch, why?

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Congratulations for providing a home for this dog! And, welcome to the USBCC boards!


Sometimes, a dog in a new home or situation may take some time to adjust and you may find that, as he becomes more comfortable with you and your home, he may "loosen up" a bit and become more playful. Some dogs can be quite "tentative" as they really just don't understand why they are in a new situation and become much more outgoing when they adjust.


Some dogs may be very focussed on a particular toy - ball, frisbee, stick (just a warning on sticks is that some dogs may be injured by running onto a stick, getting splinters in their mouth or throat, or other mishaps - safer toys are balls of adequate size, frisbees, and other objects made for fetching that pose less threat of injury), or whatever. They may take time to accept another type of toy as part of the game.


Sometimes you can get a dog interested in the particular toy/object by not letting him have it. Show it to him, make a fuss over it, and put it away (somewhere safe where he can't get it). Let him know it's "your toy" and not "his toy", and you take it out when you choose. Some dogs will become quite interested in something that is "presented" to them in this fashion. Work up to playing just a toss or two with him, and put it away. Eventually (and this can happen quite quickly), he may realize what fun this toy is and eagerly play your game.


Initially, always remember to stop the game and put the toy away before he gets too tired or shows a loss of interest - stop while he still wants to play, to increase his desire for the toy and game.


I have found with my dogs that, if one tries to "press" a toy or game on them that they are not interested in, that they can really back off from it (likewise, if a person shows "too much interest" in either of my males, they get concerned and anxious and retreat). So, show your own personal interest in the toy but don't push it on the dog and let him develop his interest as he watches you express your interest in the toy (kind of like "my precious").


Best wishes!


Some dogs are just not "cut out" for certain games or toys and you just might need to find something that both of you can enjoy.

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