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Snap dog out of the work zone

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My 5 year old BC is well trained and listens /does what I want 99% of the time. Her distance work is good, at approx 50 yards range she will still sit, wait, down and knows how to go left and right, away and to me directions. 


The issue... When playing fetch with a ball launcher, she will chase it but if it takes a bad bounce or she misses it she then goes into 'hard working' find the ball mode. 


She will do lap and after lap until she gets it which is great by her but on a walk can be a pain for myself. I can get her to stop the hunt, wait and direct her, but unlike outside of playing fetch she needs to to commanded several times and even then she is still 75% focused on getting back to the ball finding. It's asif she has blinkers on and only getting that ball back matters, it takes a good bit of recalling her to stop chasing. 


What's the best way to make her just stop and give me her whole attention so I can then say go left etc to the ball rather than her do 30 yard corles till she sniffs it out. 


She never chases anything else and again outside of that hunting for the ball she always give some 100% focus


Apart from that small issue she's great! 



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My dog does this too. For me it is usually a sign she is getting too worked up/tired when she can't find the ball and start doing weird laps all over the place and starts to look in places where the ball clearly isn't. 
There are times where she can find the ball pretty quickly. That's why I think she's too worked up/tired when she can't. She, too, is super focused on finding the ball and won't be open to my "suggestions" - although she will come to me if I insist.

What helps me is that I won't let her chase the ball right away. I ask her to wait so it won't become a mindless thing she is doing. In between throws I am working on some "tricks" she has to do. Right now it's not very impressive, because she has a hard time focussing on what I'm asking her to do. So we do some heelwork, sit, and down. She is quite ball obsessive and this really helps getting her to a more 'normal' level. We keep sessions short. We're also working on leaving the ball and coming to me without it. 

I also do some retriever training with dummy's where one of the exercises is the "memory". We walk towards a point and I place the dummy, we go back the way we came and I send her over to fetch it. This has helped her really use her nose as well as her eyes when she loses a ball when we play fetch. Usually when she runs the super wide circles she is only using her eyes.
Another fun thing we do is go to the local tennis club and I send her into the adjacent bushes to find tennisballs. It is amazing how quickly she finds them, when most of the time I can't even see them. Fun and cheap way to get new tennis balls, really handy as we lose them often in the water - or sometimes other dogs steal them or put holes in them. 

She has gotten a lot better at finding lost tennisballs and doesn't do the frantic circles much anymore. And if she does I usually stop her and go find it myself. It's a lot quicker. And then we end the game because I know I went on too long. 

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Levi does something similar occasionally.  If he loses sight of the ball on the throw, he will go into "nose mode" and then become less responsive to direction. He will run big loops trying to catch a scent and doesn't look at me.  I find that if I tell him to "watch me" before I throw the ball, he stays more focused on me rather than running blindly in the direction I threw the ball last time.

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