Jump to content
BC Boards

Can I teach her to love playing fetch?


Recommended Posts

Maggie is one of those dogs that really isn't too thrilled about toys, except in certain situations (like when I first get home). I recently made her a rabbit fur tuggy and put some fur in a jackpot toy as well and she'll play w/ those more reliably, but she still only likes playing for about 5 or 10 mins at a time.

 

I'd love to be able to play fetch with her as well since it's great for exercise and would be a great reward at agility, unfortunately she thinks balls are boring unless they contain food. :rolleyes: I've done some clicker work with both tugging and fetch and she'll now fetch about 5 times before quitting and will play tug for about as long, but she's really only doing it for the food at the end I'm pretty sure.

 

Have any of you taught a dog to love fetch/tug to the point where they don't need additional reinforcement for the activity? I actually kinda want a dog that is ball/tug crazy lol.

 

If you have, PLEASE share!! :D

Link to post
Share on other sites

Unfortunately after 10 years I *still* can't get Oreo to fetch reliably. She only does it a couple times, and only because I asked her to. I'm thinking you can teach them to do it, but you can't teach them to *love* it. I could be wrong though!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Tamyr loves all those games , but she plays her own way ...frisby has to fall on the right side so she can grab an edge she won't catch it in flight , balls are nice at home but sticks are better outside , any toy is great when I make her stay hidden and tell her to count until I hide them , she even likes when I put a scarf on her eyes so she can't cheat , she loves to fetch , but she doesn't like to give back immediately !

Sometimes she runs like mad after stuff , I fear her heart will explode she's in such a state , but that came gradually too , I keep encouraging her and urging her so she's really keen .

Don't know what would've happened if I never read here about dog toys :rolleyes:

fetch game loses interest when we're in new territory too , then I know she just wants to explore ...

I've had dogs before who just plain didn't like games ...so this is like being a kid all over again .

Food matters not at all when she's playing , and that's a surprise too ,especially when she's running to fetch and bring back , like she's on a life and death mission , I think she could walk straight past a steak maitre d'h ...

anyway I think it's some kind of natural thing they have or not , starting as a wee pup helps too...

I had this big mutt for years , all he would've deigned play was chess ;)but I'm not a fan ...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Does she chase the ball when you throw it? If you throw the ball and she shows no interest in it, you will have a tough time. But if she will at least chase it, there is hope. A couple of my dogs would go after a frisbee or ball with gusto, but when they got it would only chew on it for a couple fo minutes then leave, or proceed to destoy them (e.g., remove the felt of the tennis balls).

 

What I do/did is use the ball with a couple of treats. try to get her to associate giving you the ball with getting a treat. you may have to start with VERY small steps. Give her the ball and say "give it to me" or some such phrase, quickly, before she drops it. when she drops it, probably out of disinterest. praise and give her a treat. Use a clicker if you want. If you work from there eventually she might learn that the ball is related with the treats. So you might be able to work her up to the point to anticipate the throw so she can bring it back for a treat. When she is regularly bringing the toy back start alternating giving her treats. Every two times she brings it back. Then 3 times. Then 4 times, etc. Always leave her wanting more. Never let her quite on her own because of boredome.

 

Do a little bit each time. If she makes the connection and the prospect ball and treats is exciting her, quit the session at the height of excitement. ALWAYS leave her wanting more. And keep the ball out of sight when not training her. Make the ball a super special toy. tell her about the ball when you get it out to work with her. that way the the word "ball" will start to get her excited.

 

I have used this method (for both frisbee and ball) and it has worked. In fact, I still give them a treat every so often while playing fetch.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Give her time. Harley is pretty much the same way. I wanted him to be a frisbee dog but all he wants to do to the frisbees is chew on them. All he seemed to want to do to balls is take the fuzz off. He would fetch if I wanted him to, like Maggie, but only a few times. He would much prefer I chase him and try to take the ball away.

One day though he was carrying his ball around trying to get me to try and take it away from him. When I didn't he got frustrated and just put it in my lap. Since then he has wanted to play fetch more and more. He still isn't one of those dogs who will do it all day, and he still wants to play keep away when he brings it back but I can tell him to bring it here and release and he does.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Bukka: That's pretty much what I have been doing, though I do need to put her on more variable reinforcement, so that might help.

 

HarleysDad: Yea, she's almost 7 now so I don't know how likely it is that some ball interest will develop in the future lol. Interesting about the chase thing...maybe I'll have to try that too.

 

I'm starting to think about putting rabbit fur in her orbee ball and leaving the tail out since she loves chase rabbits and squirrels - when I give her something with fur she's much more interested.

 

Last night I took her on a walk around campus and she flushed three rabbits - she was in heaven! Now to find a secure fenced area w/ rabbits to chase.... :rolleyes:

Link to post
Share on other sites

Dally doesnt like balls but, he likes a jolly ball a horse ball (kick ball size) with a handle. He will fetch only for a while and then he gets distracted.

 

Can you arrange play time with another dog that is really his favorite game tug with the terrier or mom's borders is so much better than me.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Brodie is almost 7 months old now. I taught her fetch with a tennis ball about 2 months ago. Ever since I taught her, that's all she does at home. I have sat at home and actually played fetch with her through a 3 hour hockey game on TV, and a movie! IT never ends! So, today, I decided that I will keep all her toys out of reach, and I will play when I wanna play. Because if you stopped playing fetch with her, she would just keep picking up the ball, and dropping it in front of you, over and over and over!!!

 

The only problem I have is, she never brings it right to you. Only leaves it about 5 feet from ya.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Mudthirsty-

 

Don't pick up the ball until she brings it to your feet. Just stand there, say 'bring it' point to where you want it and put your hands in your pocket. Wait. Wait. Wait.

 

Eventually, my 5mo. got fustrated at me standing there doing nothing, so she made a grimacy whine, picked up the ball and brought it closer to me. I got animated, said "YES" (which marks her behaviour) and picked up the ball as fast as I could and threw it.

 

Pretty soon, she got the idea that I ONLY throw it if she brings it all the way to me. She'll bring it closer if she's not close enough because I'm there waiting.

 

I did add 'Nope' when she gets it wrong - it's a non-chalant voice - just to mark that she's not doing it quite right.

 

We're working on getting the frisbee at my feet now, instead of behind me

 

 

As for loving fetch? My 5yo GSD/Chow has NEVER been interested in anything that wasn't food. Sometimes she'll run with my other dog to 'fetch' the ball or frisbee, but as soon as she gets it, she drops it where she caught it. Never the return. If I call her, she'll drop the toy and come to me without it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, Ive been trying that. We've taught her the command "closer", and she'll pick up the ball and bring it a bit closer. But never real close. If I wait around too long, then she'll go and chew the coffee table. But good advice, ill stick with it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've just read the last two posts , not the whole thread ...so I feel like adding , like I do to my daughter when I hear her giving orders , "this is still the dog's game ... you're playing with her , for her , why not do it the way she likes it once in a while ?"

I know for a fact what Tamyr really LOVES is that I run after her and pretend I can't catch her ...

we have teaching and learning stuff , but if she so loves it to see me run and trip and try and miss ...well I'm glad to help !

Link to post
Share on other sites

For one of my guys (sorry, not a border....just a lab) I used flavored tennis balls. They make them in chocolate, vanilla, mint and something else. The balls come in packs of 4, so I bought 3 packs right off the bat and played for 5min about a billion and half times a day for a week- worked like a charm! :rolleyes: He is totally food driven so I put him on a check cord, threw the ball, he picked it up, I reeled him in and because he liked the taste, he kept the ball in his mouth long enough to actually make the retrieve....voila!

The only reason I had to buy so many packs of balls was because the idiot (as I affectionately call him :D ) only liked the vanilla ones and the balls themselves were not a sturdy as regular tennis balls, but once he got the hang of it, it was easy to switch him to regular ones.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...