by Rik on 04 August 2021 - 21:08
I've had dogs that with very little coaching learned quickly that bringing the ball back got them another toss.
I've also had dogs that only wanted to keep the ball and took quite a bit more effort, 2 ball etc., to get a retrieve.
just curious what, if anything this is saying about the individual dog.
by duke1965 on 05 August 2021 - 02:08
its about which drive/trait is the highest in the individual dog,higher posession is less eager to give up the ball etc
by Q Man on 05 August 2021 - 09:08
by GSCat on 05 August 2021 - 21:08
When I introduced two-ball, my dog picked up the second ball and kept it, too LOL
by Hundmutter on 06 August 2021 - 02:08
Hee hee hee, GSCat x The size of ball on ropes that I use, my Dexter cannot get two at once into his mouth so he has to drop one to pick up the other (he's quite fond of standing playing 'swapsy' though !). He rarely brings the first one ALL the way back to me - must like seeing me Fetch it ;-)
Like Bob, I've - as long as I can recall - started with the 2-ball option. Though I remember it didn't work initially when I took Vida on, @ 3.5 yrs she just didn't seem interested in ANY ball. In order to compete in Ob, with her, I had to teach her from scratch to carry stuff around in her mouth, starting with the very soft (cardboard toilet roll inners) and working up until she would eventually retrieve a dumbbell (and actually harder things, like keys). Only after that did she get the idea that balls could be fun to chase & fetch too. But she never got obsessive, or as excited about the ball, as most dogs I've had.
Maybe its something about opportunities, with individual dogs ? (Although Vee did have access to balls at her Kennels, and I'm sure I must have tried her, when out walking her, as I did from when she was 7 months). Or 'mouth feel' ? Or maybe as Duke says it is all about posession / the resource ?
I have had dogs who retrieved nicely, and readily learned a proper Present to actually give it back to hand; I've had many which brought the ball back but just tossed it at my feet, waiting for the next one to be thrown. And like Dexy there have been a few of those who habitually Fetch it, but leave it some feet away. I don't usually have much trouble with them wanting to keep any ball rather than let me pick it up for re-throwing - being on a rope helps with that, but basically I just walk away, so they learn they try to keep it, they don't get it thrown again. Depends whether you are just playing with them, or training for particular things, I suppose...
by Q Man on 06 August 2021 - 09:08
by Sunsilver on 06 August 2021 - 09:08
Star was super possessive of the ball, though I did eventually teach her to 'out'. In her declining years, if I wanted to walk her off leash, I had to walk around the parade ground at a local military base. She was so deaf, she had absolutely no recall, and we'd often meet people with on-leash dogs if we stuck to the paved walking/jogging trails. I was also afraid of her getting in the way of a jogger or bicyclist.
Eska is much less possessive of the ball, and would often drop it to go and sniff something interesting. As soon as that happened, Star would drop her ball, and grab the other one.
I once kept track. In one circuit of the parade ground, the balls changed hands...er, mouths..FIVE times! :D
Now that Star's gone, I have to watch Eska carefully to make sure we don't lose the ball. :(
by Klossbruhe on 06 August 2021 - 12:08
As has been noted, some dogs are natural retrievers. Some understand right off that if they bring the ball, or hose back it will be thrown again and they will have another chance to chase the prey item. Those dogs who come back but will not give up the ball either do not understand that they can continue the game if they give up the ball, or they do not trust that this will happen and see no reason to give up the prey item or they simply CANNOT give up the ball. CANNOT is different from WILL NOT. In ball play, you rarely see CANNOT, it is usually a question of WILL NOT, that is, they can give up but they do not want to. In protection work, the prey item is more like a live animal in that it has struggled and moved about after being grabbed by the dog. This is not the case with a thrown ball or tug which is often lying dead by the time the dog gets to it and certainly once it enters the dog's mouth.
In protection work, one encounters dogs whose prey drive is so strong they mentally cannot give up the sleeve. Dealing with a dog that CANNOT out the sleeve is somewhat different than the situation in ball play. It is rare to see such a dog. Those are usually dogs which will not give up anything whether or not it is prey item.
First, let us consider a thrown prey item be it a ball or tug toy. If the dog comes back but refuses to out the prey, we can make the second prey item come alive by throwing it etc. Most dogs will respond to this and drop the dead prey item which is in their mouth. Surprisingly, some will try and take the second ball while the first ball is still in their mouth. In this situation, 2 balls or 2 prey items will not work. Instead, it is best to work with one prey item that has been attached to a leash. Tease the dog, but do not throw the prey item. Let the dog grab it, and play tug of war a LITTLE bit, not too much, then go dead and tell the dog to sit or down. Many dogs will immediately out when they sit or down. If they do out, the SECOND they out, make the prey item come alive and let them bite it again and play tug. Many dogs catch on quickly with this method. They learn that outing means another chance to get the prey item, the game continues. It also works nicely in protection work. It is important not to let the dog make its own fight with the object or to keep pulling on it when sitting or downing. To avoid this possibility, the prey item should also be attached to a leash so that the handler can let go of the item not the leash while the dog is sitting. No pressure should be exerted on the leash. Eventually, the dog will get bored and drop the prey item. Under no circumstances should the handler give a leash correction or any kind of correction because this creates conflict and makes the dog less likely to out. Never pull a prey item out of the dog's mouth.
Working this way also solves the problem of what if the dog does not want to come back to you. Here, the prey item is attached to a long line and is thrown. Once the dog grabs it, the dog is reeled in to be near the handler and placed on a down or sit and proceed as above.
Then there are dogs that will still hold or play with the item when in a down. For these dogs, they must be made to sit and hold the prey item. The handler holds the dog by the collar and does not let the dog put its head down. In the case of the sleeve, it gets heavy and the dog will eventually voluntarily drop it. This does not always work with a ball or tug. In such cases, the Balabanov 'Ultimate Punishment' can be tried. This involves walking off the field or putting the dog in a crate, game over. However, it is a based on two assumptions: the dog is bonded to you, and the dog wants and likes to play.
If none of this works, shoot the dog. JUST JOKING!!!!
by GSCat on 07 August 2021 - 00:08
Learning the out from so young paid off for a lot of things. If I ever get another puppy, will definitely do this again.
by Hundmutter on 07 August 2021 - 02:08
There's an 'extra' to my post that might give you guys a laugh: over the 3 years I've had him, Dexter has developed one quirk related to the 2-ball I always play with him. We start out for a walk; he gets a couple of gentle goes of Fetch with the ball(s); then he stops playing and walks round carrying whichever of the balls he's last Fetched, rather than drop it. Then he squats, and puts the ball down in front of him. When he has emptied, he leaves the ball in place, waits for me to come and find the poop he has 'left his marker' for, & pick up - then we can resume the game. This trick is especially useful when its dark or he's crapped somewhere overgrown. All his own work, I've made no actual attempt to teach it. Of course he gets the reward of the game starting again soon after, but that's all.
I realise the ball and games with it can be used to teach a range of different responses; Klossbruhe's very eloquent post describes techniques similar to those I have used in the past with different dogs. And yes like Bob I've used the ball itself as a training aid. So y'all might think my description of what Dexter does when playing Fetch is pretty pathetic, really, since I'm not doing more. :-).
But this is an older 'rescue' who has spent over half his life with another owner. All I want the ball games for, [with this dog with which I'm not Competing, or needing to demonstrate anything], is that because I can't run with him, he should still have opportunities to run and jump and get proper exercise. Also, a ball can come in handy when a rescue is early in placement, as a distraction technique from other dogs (and animals in general) or traffic, etc, to get the attention back on me - since I have no 'puppy elastic' to help with these dogs. Didn't help much with Dex initially, since he did not seem to recognise what a ball even was when I first showed him them ! Maybe his old owner did not use a ball to play with him. But Dexter does now respond to 'Fetch' and 'Drop' commands, even when he does not drop the ball right at my feet. We also play Tuggy, usually on the way back indoors. He 'Out's fine from that.