This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

Bella Peeples (& Emma, my momm

Barked: Sat May 1, '10 4:16pm PST 
What I mean is that whenever we play a rousing game of "Fetch" (inside & outside) she NEVER gives the toy or ball back 2 me even when I tell her "bring it back 2 mommy".

Instead, she brings the toy close, while still holding onto it, & begins a whole new game (for her) of "Chase" just to get the toy back. and on those occasions when I don't really feel like chasing after her, I try to grab for the toy, dangling from her mouth, and then we begin a game of "Tug-of-War" where I do a multitude of things 2 try to get her 2 release. Anywhere from lightly blowing in her face (which she doesn't like anyway), gently holding her mouth so I can try 2 get the toy out (without pulling out any of her teeth!), to actually trying to pry her mouth open enough for me to slip the toy out. All while telling her "Let Go".

I've tried training/teaching her to "drop" or "give" while using treats but when I use the last treat, and try 2 trick her by putting my hand up where she saw getting the treats, she quickly catches onto my bluff & realizes that there are no more treats & continues with her games.

I've thought of many reasons as 2 why she has this habit, like maybe b/c when I do finally get the toy back, I kinda tease her with it by dangling it in front of her face, or maybe I'm not using a firm enough tone of voice when I ask her 2 "drop" or "give" her toy back.

Unfortunately, consistency is a major problem 4 me & I try to as consistent as possible when we're playing fetch but somehow it's just not paying off.

Any ideas?

---Emma & her pet Bella!
Jax (earned- her wings- 5/30/12)

Give me your- toy.
Barked: Sat May 1, '10 4:21pm PST 
I would trade it for a treat.
Bella Peeples (& Emma, my momm

Barked: Sat May 1, '10 4:24pm PST 
but what about when I run out of treats & she catches on (as she does quite quickly) & decides 2 keep playing her favorite game of "Keep Away"?

Jax (earned- her wings- 5/30/12)

Give me your- toy.
Barked: Sat May 1, '10 4:31pm PST 
Then I would practice in a closed area, before you take her anywhere else. I would have plenty of treats. I would teach her to trade over & over again. Do it when your home randomly during the day so she gets conditioned. It will take some time and patience. Then, when you are out somewhere, she will be used to trading for the toy. Some dogs are smarter than others and will catch on very quickly if they can get away with something. You have to be very consistent. It has always worked with my dogs, hopefully it will work with yours. Good Luck!

Cave canis- vigilo omnis
Barked: Sat May 1, '10 4:42pm PST 
Never run out of treats laugh out loud Sorry. But it's kinda true; stop training BEFORE you run out of treats - training sessions should only last a few minutes at a time anyway. Also: use a treat that she'll like MUCH better than the toy she has, practice with different objects, and use the same word or phrase every time - "give it" and "drop it" might meant the same thing to you, but it's confusing to her.

[eta]: If you want her to stop running away, you have to stop chasing her - that's HER game. She needs to learn that the only game she gets to play (and get rewarded for) is the one YOU'RE playing.

Edited by author Sat May 1, '10 4:51pm PST

Augusta, CGC

Such a good dog!
Barked: Sat May 1, '10 5:07pm PST 
I agree with the other posters, when you're training the idea of dropping it--she's got to be convinced she's "trading up"--you're setting her up for success, so don't try to fool her or test her, until she has the command absolutely down in the trading game. Make sure you're using something really irresistable at first--like chicken or natural balance.

Also just as important is to give the toy right back when she gives it to you--part of the game is that she feels giving the toy to you doesn't really mean she's "given up" the toy or the game stops.

we will dance in- the ring without- words
Barked: Sat May 1, '10 5:46pm PST 
I'd start really small. Ash had a problem with retrieve, he took a long time to learn to take something in his mouth, but once I did, I trained it the same way I trained my bird to retrieve.

I started with letting him take the item from one hand and making sure that when he dropped the item (which he did as soon as I clicked), I caught it in my hand. Then I started moving my hand so he had to find my hand when he released the item to earn the click. I slowly started holding the item lower and lower until it was on the ground, initially with my finger touching it, beside the dog.

Once he had that, I started adding distance and making him get up to get it. Since I cackchained and taught the release first, he came back to drop it in my hand.

I was nhot aiming for fetch, but rather a formal retrieve (sit it heel, go out, get the item, bring it back, sit in front, release into my hand, finish).

Here is where I started (this was taken a few days after Ash started taking this item in his mouth):


And here is where I was in a few weeks: