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erik meade

My dog is a fetching fool - but...

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erik meade

So this two year old GSP of mine, Kimber, is crazy mad for fetching. She will play fetching games all day. True story - my daughters had a party out at my parent's lake.  The kids took turn throwing the tennis ball for Kimber. It was 3 hours and 45 minutes before she decided that was enough fetching...  3 hours and 45 minutes of chasing and returning a tennis ball.

And it is not just in the yard, you can take her out to the woods.  Hide a Tennis ball, and she goes crazy looking for it... Then bringing it back to you.  Persistent.

Problem:  She is absolutely uninterested in fetching anything that is not a tennis ball.  My 8 year old GSP will fetch anything.  Tennis ball, bone, deer antler, stick, firewood, rock, cucumber, pretty much anything.  But most importantly birds.


Kimber will not. She points birds fine.  Holds them fine.  Will chase down a wounded quail.  But if dead she will hardly look at it.  I have one of the Dokken quail retrieving dummies.  No interest.  You throw it,  she starts after it, realizes it is not a tennis ball and then just turns back to look at you.  same for a baseball, a frozen quail, or anything that is not a tennis ball.  What the heck...?

 

Dogs are weird.
 

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uplandnut30

My Molly only cares about dead birds if other dogs are around.  If we hunt together it's on to find the next bird before the the thing hits the ground.  She's great about going after cripples though.  How she knows the difference is beyond me.

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Brad Eden

Too much throwing and fetching a tennis ball. She's not a lab....kidding sorta. From a flushing Spaniel perspective, I never played fetching games incessantly. For one thing my spaniels would get bored and want to move on to the next thing. But I also didn't with a Golden I had because I wanted him to associate retrieving with dead birds. He was a savant as far as finding a downed or winged bird and bringing to hand.

 

And yes, dogs can be very weird.

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RMH

Try cutting a slit in a tennis ball and putting it over the head of the Dokken bird. Also try soaking the tennis ball in bird scent, then start soaking whatever you throw with the same scent. I have never had a dog retrieve well, that only would retrieve one thing. I'm sure you'll get better ideas than mine. I've never been big on teaching force fetching, so I'd try transitioning away from the ball. Good luck.

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studdog

Wild suggestion:  Stop all tennis ball play for two weeks,  Then introduce new retrieving item perhaps a bumper or Dokken?

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studdog

You might have to have her Force broke by a pro.

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bennelli-banger

take  2 tennis balls and connect them with a dowel, either touching each other or with a gap between 2 balls...who knows?  start with them touching, and create distance between them so the dog is holding dowel after awhile...

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Steelheadfred

Dog has compartmentalized what it thinks retrieving is. 

Needs to be FB to retrieve. 

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Tim Frazier

I believe you might be able to fix it pretty easily.  Tie up Kimber and use some frozen quail or really anything with feathers.  Play fetch with the other dog in front of her giving the other dog heaps of praise and affection.  Then tie that dog up and offer Kimber the same game and attention, all while the other dog watches.

 

I've seen this work in one session, but then all dogs are not the same. ;-)

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Rick Hall
44 minutes ago, Tim Frazier said:

I believe you might be able to fix it pretty easily.  Tie up Kimber and use some frozen quail or really anything with feathers.  Play fetch with the other dog in front of her giving the other dog heaps of praise and affection.  Then tie that dog up and offer Kimber the same game and attention, all while the other dog watches.

 

I've seen this work in one session, but then all dogs are not the same. 😉

 

That's essentially how I got an ex-wife's Westie and my long-gone beagle, neither of which could initially be bothered with it, on the road to becoming happy retrievers.

 

Might also be as simple as priming the pump with a ball retrieve or two from heel, then replacing the ball with a canvas bumper and sending Pup exactly the same way.  Know that when we've had guest dogs that would retrieve bumpers but not birds (or ducks but not geese), putting them in that familiar situation for a bumper (or familiar bird) or two, then doing so again with a substituted unfamiliar bird has yet to fail making that transition.

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erik meade
5 hours ago, studdog said:

Wild suggestion:  Stop all tennis ball play for two weeks,  Then introduce new retrieving item perhaps a bumper or Dokken?


Not possible...  I live near the park in our small town, we have a empty corner lot as our side yard and the dogs have an invisible fence.  Playing fetch with our dogs is something of a community pastime.   When someone walks by Kimber finds a tennis ball, and Cooper finds anything he can get in his mouth and they stand by the sidewalk waiting.  If people walk past they will run ahead, sit still and try again.  Usually people throw the balls.  If they do not, sometimes Kimber will roll the ball onto the sidewalk in front of them.  The dogs have built up a fan club... a collection of playmates, from neighborhood kids - to old ladies.  A mechanic that works across the street, parks his truck every day by our house. He gives the dogs a treat and plays fetch with them in the morning and the evening.  The dogs know he is coming and beg to get out of the house in the morning to go sit at the corner and wait for him.

I haven't bought a tennis ball in years - but there are probably 7 of them out in my yard right now.  Also a few old basketballs, and footballs... The balls just show up. 
If I took all the balls away today, there would be more tomorrow. 

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RookieEP

Start rubbing wings on the tennis ball and build up from there.  Punch a hole and fasten a string and some feathers.   Fasten some feathers to a tennis ball.  Start light then zip tie like a whole wing.  

Mix other objects in the mix.  It can be done.  Next time buy a Pointer 

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Brad Eden

Well, outside of pointing birds she has a fun side job and is clever about it. I'd let it be, and pay attention if you drop a bird and go get it yourself. Unless this is really important to you. I'm not being a smart ass.

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gwponr

Mine is a retrieving fool for her round kong ball, put a dead bird out and well that's just food to be swallowed whole in her eyes 

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erik meade
2 hours ago, RookieEP said:

Next time buy a Pointer 

That is the plan. :)



Edit:  This might be the first time you have ever been right about anything.

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