Join Date: Feb 2010
Dogs Name: Boris, Ebony,Ashton, Barry, XO, Luna, Hunter, Rockelle, Goldie (RockelleXJet)
Titles: 8 times DPCA Top Twenty Agility,CH,MACH3, MACH2,TQX, NATCH, ADCH, UD, CDX, CD, RN, etc
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There are some toy games that might help. Does your pup like to play tug? You need two identical toys that the pup loves. Hold one in each hand..Offer one to the pup, holding one end yourself, and play with him for a minute, then show him the other toy and tap it on the floor rapidly to make it look alive, while trying to hold the one in his mouth quiet. Hopefully his interest will switch to the live toy...play on that side a minute while the other toy is left "dead"...then make the dead toy alive again and the live one dead. This takes awhile but ends up with the dog learning to switch (leave) the dead toy for the live one. Eventually, then you can do more extensive games, where you throw the first toy just a bit away from you and then liven up the other one, and the pup hopefully returns to the more interesting toy. After lots of practice the toy can be thrown a distance away and pup will retrieve and then see the second toy come to life..at the point where pup is thinking about the live toy and is close to you, you can start saying "give" while reaching for the now dead toy with one hand and keeping the now live toy bouncing in your other hand. These games have worked amazingly well for us...there are others, but this one is really important to give the dog the idea of both fetching, retrieving, and releasing. I also have found that my dogs quickly learn the idea of trading. If Goldie gets one of my socks, for instance, I say "trade me" and get a high value treat...never chase her, but lure her with something very yummy, sometimes combined with running away from her. The dead mouse would be difficult but maybe with the toy games, and trading, she would get the idea.