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Old 09-29-2006, 06:54 PM
Suziewashernameo Suziewashernameo is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Lubbock
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Default will it go away?

I recently began using a C/T when Susie noses her ball. She learned very quickly what I want and how to get the treat. Everything is going well and is beginning to shape into (hopefully) retrieving/fetch for fun and exercise. My question is when I am not actively contucting formal training, and she noses the ball or begins to pick it up etc, if I dont immediately C/T will she soon think that I dont want that behavior anymore? If so, should I hide the ball until we are training? Also, does anyone have advice as I dont think food rewards are a good idea if I want her to put something into her mouth
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Old 09-29-2006, 07:38 PM
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BostonBanker BostonBanker is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Vermont
Posts: 8,843

I'm working on the same thing as you right now! I would love to teach Meg to fetch, but she came to me very uninterested in any toys. She now loves to play with her stuffed animals, but clearly has very little fetching instinct.

It sounds like I started the same way as you, c/t for touching the ball. She really gets the clicker, so I pretty quickly (within one session) started only clicking for her mouth on the ball. She's a big fan of batting at it with her front paws . I think the treat is the way to go for now. Hopefully someday, the "reward" will be another toss of the ball. For now, since the click marks the moment you are rewarding, you can still reward her for picking up the ball - it shouldn't matter that she has to drop the ball to get the treat. In four or so sessions, Meg will reliably chase the ball a short distance (10-15 feet) and pick it up. Right now, she tends to drop it when I call her back; that's our next step. I'll tell her she forgot her ball, and she'll run back, pick it up, then drop it to come back to me.

This is the first time I've taught fetch (Well, to a dog. I taught my horse to fetch a frisbee.), so someone else may have better, conflicting advice, but I've been keeping the balls picked up when I'm not ready to play. Like you, I was worried her interest would fade if there wasn't any rewarding.

Good luck! Glad to know someone else is in the same boat as me.

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