Playing Fetfch

robjime

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#1
I have a pointer mix who will chase the object thrown and then just sniff it. Any suggestions how to get her to bring the ball back?
 
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#2
Some dogs just don't see any point or fun in "fetching," and it has absolutely nothing to do with intelligence.

My Bear thought the whole "fetch" routine was pointless. He was happy to bring me anything (or anyone) I asked for, but if I threw something and told him to go get it, he would just look at me. The thought that was very plain on his face was, "if you wanted it, why did you throw it away?" I know it had nothing to do with intelligence, because he may have been the most intelligent dog I've ever been around. When I helped my Dad with a land survey Bear usually went with us. Not only would he take me back to the truck if I asked him, he would find a route that I could follow instead of just cutting through brambles like most dogs. The really impressive thing, though, was I could ask him to take me back to the last point, and he would head back to the last place I stood with the rod, or I could ask him to take me back to the last station, and he would find the last place the instrument had been set up. My Dad had helpers who never learned the difference!

So don't despair if your pointer mix doesn't play fetch. It's not because she's dim or dippy or anything like that, it may just be that she doesn't see any point in it. You've got to take into account that she's a pointer, not a retriever, and it may be difficult to overcome all those generations of selective breeding for that specific behavior.

You might want to try "finding" games with her. Show her something, then go hide it and reward her when she finds it. She may even start bringing it back to you, but will probably "point" to it when she finds it. She might even develop a talent for playing Hide and Seek.

Just a thought - she might have fun catching one of those soft dog Frisbees, and since she would be catching instead of going to something already on the ground, she might be more inclined to bring it back for more fun.

Keep us posted. Someone else might have some more ideas, too, so keep checking back.
 

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