Tal likes to play catch but alot of times he will go to the ball, or whatever toy we are using, and come right back without it. He will also sit beside me, and look at object and not move like he is thinking I have no intention of getting that thing. I tried treats once and he wouldn't fetch the ball after I gave him a treat. Kept looking at me like where is my treat?? Of course I didn't give him one since he didn't retrieve the ball.
When we first started doing this he would fetch and bring it back. Now he'll either look at the ball, or he'll go to it like he will fetch but come back without it.
He is probably a little young yet to learn to retrieve. I taught Cinnamon once she was at the stage of where she would chase it all the time. Then I started giving her Cherrio's in exchange for the toy. It didn't take her long to learn the retrieving for the sake of retrieving was fun and no treats were necessary. She would chase her ball all day if someone would throw it for her unless the pool gate is open then the water wins out.
It took Rush until she was 1.5 yo before she decided that fetch was fun. I just think sweet Tal is just young. Give him time and he'll be a retrieving fool like the rest of them. ;D You'll then need to invest in a chuck it and a whole basket of tennis balls.
If retrieving is just a fun activity, I would not worry to much about it. He'll either retrieve or not. If you want him to be a working retriever, then you'll teach him forced fetch later on. Scotty is not FFed yet and he's 15 months (not that you have to wait this long).
Thanks for the advice. I just want him to retrieve for fun...no desire to do competition with him. It's fun and sometimes he retrieves and believe it or not more likely to retrieve without treats. Still it's fun...if he doesn't retrieve the ball he will run over to it if I do..and that's kinda fun actually!
Especially the younger the age, the more you need to keep the # of trials FUN.* If they get bored after 4 trials, drop down to 3; if bored after 3, drop down to 2.
My Puff is NO where NEAR as dedicated to retrieving as my Bess was.* But I thought it imperative (for my health) that we have retrieving as a useful daily exercise.
What we did:
Practiced retrieving before meals and used a bit of her usual meal as "treats".
Tied a 25-30 ft. line to the retrieving toy so, if needed, I could pull back the toy without Puff OR pull it back with Puff attached if need be.
When she was back, I exchanged a bit of food for the toy.
As she aged, we could use more trials.
We practiced in different locations and throwing it in different directions to help Puff learn to generalize.
I think I will try this. Tal usually starts to get bored after about 5 trials, then I switch to a toy he likes I got from Target. Once he is bored with that he will get it, and lay down and chew. Then I just go over and sit with him. We both had fun, then its nice and relaxing to just be together for a bit.
I would ditch the treats where retrieving is concerned. The retrieve in itself should be a reward.
Tal is young. I would not worry about formal retrieving yet. All you want to do now is make retrieving FUN. Put all his retrieving toys away for one week to give him a break. After a week, take him out into your yard and get him riled up with a toy. Throw it only once or twice. Do this every day until you can see that drive and enthusiasm emerge. Try using a special new toy for these retrieving sessions --a toy like a plastic bumper that you bring out ONLY for retrieving.