We just got back from an outing with the Chucker at the park. It's a crisp fall day, so it's a perfect one for some retrieving! One problem we're having though is Clarence will go after the ball great, and he'll turn right around when he hears "Come" but then he'll stop about 20 feet from me and drop the ball. No big deal really but I would like him to come all the way, especially if we're going to take him off leash hiking. Any suggestions?
Ender "trained" us very quickly to go pick up the toy wherever he dropped it... it was a game he liked to play. I finally said... "that's enough he's training us" ... after a few times of refusing to move from the spot we were at he picked up the toy and brought it closer... finally he "gave in" and brought it all the way back. Been doing that fine ever since.
I didn't realize that we were reinforcing the game until weeks into it so it took a few retrieving sessions to get him to bring it all the way back consistently.
I was just re-reading parts of "The Other End of the Leash" because I've been having similar retrieving issues with Sundance. Patricia McConnell suggests that instead of looking at Clarence and calling him, when you see him pick up the ball, run in the opposite direction. He'll naturally want to sprint to you. This is supposed to also dissuade one of Sundance's favorite games: "I've got the ball, YOU come get ME!" When Clarence comes to you, give him tons of praise, and throw the ball again immediately. McConnell also suggests not throwing it more than two or three times in a row while he's still getting the hang of it, so he doesn't lose interest.
This worked wonders for Sundance. I hope it does for you, too. Good luck!
Man I can relate. Billie is doing the same thing. I'll have to try the sprinting away thing. I play with her in the backyard with two tennis balls and do "lightening rounds" where she brings one ball back and before she gets stopped I'm flinging the other ball...but she's learned to drop the first one quite far away.
I guess if I'm running away from her, then we BOTH get exercise...hehehehehe