Do you separate your dogs when playing games like fetch?
I'm trying to maintain harmony between our older and younger dog.
Separating them doesn't work too well because they are pretty keen about what's about to happen and they want to be a part of the play.
Just wanted to say, good question! I'll be watching to see what others say. I don't think we've quite mastered the multiple dog fetch routine. :
Connie and "The Boys":
Angus, Yellow Lab, CGC, RE, CD
Simon, d.b.a. Flat Coated Retriever, CGC, RE, CD
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I donno if its right or not but when we play fetch with my 4 and Joe the 5 of them run but only Maggie or Dakota will bring whatever back. For the most part it is Maggie. There is no fighting or anything like that its just the way things are. I works for us so we just leave it alone
I pretty much let them work it out for themselves. Kira is a much more driven retriever than Finley is (he is more what I would call a receiver, because he chases the ball but usually passes it over to Kira for her to bring back). Finley is by far the faster runner, so even if I manage to get Kira a head start, he normally gets to the ball first. It doesn't stop her chasing it though, and she almost always ends up with it after Finley has played keepaway for a few seconds. Sometimes, when I feel sorry for Kira, I throw one ball and then call Kira back while Finley continues to chase the ball. Then I throw a second ball in the opposite direction for Kira. I think they actually quite enjoy the racing though, and while they do fight over the ball it is bitey-face type fighting, nothing serious. I don't see any need to separate them, and I think they would fret if I did.
Murphy nearly always gets to the ball first so Jasper somewhat gives up.
If Jasper DOES get the ball then he hangs onto it and teases Murphy relentlessly.
The other two aren't ball orientated so it isn't an issue.
It's a circus with all 4, but they have fun and get great exercise ! Ginger, will usually just try to irritate the boys, she isn't interested in retrieving at all, but she gets great fun out of chasing the boys as they run after the ball....... 2 of them will bring the ball back, but Bosley just likes to be first on the scene of the ball. We have GREAT fun in the winter throwing snowballs, I can make and fire them real fast and it keeps them all on the go ! Lots of vocals sometimes too !!
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If we are playing with the Chuck It I will usually bring a ball for each dog. I could let them all charge after the same ball but Trick would win it every time so that is no fun for the others.
When we do work with the dummies that is when retrieving gets 'formal'. I have them sit in the line, then I throw the dummy and then send the dog I want to collect it by name only.
So far we have been able to have all 7 dogs out together.....quickly looking for some wood to knock on....
There have been a few times when we have to give Bella a time out, not be cause she becomes aggressive but because she's a pesty loud mouth and sometimes the foster dogs do not understand that all her barking and growling is just how she plays. Oh, and sometimes she gets a time out because she picks on Jake and won't let him play.
But everyone else is very respectful and honors each other's retrieve.
If I have enough balls to go around, most of the dogs are pretty good at waiting for me to throw their ball. Abbie will drop her ball for me and if I try and switch it up and give her another ball, she knows and won't run after that one. She wants the ball that she so lovinly slobbered up. It's amazing how she knows. Sometimes I'll fool her and she'll run after it but most of the time once she gets to it and sniffs it, she'll turn around and come running back to me leaving the imposter ball behind.
If I only have 1 or a few balls they all run after the ball together but so far, again knocking on wood, are content to let the 1st dog there get the ball and then they all run back together for the next one. Paulie would be happy to just run back and forth and even if he never gets the ball - he still thinks that it's great fun.
We try to have at least 7 balls out there at all times just so eveyone can have something in their mouth. Recently purchased 60 new tennis balls and we opened them all at once and had a big tennis ball party in the living room. It was so much fun watching the dogs run around trying to decide which tennis ball to pick up and a few of them tried to stuff multiple balls in their mouths.
However, we do not play with stuffed or squeaky toys all together unless I have more than enough toys to go around and I can vigilantly supervise the whole play time. Again, Bella is the problem, she loves to play tug and is plays very loud. Our dogs are used to her but I'm never sure how the foster dogs will react so we keep the toys put away and if we decide to get some out - we usually split the dogs out into small groups.
Usually, Jake doesn't participate in our games of fetch. He'll try and steal the chuck-it every once in a while but most of the time he just lies in the grass nearby and watches everyone. He'll play with a new tennis ball if it's just him and I but if another dog slobbers on the ball - he will not pick it up. He sniffs it as if it's a decaying mouse and then lifts his paws up high as he tries to walk away from the disgusting slimed ball. He's such a big baby. He would prefer to have private play time with Mom and Dad so sometimes after we put the girls in their crates for the eveing we play hide and seek in the house with a nice clean tennis ball. It's his favorite game and he's really good at it.
When it's just play and exercise, it's both. If its training then one sits and waits(well that's the idea anyways :P) while the other retrieves. I use training dummies that are never used as toys and I do this in a different location. I try not to confuse them . I'm not sure if this is the best approach, but I think they get the idea between the two.
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Well, I just have the 2 so not sure if that is very multiple....but initially when Diesel did not understand fetch, Lucy still ruled. Now he does and is much stronger/faster than his 9 year old big sister so he always can beat her if we just straight up throw the ball. So sometimes we toss it in a different place and she gets it because she pays much better attention to what we are doing then Diesel does.
She also can play Frisbee (really well for an old lady with cataracts) and so far --- Diesel just can't get the hang of it. It seems to always just bounce off his head. Doh!