Yea Rubyroo! You both look great!

Quote Originally Posted by Yellow Boys Mom
As for picking it up by the end--almost every dog does that.
Yep...Murray sure did. The principal feature of the retrieve is that the dog retrieve promptly.The rules state the the dog will go directly to the DB, retrieve it, and return to the handler. There is NOTHING in the rules that say retrieving by the bell is not the correct way to pick it up but I still had some judges who would ding us for that. It was frustrating to lose points when there is no rule against it so I really worked hard to try and fix it. I used every method in the book and some not in the book. Murray always picked it up correctly from my hand or on the floor in front of me. The only time he picked it up by the bell was when he ran out to retrieve. Murray is a retrieving fool so doing what you are doing, rethrowing the DB, would have made Murray happier than a clam. He'll retrieve until he drops dead so I needed to do something else to get my point across.

First, I just repositioned the DB in his mouth when he returned. He didn't care. Then I tried wrapping tin foil then eventually chicken wire around the bells. He still didn't care. Then I tried wedging it between the BJ boards so the bar was the only thing available to pick up. He pawed at it until he could grab the bell. : I had someone hold it by the bells and he pawed their hands until they were bleeding and let go so he could grab the bell. >

The thing that finally worked for us, and I definitely DO NOT suggest doing this to Ruby especially this early in her training, was to whack the opposite bell end when Murray fronted which would knock the DB loose then I could correct for a dropped DB. Murray learned that he couldn't grip it tight enough when he held it by the bell. The bonus was that he learned that if he happened to drop the DB, he knew to immediately pick it up and that alone has saved our butts more than once. ;D I will still occasionally get a retrieve by the bell but it's maybe 1-2% of the time vs 95% of the time.