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Lou72

How can I get my Pug to give the ball back when playing fetch?

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Spark loves his ball but he never lets go of it when we play fetch. How can I teach him to drop the ball. I think he gets too much pleasure out of being chased when I try to get it back but I’ve tried everything to get him to drop it. Any tips?

Thanks

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I'm interested in any answers to this too. Sorry I can't give any tips as we have the same problem with Kara. We tend to just throw two sticks 😂 We have never really put any effort into training her though so now might be a good time to start. I have been told that chasing after her is probably causing the problem but that's fun for both too! 

Can anybody help?

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Try carrying some of their favourite treats with you, and every time they bring the ball/stick back give them one.  We used to use a tiny piece of (cooked) liver.  Be sure to remember that this is food though, so you don't end up with an obese dog that isn't interested in fetching anything.

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Thanks but the problem isn’t the bringing it back with Spark it’s the letting go. He’s more motivated by keeping it and running away when I try and get it back than he is by treats. 

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We do the same as Andy with our pug. We use pine cones, sticks etc so it doesn’t matter if he doesn’t bring it back and I don’t chase him but just walk in the other direction. My pug certainly doesn’t want to be more than 2 metres away from me. 😂

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Hello Lou72 

A great way to teach your dog to drop is to carry 2 identical toys with you. They need to be identical so that you avoid your dog having a favourite and deciding they want to hold on to one over the other. 

When your dog returns with the ball, produce the second ball. Imagine it's treasure and make a big fuss of the ball. When you show interest and excitement in the ball your dog will be curious and should drop the ball from their mouth and you can reward them by throwing it for them. As they go after the 2nd ball pop the first ball into your pocket and then repeat the process all over again. 

Just remember though that if you play fetch for more than a few minutes it's going to be harder for your dog to let go as their arousal level will be too high. I would recommend practicing at home for 2-3 minutes at a time. Hope that's helpful 

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Thanks Nosey Barker. Will they eventually start dropping the ball by themselves with only one ball if I keep doing this regularly? I'll give it a try over the next few weeks and will report back.

dog tennis GIF

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yes, as he starts to anticipate you throwing the second ball you can add the word 'drop' in at the same time as he spits the first ball out. That pairs the behaviour of him spitting the ball out with the cue word 'drop' . That way he learns a verbal cue and then you will be able to fade out the 2nd ball 🙂 

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Hiya. 

Id crouch down side in so your dog comes close in. Refrain from going straight for the ball. When your dog is right in stroke him under the chin. Then runaway and repeat. The aim is your not taking the toy immediately. Whether you do this 2,3 or more time be random. Then take hold of the toy and be quiet and face away. Your dog will release it. Then give a food reward if you like. 

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