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Returning the frisbee to my owner - Printable Version

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Returning the frisbee to my owner - ikrsul - 09-09-2017

Hi there, 

My 15 month old border collie, Logan, absolutely loves to play with his frisbee... or at least I assume that he likes it since when I bring the frisbee out he is obsessed and razor focuses on it to the point that nothing else seems to matter.   He is also very good at it, although he had to be trained to catch it.  At first he just ignored it, but with clicker training he got good at catching it and now he even catches it in the air.  Every morning we play with the frisbee for about 30 minutes until he has burned sufficient energy and we have been doing this for about six months.

For context, I got Logan when he was 5 months old.  He was extremely shy and nervous, and still is to a lesser degree, but with love and care, lots of socializing with other dogs, walks and constant care, he is now a fairly balanced and loving dog.  We only use positive reinforcement and clicker training and we have never punished or beat him. 

The problem we have is that he never brings the frisbee back. He catches it and takes it to some shady place far away from where I am.   He picks two or three places in the field and will consistently take the frisbee to those places, but almost always far form where I am.  Hence, I end up doing as much exercise as the dog  Big Grin.  I tried using the clicker to train him to bring it back to me, but he is so focused on the frisbee that he pretty much ignores the treat and the clicker.  

I am sure that this is not new and surely someone out there know how to train him to bring the frisbee back!  Could someone point me in the right direction?  Maybe a video, an article or some advice on how to get him to bring the frisbee back to where I am standing?

Ivan


RE: Returning the frisbee to my owner - Loyal Border - 09-09-2017

Do you just have one frisbee? If so get another one exactly like it. Throw the first frisbee and as soon as he catches it try to get his attention and show him that you have a second frisbee. As soon as he notices you run in the opposite direction of him and he should want to chase you (hopefully with the frisbee IN his mouth). If he brings the frisbee with him GREAT all you have to do now is just work on him getting back to you and shortening the distance you have to run. If he doesn't bring it back and leaves the frisbee where it was then simply run back to the frisbee after he gets to you, have him pick it up (maybe entice him by wiggling it a little) and then run back to where you were. Hopefully he will follow you this time and as soon as you get back with him holding the frisbee you can throw the second one. Big Grin

I know, this still requires some exercise but after a while you'll realize that you don't have to run anymore because he understands the new rules of the game. Good luck and have fun! Big Grin


RE: Returning the frisbee to my owner - Quirkydog - 09-09-2017

Just a few points to be careful of, frisbee catching can cause injury, BCs can get obsessive, BCs do not know when to stop

So I would get 2 identical frisbee. Wiggle the one get him excited throw it, once Logan has caught it this frisbee has technically become dead, it's boring. The other frisbee you are playing with, wriggling, small throws you catch, wiggling on the ground. This new frisbee is very much alive and you are having a blast. As soon as Logan drops the dead frisbee you must immediately throw the new frisbee. Then this becomes the"dead" one. Repeat

Once Logan is returning for the new one which will be thrown immediately after he drops the old dead one all the time. Do not present the "new" one until he is returning to you. Eventually you will close the distance to returning to you completely. Does that make sense


RE: Returning the frisbee to my owner - ikrsul - 09-09-2017

thanks for the tips. Will try it and let you know!


RE: Returning the frisbee to my owner - Ember - 09-11-2017

This is sort of how Ember plays in the house. Part of her "game" is to run to the couch (no matter which room we are in) with whatever she just got out of my hand. I don't have identical toys yet and only the one toy in her mouth is all that matters to her, but I might be able to try this myself!


RE: Returning the frisbee to my owner - skren - 09-11-2017

My boy isn't that great at bringing it back either and has a terrible "drop it". I have been doing the two toy trick for a while. If I had to estimate, it works probably 80% of the time.

One thing I do and would consider suggesting, sometimes I bring a tug toy when we go for fetch. After he catches his toy I will try to entice him to come tug, that way he gets close to me and drops his toy to grab his tug. If your boy likes to tug, you could try that too Smile


RE: Returning the frisbee to my owner - Trifan - 09-11-2017

(09-11-2017, 07:52 AM)Ember Wrote: This is sort of how Ember plays in the house. Part of her "game" is to run to the couch (no matter which room we are in) with whatever she just got out of my hand. I don't have identical toys yet and only the one toy in her mouth is all that matters to her, but I might be able to try this myself!

Thinking on this as I play with the boys and also a huge benefit that you have put up a video of her doing exactly this. I think you perhaps hit the nail on the head when you say, "part of her game". I wonder what would happen if you didn't play it her way i.e.: when she takes the object and doesn't return it, just walk away. Maybe you are inadvertently reinforcing "her rules". Just a thought ! I mean these dogs are so smart it perhaps takes a think tank to out manoeuvre them LOL

It might be something best tested with caution, you have put so much into achieving engagement with her but hang on to the thought that each time "her rules" dictate, reinforces what you are desirous of changing.


RE: Returning the frisbee to my owner - Ember - 09-11-2017

I have tried this, it just ends the game. I'm still iffy if the dart to the couch means "mine now stop" or "mine I dare you". I'm slowly seeing a change in body language between these two tho. I will keep watching and maybe post on that when I have some video.


RE: Returning the frisbee to my owner - Trifan - 09-11-2017

(09-11-2017, 06:21 PM)Ember Wrote: I have tried this, it just ends the game. I'm still iffy if the dart to the couch means "mine now stop" or "mine I dare you". I'm slowly seeing a change in body language between these two tho. I will keep watching and maybe post on that when I have some video.

Yeah, I thought that might be a possibility with miss Ember.


RE: Returning the frisbee to my owner - ikrsul - 09-22-2017

I tired using two frisbees. At first he just dropped the frisbee right where he was when he saw the second frisbee. Then he refused to play. Could not figure out what to do with both frisbees. Tries also showing him a tasty treat... he just ignores the treat, as he is so focused when playing with the frisbee that nothing else seems to matter. So back to square one Smile