Golden's just won't let go!! - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-16-2012, 02:10 PM Thread Starter
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Golden's just won't let go!!

ok.. our 7 yr old Savannah Mae is up for playing ball 24/7...
She runs after it and brings it back like a Jet plane..But....She won't let go of it...the more I pull the more she digs in.. If I put my hands behind my back so as to say, " I;m not playing" she proceeds to taunt me by pushing the ball at me..[sometimes in the u know where...] so, what ilearned to do was grab the soccer ball with 2 hands, tickle her nose with my thumbs after which she lets go...Does anyone's golden do this? Loves to retrieve her ball but feels the need to " fight to the death" before letting go?

oh, BTW: did I mention our other Golden Karmin[9] plays the same game with her frisbee... only a bit different...
After she jumps up and snags the frisbee, she brings it back and does the same thing at 1st... taunts me, won't let go till I tickle her nose.. Now,
i'm supposed to be smarter then the dog so, with my hands behind my back, I'm showing her that I WON'T PLAY.. Same proceedure as the other lugnut with her ball.. She then drops the frisbee.. As I reach down to pick it up,, [I need to video this to show how silly I look], as soon as I get my hand on the frisbee, BAM! down comes the paw ontop of the frisbee to keep me from getting it..now I have to fight to get it out from her Paw..
really something to see when she drops it and I slooooooowley reach down, inching ever so closer as she watches me out of the corner of her eye, knowing she's going to Paw Bam it the moment I touch it..
what gives? both of them love to retrieve, can't wait for me to toss the bal or zing the frisbee but have to do the Death grip before the next round..
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-16-2012, 03:14 PM
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You created a game and they like to play lol. have a really good treat hidden when you touch the ball say drop it and offer the treat. If they let go praise and treat if they don't game over period. Turn your back walk away ignore them they tend to get really desparate then offer the trade again. If they don't give you don't play at all. Don't give in that starts the game again.
It can be a really bad habit ie game to break. They just think of it as a great game of tug after a good chase or to play keep away. I can so picture this lol


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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-16-2012, 03:19 PM
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You need to teach "drop it".

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-16-2012, 03:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Altairss View Post
You created a game and they like to play lol. have a really good treat hidden when you touch the ball say drop it and offer the treat. If they let go praise and treat if they don't game over period. Turn your back walk away ignore them they tend to get really desparate then offer the trade again. If they don't give you don't play at all. Don't give in that starts the game again.
It can be a really bad habit ie game to break. They just think of it as a great game of tug after a good chase or to play keep away. I can so picture this lol
^^^^This is a wonderful way to train it...might I just add that as a treat use something absolutely irresistible. Broiled chicken works.
For my guys, whenever I've needed to train something REALLY important, I use sauteed chicken livers. Gross, but they love it and will do ANYTHING I ask.
It has to be a REALLY high value treat.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-17-2012, 02:54 AM
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This gave me a really good laugh...thanks!

I agree with the treat scenario--they need to trade it for something of higher value.

I laughed particularly at the dog putting his paw on it as you bend down. Mtucker is pretty good at retrieving and bringing me the ball, but sometimes he can't be bothered. So I tromp all across the yard or park and just as soon as I reach down for the ball, in comes this big gold streak to snatch it away. I guess keep-away is more fun than fetching sometimes.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-17-2012, 04:12 AM
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-17-2012, 07:20 AM
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Tayla does the same thing, but only with balls. Her other toys she does out pretty well. It's just a fun game to her, but we need to work on it more.


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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-17-2012, 09:44 AM
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ha! Liberty does exactly the same thing. I throw her ball, she chases it, brings it back and won't let me have it. So then I throw her frisbee which she then chases with the ball still in her mouth. Then she stands over them both. If I walk over, she'll grab one and run with it. As I try to pick up which ever one she's left on the ground, she'll run over and put her paw on it. So she'll have one in her mouth and one with her paw on it. Silly girl! Sometimes I have to add a tennis ball in the mix too so she can't hoard all three toys! lol

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-17-2012, 09:57 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks all for your input... Actually, I just wanted to know "why" they do this as opposed to actually looking for a resolve solution..[All good tips though]. Since Fighting to the death to keep the ball or frisbee is something they get so excited knowing it's about to take place at playtime, I feel we should continue with Them always thinking the're gettin over on me... Anything for my girls is my Moto..


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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-17-2012, 10:19 AM
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The "why" is because it's a game. If you're a Golden Retriever, the moment where you hand the ball back is one of the hardest personal conflicts you can face. On one hand, you want the glorious moment where the ball is thrown and you chase it. On the other, you have the ball in your mouth, which you're genetically hard-wired to want. So you bring it back and you're faced with this terrible quandary. You try to give it back, but you can't let go.

Then, the human does something exciting, like grabbing or tugging. That's kinda reinforcing. So you end up seeking out that game instead of handing the ball back for another wonderful throw.

It's possible to break the habit without treats. The key is to make sure that keep-away is non-rewarding and that the throw is the only reward available. The throw is a very powerful reward, so it doesn't take too many successful repetitions for it to work.

I recently broke this habit in a dog by sitting indoors with one toy and no other distractions. I threw it and he retrieved it, but every time he tried to start a keep away, I simply put my hands out, palms up, and waited. Eventually, he came over and bumped me with it, and I'd close my hands on it a little. He'd try to start a tug, but I wouldn't hold my end. After 10 or so minutes of this, he finally let go, and I immediately praised him and threw it.

When he came back, he tried to start tug/chase games for about 5 minutes, and then gave it up. I praised and threw.

He came back with it, and only tried to start the games for 10-15 seconds before handing it off. After that, the habit was broken. As long as you didn't grab for the ball or the toy, he didn't play keep away. You just put both hands out and he'd place it in them. I was going to wean him down to one hand, but I didn't have any sessions left with him, so I told his family how to do that part.

The key is to never chase, never tug, and never snatch at it. Let the dog give it up and then immediately praise and throw. It's just like training a "chase me" dog to finish his recalls properly.
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