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So, Butters has always been obsessed with fetch. Anytime we took him outside to play fetch it would/could go on for HOURS. He will be 3 years old in December and he has always been that way.

Recently, he refuses to play fetch when we go outside. I will throw the ball once and then he will take the ball, lay down with it and just play by himself (rolling over on his back and picking up the ball with his paws and whatnot).

When I tell him to come, he refuses. When I walk towards him, he runs away! I don't chase him, because I know that only encourages the behavior. So I will go inside, refusing to be a part of his stubborn attitude. He will immediately run inside and nudge me with the ball like he wants to play. If I am sitting on the couch he will put it in my lap - wanting me to toss it in the house. I have stopped doing this with him because 1) he weighs 80 pounds and bumps into everything 2) i think it might be encouraging this behavior. He still brings the ball in and wants to play - so I have started putting the ball away. He gives me the most pitiful face!!! I can't stand it... so I take him outside to try to play fetch again. And this cycle starts ALL OVER!

Have your goldens ever done this?? Where did I go wrong??? :no::no::no:
 

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Humankind. Be both.
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Try re-training with a different fetch object and when he does bring it back, don't reach for it -- just let him stand there and enjoy/hold it while you pet him and tell him he's brilliant. Teach him that the best palce to be when he has a toy is next to you b/c you'll pet/praise him and won't immediately lift if off of him. After about 15 seconds, then work your drop it, etc.
 

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Humankind. Be both.
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Oh, and don't throw it very far.
 

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Mom to Bailey & Burgundy
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Bailey is the worst...she sounds the same as Butters. We throw the ball at the park and both dogs go dashing off for it - we always hope that Burgundy actually gets it because she brings it back right away and is SOOOO proud of her accomplishment! If Bailey gets the ball - she runs to a nice spot of grass, drops the ball, and proceeds to shoulder-slam into the ground while rolling all over the ball. It's really a pain (for DH :D) as he has to go all the way over to her to get the ball.
 

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Chester & Murphy's Mom
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What a goofy golden...I love the pictures. Chester won't stop fetching the ball...never had this problem. But he sure is cute.
 

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I would put him on a long line for awhile. That way he doesn't have the option to run away and you can remind him to come with some gentle pulls in your direction.

The root of this is a recall problem. I would work some more on him coming to you every time you call him. If he knows he has to return to you, then when you add back in the retrieve, you can start giving a "come" as soon as the ball is in his mouth. Eventually the come command just becomes implied when he gets the object, but if at any time you see him start to waver in bringing the object back to you, you can go back to reinforcing the come part of the exercise.

The good news is that you are certainly not alone. There are so many people that have training issues disguised as something else that actually go back to a recall problem.
 

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Cute pictures! My golden would rather toss the ball around with his paws instead of playing fetch too. Whenever I try to grab it, he makes a game of it and runs and hides. He was really into playing fetch when he was younger, but now he would rather have me fetch it.
 

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Those pictures are adorable. I love how he keeps the ball right at the end of his teeth as if to tempt you into playing.
 
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