Force to the Ground Help
I'm having a hard time ff to the ground. As long as my hand is holding the bumper or the rope he will fetch it from the ground. If he doesn't see my hand I get a big refusal. What recommendations do you guys have on the bag of tricks to approach this matter. Thanks in advance.
Step on one end of the bumper to lift it off the ground just a little. With three fingers under the collar and the dogs ear between the remaining finger and thumb, apply pressure as you push the dogs head toward the bumper while saying fetch. as soon as he grabs the bumper, pull his head up and then tell him what a good dog he is. repeat as needed. That is just my recommendation.
I have seen people put a very long rope on the bumper and just slowly work their hand up until its out of sight.
This is a pretty complicated question to answer as there are a lot of other variables involved. Evan Graham's method works really well. If you are already having success with your dog picking up the bumper lying flat on the ground when holding the rope then you are almost there. Work your way to the end of the rope and hold it from the very end, correcting the hold once pup grabs it. (because if you do this he will tend to grab the end). Once he picks up two or three in a row this way, pick up the pace and when he is on a roll, drop the rope the second that he reaches for it. Keep moving at a rapid but steady pace until you are able to let go of the rope before you command fetch.
It's a step by step process so the dog becomes accustomed to fetching downward by degrees.
Start with the simplest form; fetch from in front.
Then step by step toward the ground on successive fetch repetitions until only the tip of the bumper touches the ground. Angle it slightly at first to make it easy for the dog to fetch cleanly.
Then gradually hold the bumper by the rope - just an inch or so at first. Then, little by little, transition to more rope/less bumper, and lower the angle of the bumper to the ground as you go.
Over a course of many repetitions your dog will accept fetching it from the ground. As that goes smoothly, you can time his fetch with releasing the rope so he's now transitioned to fetching to the ground. (See next post)