Eyes down, look away…

Sporting Gun - - SHOOTING ANSWERS -

My 15-month-old cocker spaniel is fast over the ground and quick at find­ing the dum­mies, but when she re­turns she drops the re­trieve about 6ft in front of me and will not place it in my hand. She will re­trieve mul­ti­ple dum­mies, but I feel this is mak­ing the prob­lem worse be­cause she sees no need to bring them right in. How can I re­solve this?

Gra­ham says:

Be­lieve it or not, this is not an un­com­mon prob­lem and there are a cou­ple of things you can do to try and get over it.

First, try turn­ing away from the dog and call her to heel as she comes in with the re­trieve; bend down side­ways and put your hand un­der the dummy as she comes along­side. This is a use­ful ploy be­cause it means you will not be lean­ing over her at the mo­ment of de­liv­ery and avoid­ing eye con­tact, which some dogs find very off-putting.

Another method is to lay, or sit, on the ground, and give her loads of praise when she comes to you. This con­fi­dence­build­ing ex­er­cise is a grad­ual process, but given time she will hope­fully learn that praise will only come when she brings the dummy to you.

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