Discussion in 'Labrador Training' started by SwampDonkey, Jun 15, 2017.
Lucky we have a rather large collection which a certain labradors been stock piling
Charlie is the same, only no amount of food will get a football off him at times. There just isn't a type or amount of food that is worth more than the football. I've spent the best part of 4 years on this problem....so know how you feel.
I trained 'give' with new footballs at home until the cows not only came home but died of old age. I took it on the road. I played ping pong swap and just about everything else under the sun. I walked off and ignored him. I left - and I mean really left, as in got in my car and went home...and so on. Constantly. Sigh...
I can mostly get a football off Charlie these days. But not always.
Recently, I have had more success in a technique by Susan Garratt which requires you to 'train through' the distraction. It's a bit difficult to communicate, but it basically involves leaving the distraction where it is. So leaving the football out, and continuing to train. It's been very difficult, and endlessly time consuming, but has improved things somewhat.
Sympathies - I know how difficult it is.
I deliberately go to football games and train there at the moment . I will give it a go its another idea so thank you. Does he get the ball at the end or do you just leave the ball there? So it just becomes part of the normal ?
If you open up a football there's actually a layer after strange rubbery stuff . He finds it really atractive and thats what hes after he will strip the outer layer off and discard it and keep this weird inner ball.Its the only thing he does that bugs me
I've always thought that the materiel is associated with footballs rather than it being the material itself....but who knows? Maybe it's the material. I don't think it is though, I think there is a lot more associations with footballs (and so the material that footballs are made of) that come into play. But you are right that there is definitely something about the material/texture - something that makes Charlie want to eat it (and then vomit it up on the bedroom carpet in the middle of the night ). There are some other types of balls that generate the same reaction - there is a certain ball sold by pets at home that generates the football reaction. I still think it's likely to be the material associated with footballs though. It is certainly strange....
Well, with the 'train through' thing you leave the distraction in the environment. This is a great deal easier said than done. Particularly when it is not your football and the dog might eat it.
But the basic idea is that the dog gets nothing from the behaviour with the football. The dog doesn't get your attention - and let's face it, the dog that is behaving like this in pubic generally gets your full attention as your original post documents (I've so been there, many, many times). The idea is that the dog doesn't get treats for giving up the football. It gets nothing. The only thing it gets is the chance to re-engage with you and your training when it quits.
I found this extremely difficult to arrange. There is really only one place I can do it, which is a rugby field where I have an arrangement with the club to train. An example goes like this:
Charlie digs out an old rugby ball from the depth of a hedge - god knows how he knew it was there, or managed to get it out.
I walk away from Charlie.
I get Betsy out of the car and train Betsy.
Charlie is still laying down with the rugby ball.
I finish with Betsy and pack up the car to go home.
Charlie still stays with the rugby ball.
(At this point I know he is starting to eat it and I'm very tempted to try to get it off him, but resist....)
I get in the car, and start to drive away.
Just before the point I give in - because I'm not actually going to abandon my dog - Charlie makes a move towards me.
He gives me the ball. He only does this because I've trained 'give me the football' so often he knows it's what he has to do.
I walk back onto the pitch, put the ball down in the middle and invite Charlie to return to train with me.
If he takes the ball again, rinse and repeat the above (and gosh, that's time consuming and you might have to do it many, many, many times).
If he returns to training, we train and leave the ball where it is, on the pitch.
Then I pay the Rugby club for the chewed ball....
It's the most time consuming, and intense thing ever. I've been doing it for two months now. I have to say, it's working. But boy...it's hard work.
You have the patience of a saint! Charlie is such a lucky boy to have you as his human!
The problem I would have with this method of frenzied eating of the ball. I give it a go and see if I can leave him alone with it.
We bought this ball for Finn for he does the same with tennisballs and footballs, he eats them...
This one is irresistible and he only have eyes for his ball. Easy to toss away by the rope attached to it. We take the ball with when he is allowed off line. He has all eyes on us, can't even be bothered by other dogs, just the ball is very interesting! Easy to do retrieve games! Is available on amazon!
I got one of those it's got a shorter rope. he got bored with it its just not a football