When I play with my 6 month old GSD off leash she won't bring the toy back. Should I go to the ecollar for this problem?
My compliments to you both for such an informative website!
I have a 6 month old high prey drive GS female. I've been doing the marker training since she was 9 weeks old with excellent results. I've purchased several videos including the "Tug" and "Retrieve." I've used the food throwing and rewarding inside and outside with great results. She will bring the tug back promptly inside without a leash, outside on a long leash, but when off leash outside she will stop about 3 to 5 feet and play keep away. If I turn away she will follow just out of hands' reach. If no toy is involved I have no problems on her recall. We have started a local Schutzhund club and I plan on competing with her, so I'm staying away from the 2 ball/toy technique. Obviously, I'm going back to the long leash outside.
I should be receiving an E-collar in the next few days. My question is, will it mess up her retrieve for me to nick her when she pulls this stunt? Will it decrease her drives?
Since your dog is only 6 months old and you know that she won't bring the tug back off leash, I would simply go back to setting her up for success and use the line on her. Due to her age and level of training, using an ecollar as an aversive for something that she's supposed to enjoy seems like a very bad idea.
Maybe later on, when she's older it would be an option but I think the potential for creating conflict would stop me from using the ecollar in this situation. She simply needs more reps of doing things your way, use the leash.
I'd also stop throwing the toy if she's showing reluctance to bring it back. Tug and let her take it from you and ask her to bring it right back to your hand (on leash) but don't throw it right now. I'd also review the Motivation video, Michael talks about dogs that are possessive.
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