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Hi all! My puppy is a lab mix and true to the breed, he loves to fetch! However, he decides when he wants to bring it all the way back. He'll bring it back to me about 75% of the time, but other times, he'll bring it halfway and get distracted and sniff around and then he ignores me completely.

I'm wondering what are the best resources to training a really reliable fetch? I used youtube videos to shape his behavior, but it seems I can't progress passed where I am. He's great at long distance fetch, but I want to prevent the sidetracking.

I have done a small amount of recall with the trainer in his group class, but he's not near perfect. The recall practice we did used place markers set in a line and we'd make the dog stay on the first place while we walked to the end. Then, we'd call "come" and mark with "yes" as they passed over each place board and finally treated when they sat in front of us. BUT this is as far as he's gotten.

His "leave it" and "heel" commands are really good, especially for how young and adventurous he is. He's not quite ready for off leash, but eventually, I'd like to get him off leash certified for my city, so I'm working towards that. :)

Thanks in advance!!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
*BUMP*

I want to train my dog to retrieve shed antlers and be able to take him in an open field and do this, but all the resources or trainers I've found use shock collars and "force fetch" and am looking for PR alternatives.
 

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We tend to shape and back chain retrieves at the facility I teach and take classes at.
Similarly to this:
Training a Shaped Retrieve | Denise Fenzi
Goes super quickly with dogs with instinctual retrieving abilities and takes time for those without, though still works well. Results in enthusiastic reliable retrieves.

Once you have a solid retrieve with antlers, you can transition to searching for the antlers and add on the retrieve.
 
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