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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I was wondering if anyone had any tips on how to get your pup to fetch a specific object.

Mia will get her ball when I say "Mia go get your ball!" because I repeat it pretty much every day a million times when we play fetch outside.

If I hide her ball and say "Mia go find/get my sock!" she will go find my sock (she loves finding random socks - even out of my hamper) and she will bring it back to me.

If however, I have both sock and ball next to each other or even 3 feet apart, if I say "Mia go get my sock!" she will still get the ball.

I think she's only hearing the "Go get the..." command and automatically gets watever object and defaults to the ball. There was even one time I was talking to my neighbors in the hallway and she brought out her antler chew into the hallway. When we went back into the apartment, Mia forgot her antler so I said "Mia go get your antler!" and she went back to grab it and brought it back inside.

How can I teach her to differentiate between different objects? She clearly knows the "go get the..." command but I'm missing something on how to teach her to associate words to objects.
 

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I taught Molly the names of about 11 different toys by taking 1 toy at a time and doing the 'Bring me'________ until she was rock solid on it's 'name' and then added the next one and did the same thing with it .......it took about a week per toy and at the end of each session with a new toy I brought out the preceedeing toy to 'proof', so each week we worked on a new one to add to the already learned ones.......sometimes we had to repeat a week as the group of toys got bigger but she eventually learned them all so I could put them all in the toy box and ask her to bring me_______ and she would search her toy box til she found it and would bring it to me! What got hard is finding names that didn't sound similar to each other, like she has two brown dogs but one is fuzzy, and one is a squeaker toy, so I could not just say "Bring me the doggy"... I had to give them names so they became "Go get 'Fuzzy" and "Go get 'Squeaky" I can also hide them around the house and send her to find them! I taught her this because I am disabled, and it was a way to keep her occupied when unable to get outside to exercise..... and brain games will tire a dog just as much as physical activity .......and everybody knows that a tired dog is a good dog! LOL!
 
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While this isn't exactly what you're asking, I do think some of these concepts can be applied to get your dog to differentiate: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Nm4goEuBt4

The two things that jumped out at me was pointing to an object and saying, "get the sock/ball/fork/whatever" and tossing the item and saying, "go get the sock/ball/fork/whatever". I really think it's just repetition. I unintentionally taught Aspen the names of some of her toys just by saying them so much. Now if I say, go get the ball/rope/moose... she'll look in her toy box for that specific toy. Then cry if she can't find it haha
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
@LuvMyFluff That is so freaking awesome!! That's also my goal with Mia. Since it rains a lot here in Vancouver I need some good things to do indoors and I figure this would be a great mental exercise for her. I think I was jumping too soon and trying to do both the sock and the ball. I gotta go back and just do one object at a time until (like you said) it's rock solid. Good tip on picking different sounding names. I didn't think of that!
@Aspen726 You're absolutely right, it's all about the repetition. Even today at the beach, she got distracted and left her ball somewhere. I told her to go find her ball and she ran back to go look for it and came back with it! It's all because I say it to her everyday!

Thanks for the feedback guys!! I will just keep at it and eventually she'll get it!
 
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