This is a game not played often anymore between these two.  Tilley gets the ball and Luke tries to get it         from Tilley.

Ah the joy of retrieving; even at the age of 14 years Tilley loves nothing more than retrieving.  Yesterday I filled up their kiddie pool and tossed some tennis balls and sinking rubber toys in for her.  Luke gets out his one ball and Tilley proceeds to empty the pool.  She usually puts all the toys in a pile and then waits for them to be put back into the pool so that she can start over.  She has a bit of a time because of her Vestibular disease but does pretty darned good.  

   Luke's ball went over the rail and down the stairs, he stared at it for so long then charged down after it.


Taking a corner after the ball.

Found it; happy guy.

There are many different types of retrieving dogs and some who have retriever in their name but wouldn't think of chasing a ball if you begged them to. I have had several training clients who were very upset that their retrievers didn't like to retrieve. My husband always wanted a golden retriever; now we have one. Luke is golden color and loves to retreive; there you go. Both poodles are maniac retrievers; and love nothing more than chasing the ball. In fact both dogs love to retrieve just about anything. 

Tilley has OCD and chases shadows which quickly became a problem.  With her shadow chasing bad behavior I had to switch her chase drive onto something else for her own safety. First it was balls and then onto frisbees which she was unbelievably amazing at. She has actually been on Pet Star twice; I'm in the process of trying to get a video of her from Animal Planet.  We progressed to the frisbee; other options are Flyball which is a great outlet or field trials or perhaps agility.  

But not all dogs have drive; it actually amazes me when I see dogs interacting in a friendly manner to rabbits, birds or other small critters. Some may never become interested in retrieving; so for those guys you have to look at what they like to do.  My dogs are all very wired to chase, but they do not all kill. My JRT use to kill small things like lizards, birds, mice, rabbbits etc. But my poodles just love the chase.

Retrieving is great for exercising your dog; especially if you are not big on jogging yourself. But you must take great care if you have an obsessive retriever; they tend to not watch where they are going and only keep their eye on the ball so to speak.  If you have a retrieving loving dog it is wonderful to give them an outlet for this drive.  Teaching them what to retrieve is a start; where and when is the next important thing.  Tilley has learned not to chase shadows anywhere but in her own backyard and at the age of 14 she reserves it for when I join her in the yard.  

So if you want to get your dog retrieving, you must make the item to be retrieved the greatest most fun thing in the world first.  If you don't accomplish this, forget it.

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