Hi
Just got a new dog
She is a 4 yearold collie and until I got her she had lived with a dominant male retriever dog for 2 years.
The male dog did all the retrieving and he did not allow her to join in .She merely ran behind him.
Now whenever I throw anything she takes it to a "safe" spot and will not return with the item.
She will return to me if I use the "here" command (but without the item).

Have tried standing by the "safe" spot but she then selects a new "safe" spot about 15 yards away where she will place any thrown items.

It seems she enjoys now being allowed to run after items and pick them up.

Her mind cannot connect that I want her to return to me with the thrown item.
Otherwise she is a delightfull well mannered happy collie and responds to all other commands
Has any kind soul got any hints/tips that will help her learn the full retrieve ??
thanks for reading this

Martin
please remove spamtrap if replying direct
Hi Just got a new dog Now whenever I throw anything she takes it to a "safe" spot and will ... (but without the item). Has any kind soul got any hints/tips that will help her learn the full retrieve ??

What I would try is to start with teaching her to swap for a treat. When she has a toy in her mouth, teach her to Give in return for a treat.

Then move on to tossing her the toy and coming the one step, two steps, three steps to Give it to you for the treat. Increase the distance as she progresses.
Usually, at some point, she will drop the toy to come to you for the treat. Send her back to Get It. No treat for coming without the toy. And if necessary, go back to the last point that she had it right and reinforce. Slowly increase distances.
It's hard to overcome habits that they have from a previous life - even when the previous life was a perfectly good one. It's just different and they have to learn new things.
For instance, we have two dogs. One will fetch toys - sometimes because he wants us to play with him and sometimes during a game of fetch. (He has a limit of three times. If you throw it four times, you'd better be prepared to go get it yourself.). The other dog came to us at almost two years old after living with a lot of other dogs. She doesn't think of humans as toy playmates. Toys are to play with by yourself or with other dogs. She likes the game where we throw it and she pounces on it but retrieving it for any reason (or to any place) just doesn't make sense to her. We're working with her on just playing tug games. Then we can start tossing the tug. (Balls mean nothing to her.)
~~Judy
Hi Just got a new dog She is a 4 yearold collie and until I got her she had lived ... to all other commands Has any kind soul got any hints/tips that will help her learn the full retrieve ??

Hi Martin,
We have an ESS that hubby trained who retrieves very well for hubby and most things well for me (except for her fetish, the socks she steals from my laundry basket).
What really helped her learn to fetch was to first teach her to "hold" until told to "leave" (or drop). Then moved on to the fetching/retrieving (sometimes *I* still have to occassionally tell her to hold (like with the socks) to get her to bring them to me, as she would much prefer to leave them in her kennel (where she hides with them).
Here is a site that describes pretty much the sequence that the trainer and hubby used, and our dog learned pretty quickly.
http://www.thunderheadkennels.com/tips/forcefetch.html

I don't think he had to use "the pressure" this guy describes, though I may be wrong. She does this all very well for me without any of the "reinforcement". : ) Though hubby did work with her A LOT on basic obedience when we first got her.
Some of the people in rec.dogs.hunting are trainers or have a lot of experience training dogs to retrieve, so maybe you'd want to post there..

Good luck!
Shelly
(Retriever Field Trainer here...)
I'm not at all convinced that going through a force fetch program is necessary or appropriate for this dog. OP is, I think, looking for a play fetch. The force fetch is a way to teach the dog that it must pick up the object - it is less focussed on the return, which is what the OP's dog is having trouble with.
That said, I'm of two minds, Martin.
As another poster said, you may just choose to accept that you have the dog you have. Collies are going to be much more interested in the chase than the return anyhow - and if you want to shape the return, you're going to have to interest her in coming back for something that is much higher value than the thing you threw.
If it were my dog:
I'd make sure there were no distractions, no other dogs, and no great hiding spots in a fenced, otherwise dull, dull, dull location. Try a local tennis court at 6AM.
Have a toy that doesn't roll far and isn't her absolute favourite in the world: and have a pocket full of the smelliest, yummiest treats you can find. (If she isn't food motivated, get her mostest favouritest thing in the world).
With her nearby, on lead, give her the toy and then trade it for the stinky thing. Then toss the toy a little way away and then trade it for the stinky thing. Take very, very small steps - and start to lenghen the throws out. This could take days and days of patient confidence building. If she blows you off, run away from her. I suspect her Herding Dog self will be inclined to chase.
I'd play this game on a long line until she's really bulletproof. As you move along, you'll grow it into a 15' throw. She chases, picks up. You say, "here!" If she comes in with the toy, treat. If not, try giving the long line a little tug to get her attention. When she looks up, praise and offer the treat again. You can encourage her attention and her return this way: do not use the line to drag her in. It's just to keep her from getting too far away and to give you a way to get her attention.
What you're really doing here is also training a good recall. Couple "here" to the return behaviour, and you're building a retrieve and a recall.
She may never choose to return to you if there's another dog around.

She just may not have much retrieving in her, and find her joy in chasing other dogs.
Have fun taking this as far as you can, and enjoy your lovely girl.

Kate and Storm the Flat-Coated Retriever ("Is that a Collie-Greyhound Cross?")
Hi again and thanks for the tips.
Today using a mixture of your tips/comments I put some doggy treats in my pocket and spent a half hour with my new friend .
Made sure her "safe" place was behind me and threw away from it.

She is my first collie and ,my word, is very bright.

Chose a rubber ring that was not used as a toy and threw it just a few yards. She will "wait" until I tell her to "fetch" and then races over to retrieve the ring.
Then the interesting bit.
She has to pass me to get to her "safe" spot and as she passes I hold out a treat ( smelly cube of cheese )and say "come".
I can see she is torn but the treat wins and she comes to me but feels she must drop the ring before she gets to me.
Therefore I went over to the ring and gave it to her with the treat. After a few times she is dropping the ring closer and closer to me .

Finished the training after a half hour and will have another session tomorrow.
This hybrid method seems to help by making her associate the ring with a treat , I think.
Any futher comments gratefully received.
Thanks again
Martin
Please do not cross-post.
Hi again and thanks for the tips. Today using a mixture of your tips/comments I put some doggy treats in my pocket and spent a half hour with my new friend . She is my first collie and ,my word, is very bright.

YAY!
I've never had a collie but from what I hear "bright" may be an understatement.
The bottom line is almost always to take all the suggestions, start with what makes the most sense to you knowing your dog better than the rest of us do, and go with what works.
I love figuring out how dogs think and why they think the way they do! And playing together is the very bestest!
~~Judy
She is a 4 yearold collie and until I got her she had lived with a dominant male retriever dog for 2 years. The male dog did all the retrieving and he did not allow her to join in .She merely ran behind him.

Then again she might have been perfectly happy doing just that. Lots of dogs prefer the chase to the retrieve.
Her mind cannot connect that I want her to return to me with the thrown item. Otherwise she is a ... to all other commands Has any kind soul got any hints/tips that will help her learn the full retrieve ??

I used the method shown in these video tapes "Power of Positive Training with Ted Turner, Patty Ruzzo"
http://groups.google.com/groups?selm=3767d8b2%240%24220%40nntp1.ba.best.com

Diane Blackman
http://dog-play.com /
http://dog-play.com/shop2.html
Hi again and thanks for the tips. I can see she is torn but the treat wins and she comes ... to her with the treat. After a few times she is dropping the ring closer and closer to me .

Hey, that's just wonderful!
It sounds like you're on your way...
Kate
Hi again and thanks for the tips. Today using a mixture of your tips/comments I put some doggy treats in ... place was behind me and threw away from it. She is my first collie and ,my word, is very bright.

Hi Martin,
I was away and didn't see your earlier post. I'm a collie person and I'm rather fond of my pointy nosed sweeties. You got some great advice and from reading, you are doing a fine job with your new girl. Collie are bright and yet very sensitive. Get heavy-handed and hurt their feelings and they totally give up or perform at glacial speed.Of the four collies I've had that retrieved, three (Zeffie, Pablo & Lucy) were/are natural retrievers of varying drive and determination and one (Dino) didn't retrieve at all but with careful training (we did the induction method) he would happily fetch but I could tell that he didn't find it wildly exciting. I should explain what I mean by various degrees of drive and determination. Zeffie and Pablo happily would play fetch, yet were not competitive.

If another dog went for their ball/stick/toy, they would pull back and refuse to go for it. And if I threw a stick in water (yikes!), they would be reluctant to go in there and get it. Two years ago we actually taught Pablo how to swim and I worked on his water retrieves. Now if I toss a stick into nice calm water, he'll glide in (Pablo is much too suave and debonair to jump in and splash) and carefully picks it up and smoothly swims back. Because he is not thrilled about water, I make a huge fuss over him over his heroic effort.

My new collie girl, Lucy (a 2 year old that we've had for a month) has a very strong fetching drive. She can't get enough of it and she'll bug me with her tennis ball, begging me to throw it. She is completive and will snark at Pablo if he even makes a move towards her ball while she's fetching. Lucy is sure water is evil and no way would she do a water retrieve. This summer, if we get a good heat wave, we'll take her to one of our favorite swimming holes and teach her to swim.

BTW, what's your new collie girls name? Is she a rough? Anyway good luck with her.
Chris and her two smoothies plus two visiting wee dogs Pablo, Lucy, Sebastian & Gecko