I’ve written very very little about solving problems here and that has much to do with that I’ve just been training young or inexperienced dogs lately. With young and unexperienced dogs there aren’t really any problems, they just lack knowledge and has to be introduced and more training to get that. But when a dog really understand the word/sign for running straight in a line, the word/sign for lifting an object, does super recalls every time and deliver to hand with joy every time and loves to be close to you with what ever it carries close to you and even upon you. Then rolling or chewing on the retrieve can be a problem to solve. But if any of the parts above isn’t super yet, you should just ignore the rolling.
Because the rolling or chewing has more often than not a cause in stress or an unsecure dog. Most often the dog feel stressed about being close to you with what they are carrying or even more often they feel that you are stressed and worried about the delivery.
It can have a cause in that the dog finds this retrieve as a treasure and doesn’t want to share or as food and wants to eat it.
It can be caused from playing or training wit beeping toys (they roll to find the beeper 😅).
But all it these can be overcome! First of all, train yourself to expect and experience perfect delivery and retrieves. That is done with closed eyes over and over again in your head. See it, feel it and enjoy it in your head and imagination. Feel the wind, the warmth of the dog, the weight of the delivery and the smoothness in your movements. When it’s perfect in your mind and every delivery in your imagination - then you begin to train with your dog.
Start indoors with less than 1 meter distances and make sure it works there. If the dog starts to roll or chew, step closer. Do the picking up from your had and back to your hand if necessary. When that part works you can lengthen the distance, but expect to walk closer fo the delivery to stop the rolling.
Always start close with short distances. Always stop after a good one or end with an easy one. Never stretch your distances if you’re not sure that it will work. When you change environment, type of dummy/game or anything else you shall shorten the distance. Always expect to make things easier.
Most dogs finds it quite boring to do repeatedly retrieving on things they can see- think of that work as pure obedience and that the obedience in itself adds pressure. You can make it a bit more exciting by hiding the retrieve and use a leash to make sure you succeed.
If the cause is that the dog thinks of the game as good or a treasure, then I do sausage retrieves. Or anything that the dog finds more tempting than cold game. This is tough mentally and should be used sparsely. This is probably the most dominant exercise you’ve ever done, making the dog carry an deliver food. Think twice before you start, is dominating the thing that will make your dog to deliver more happily? Are you sure? If not use the methods above.
I use the same type of sausage for praise/treat as I do for the retrieve. The dog gets what it mostly wants if I deliver the treasure. Work closely with less than 1 meter distances or even hold the sausage in your hand when asking to fetch.
If it only chews or wants to keep warm game, use warm food (not hot) but warm tempting food like a hamburger or a compact steak. Chicken might be your final test! If it can retrieve and deliver grilled chicken with out chewing or rolling - most game will be easier.
After retrieving sausage or a grilled hamburger most dogs find the retrieve of a dummy or game as less pressure and stress and makes these retrieves with joy and ease!
Well all of us write here, both humans and dogs ;) At least that was the plan but it seems it´s mostly me Robyn who´s attached to the keyboard...