How to Entice Your Dog to Chase the Toy
In the video below, Esteban explains how he uses short, straight movements with beginner dogs to start the chasing game. You should avoid too much erratic or circular movement or attempts to hide the toy. Instead, you should try and be predictable and keep the toy in the dog's line of sight.
Demonstration of Good Chasing
In the video below, watch how Sarah combines short, straight movements with long, straight movements to entice the poodle puppy to chase a toy attached to a long line.
Restrained Recall to Toy on a Line (Beginner)
In the video below, Sarah demonstrates how to combine a restrained recall with tugging to increase motivation and speed. You can set your dog up in a “stay” position if the dog understands that behavior very well and without conflict or stress (if your dog has a shaky “stay” then do NOT combine it with tugging because any failure on the “stay” aspect can lessen enthusiasm for tugging). This exercise can (and should) be done with puppies. You can recall the dog to get the toy in front of you or to either side. If the dog comes to the wrong side, there should be NO correction or delay of reward. The person with the toy should be moving forward when they release the dog with a verbal cue, and the person holding the dog will release the dog on the verbal cue. Keep these sessions short and intense; we rarely do more than 5 reps even with adult dogs. Sarah completes 4 repetitions in 2 minutes—3 reps on the left and 1 on the right. Make sure you recall to both sides, and if your dog has a weaker side, do MORE reps on that side in every session. Helpful tip: picking up a puppy or dog will help you take the toy back if you haven’t taught the formal “release” cue yet.
Restrained Recall to Toy in Hand (Advanced)
In the video below, Esteban works with Emma the poodle at 8 months of age. This work is more advanced because they are working with a new toy that is held in the hand (not on a line), in a new environment, and with a leash (in case we need to grab it if she runs away). Esteban also adds the “ready, steady” cue before the ultimate “get it” cue (the dog is released only on “get it”). Note the different presentations of the toy (in front, on the right side, on the left side, and in front again).