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I'm not a vet, and I exercise my young dogs more than a lot of people do.  So I would say that 30 min of fetch IN A DAY is not excessive.  But 30 minutes of CONTINUOUS fetch probably is not advisable. Five minutes of fetch followed by ten minutes of walking, and the five more minutes of fetch then more walking, then maybe a couple more minutes of fetch would probably be better.  There are a lot more twisting and high impact stops and turns in a round of fetch than we realize. Short bursts of intense activity and longer rounds of low impact activity will give you the benefits of exercise with much less stress on young joints

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5 hours ago, Hooper2 said:

I'm not a vet, and I exercise my young dogs more than a lot of people do.  So I would say that 30 min of fetch IN A DAY is not excessive.  But 30 minutes of CONTINUOUS fetch probably is not advisable. Five minutes of fetch followed by ten minutes of walking, and the five more minutes of fetch then more walking, then maybe a couple more minutes of fetch would probably be better.  There are a lot more twisting and high impact stops and turns in a round of fetch than we realize. Short bursts of intense activity and longer rounds of low impact activity will give you the benefits of exercise with much less stress on young joints

Yes, this.


Even with my FIVE YEAR OLD,  our games of fetch are on and off, and honestly mostly training with fetch as a reward.  Do some heeling, BALL BRING IT BACK.  Stay.  Release. MORE FETCH.  Do a trick or three. MORE FETCH.   Etc. 

 

Not just... chasing the ball until they drop.


Some disc games look vaguely like 'go till you drop' for a whole 60 seconds at a time ;p  but  my dogs are all fully grown adults.

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35 minutes ago, CptJack said:

Do some heeling, BALL BRING IT BACK.  Stay.  Release. MORE FETCH.  Do a trick or three. MORE FETCH.   Etc. 

This is exactly what our fetch sessions look like :)

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Are there some moments where you can up the treat currency? For example: we've started using steak (in tiny pieces) to do things like cross busy streets. If Tama can't pay attention then I know sometimes even the best of treats won't work (been there, for sure) - but in moments where you can get that attention! Steak. (If you feel like you need a higher currency treat, that is. Otherwise I'd save it for when it's really going to be necessary.)

That sense of "whyyyy is it like thiiiis!" sounds very familiar. We have also gone in and out of very good periods and really, really frustrating periods. I once read someone's comment on a post, a while back, that said something like: all the training in the world doesn't make them older, which only comes with time. Sounds like you're training a ton (yay!) but also, I think it can be comforting to remember that time will also help.

 

 

 

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Thanks guys! Upping treat currency is a great idea - we may upgrade to hot dogs for very special occasions :)

An update - I think we're actually making progress.... he's starting to look at me more and more outside. I've begun using a clicker and take it with me every single time we go out, and click and treat every single time he looks at me. We're working on a few steps of "heel" at a time, with the release "ok go sniff!!" and every time he gets distracted I try to redirect his attention back to me. It's incredible to be making little bits of progress and seeing him improve... I'll be keeping you all updated! Thank you so much again for your advice and if you have more then keep it coming!  

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Another way to up the treat currency is to switch out high value treats every once in a while. Even steak can become ho-hum after a while.

A trainer I used to work with would always switch things up and manage to one up us every week. One week she'd have a treat bag full of thawed frozen meatballs and would have all the dogs' attention. The next week we'd all gone out and gotten meatballs, but she'd stopped at McDonald's and bought a few orders of Chicken McNuggets. All of a sudden the meatballs were pretty meh and she had every dog's undivided attention again. Another week it was a can of spray cheese. Rinse and repeat. There are lots and lots of things you can do to up your treat game. Be creative and don't let anything lose its value before trying something new and exciting.

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10 hours ago, GentleLake said:

Another way to up the treat currency is to switch out high value treats every once in a while. Even steak can become ho-hum after a while.

A trainer I used to work with would always switch things up and manage to one up us every week. One week she'd have a treat bag full of thawed frozen meatballs and would have all the dogs' attention. The next week we'd all gone out and gotten meatballs, but she'd stopped at McDonald's and bought a few orders of Chicken McNuggets. All of a sudden the meatballs were pretty meh and she had every dog's undivided attention again. Another week it was a can of spray cheese. Rinse and repeat. There are lots and lots of things you can do to up your treat game. Be creative and don't let anything lose its value before trying something new and exciting.

 

This.


And *don't*  discount the  novelty factor being  motivating  in and of itself.   I have  had  other people's dogs going absolutely APE  over plain old  milkbones and that horrible  semi-soft dog food  that  comes  in a box of individual plastic bags.   Both of those are  horribly  unhealthy, but they're shelf-stable and I keep  them in the van for when I run out of, or forget, my more typical ones.   They're completely novel  to other people's dogs and fairly so to mine.  There are  absolutely points when I've  gotten more  enthusiasm for  those than chicken or steak or liver or chicken hearts and gizzards.

 

 

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