Cheating at Fetch!

Getting Ray to fetch tends to be an exercise in futility. In fairness to him, he will occasionally fetch, more likely if food is involved, but then it is short lived.

On December 27, we  had an interesting time with Ray (will we ever fathom him out?)! We headed off on his regular walk and he took us to his park. No surprises there. He would typically work his way through the park and, depending on where he exited, would give us some clue as to what he had in mind.

This time however, he followed a rather random route which took him right around the park and back to where we started. He then took us up the road, past our street, and to our community mailbox. He has often taken us to the mailbox because he gets a treat when we get there. We did not expect him to understand the mail delivery schedule over Christmas and so decided to humor him by opening up our mailbox, and there was a letter inside! Did he know?

He then took us around the corner and straight back home. These kinds of walks bother me a little because it is my understanding that a 75lb Shepherd/Rotti needs more than 20-30 mins of sniffing and walking on a daily basis. In contrast though, if he wants to cut a walk short, we should respect the fact as he presumably has his reasons.

We removed his leash and harness as usual to see what he would do in the garden. This is often a time when he suddenly gets urges for “zoomies” and goes careening around, but today? No. He just stood there looking at us.

He has a couple of Frisbees which he really likes to play with, and will sometimes “fetch” (for a reward) so I got them out and threw one. He went charging after it and brought it back so I gave him a treat. I picked it up and threw it again and, again, he brought it back. We played this game a few times but then it got interesting!

I gave him his treat and then stepped a foot or so to one side, picked up the second frisbee and threw it. He chased after it; pushed it around the garden a bit, and then came back to me without it. “Get the frisbee Ray. “Go get the frisbee”. He stepped over to where the first Frisbee was laying a few feet away, picked it up and brought it to me!

He has certainly played regularly with both Frisbees so it is not as if he had a distinct aversion to one of them. I am just going to assume that he saw it as an easy way to get a treat. It worked!

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19 thoughts on “Cheating at Fetch!

  1. Ray, you are a smart boy. I would have done the same thing to expedite the treat process. My brother Riley is a menace when he finds a big stick. He tears through the yard with it without regard to who he might wack. Yep, it’s all fun and games until you put someone’s eye out!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi Ilex. Ray does seem to focus on smells, in fact if you can steer his nose around, the rest of him will generally follow! Then of course his herding/protecting instincts tend to deter him from getting too far away from us…………. unless his prey instincts take over at which time we don’t exist! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ha! My GSD would watch me throw a stick, then sit down and look at me as if to say ‘You threw it, you fetch it!’
    Maggie’s predecessor, Barney, was interesting though. His recall sucked, but he liked to play fetch. We’d throw a stick, and he’d bring it back. However, one day, the stick we’d been playing with disappeared amongst a pile of others, but he ferreted it out, and brought back the one we’d thrown!
    Shortly after that, we read about a dog being terribly injured fetching a stick, and we stopped throwing them, opting for proper toys or a frisbee.

    Liked by 2 people

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