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Betsy Leiss

Go fetch!

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Betsy Leiss

Here I am again seeking your advice! 

My 8 month old Berneen will not "fetch".  I have never owned a dog who wouldn't automatically joyfully return with a thrown object. Now, my kerries did not like to surrender the item, but they would retrieve endlessly. Is non-fetching the norm for Cairns? Is this a learned behavior for them?

Thank you all once again!

IMG_20171025_131939.jpg

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Hillscreek

What a cutie Berneen is.

I have always taught all my dogs to retrieve as my first ones were retrievers. So started lessons with Angus. He did learn - slowly. He loved to play indoors. Would return  with item - never to hand but thrown at my feet. However I could never rely on him outside where distractions abounded. He would only retrieve as long as he wanted to. As always, cairns ask what's in it for me?

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Betsy Leiss

Yes, I totally get the "what's in it for me" complex! I've been trying to get my husband to understand this about terrier behavior for years. Berneen is very responsive to treat induced commands, so I guess I'll have to fatten her during  retrieving lessons!

Thank you, Hillscreek, for your response.

Betsy

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Min D

Tewcsby is pretty much the same - needs to be in the mood. I find now at 20 months old he is more apt to retrieve than he did when he was more of a puppy. So it may get better....

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Sam I Am

Both ours tease us. They bring the ball back to us, and when we go to pick it up they grab it and run away to do it all over again.  Rotten kids!😇

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sanford

Not "fetching" is true for Ruffy also, and it may, in fact be a "cairn thing." Based on years of observation in the dog run, I'd say there is a definite population of dogs of all types and breeds that don't fetch. And there are those who fetch and refuse to give up the ball, and others who will chase, but won't return the ball.

I assume this is something that can be trained or taught, and as is usually the case, some dogs will respond more readily... and some won't. With those, it can require endless patience, consistency and repetition, (with treats?) until you are about to lose your mind!😄 But like all training, it's worth the effort and pays dividends later on, with years of enjoyable bonding, exercise and fun for both of you!

Keep trying! (Lather, rinse and repeat, lather, rinse and repeat, etc., etc.)!

 

Edited by sanford

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hheldorfer

"Fetch?  And bring it *back* to you?  Pfft!  If you want it so badly, *you* go get it!"

This was Buffy's attitude toward fetching.  Not uncommon, from what I've observed.

Berneen is a beauty, by the way!

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Kathryn

Of four cairns -- one fetched from the day we got her, and loved the game, indoor or out.  The second and third never fetched: one wondered why we bothered throwing things at her, I think, and the second just never played with any toys.  Oban fetches -- sometimes. He is most interested if we have 2 balls. We toss out the first and he goes to get it, but will only surrender it when we promise to throw the second ball.

I don't think fetching is a natural cairn response.

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bradl

It seems to be an individual thing for the most part. We've had some obsessed with fetch while others could care less. Cairns are fairly reliable as object killers (hilarious watching one "shake" a dumbbell) although perhaps less so as retrievers.   

A pocketful of small treats and you can do a variation on clicker training with them to associate an item with a treat (touch them with the toy; hand 'em a treat; lather, rinse, repeat). Then they can develop  a motivation for getting a tossed object to exchange for a treat. 

Getting a reliable dumbbell retrieve from Stella was nearly the death of both of us. A local obed judge of 40 years told me in class that once she got it she'd be solid, and indeed she was. But I almost gave up many times on the way there.

4-stella-high copy.jpg

Edited to add: Berneen is already "fetching" in one sense of the word!

Edited by bradl

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Lynn in TN

Kelly has always loved fetch, but she is a tease as well. She will also roll it to us. It depends on her mood. lol

We did not have to teach her to fetch and she will fetch until we stop.

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Idaho Cairns

We are fifty-fifty with Cairns fetching--two wouldn't and two will.  The ones that do seem to enjoy the game.

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kjwarnold

Yep, 50/50 with ours, too.  Our first, Willie, would fetch until his legs fell off if you’d throw that long.  Packy didn’t fetch, Kirby doesn’t fetch, but Phinney seems to like it although not to the extent that Willie did.

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Betsy Leiss
13 hours ago, Min D said:

Tewcsby is pretty much the same - needs to be in the mood. I find now at 20 months old he is more apt to retrieve than he did when he was more of a puppy. So it may get better....

We'll see! 

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Hillscreek

That's a fabulous pic of Stella Brad. How easily she clears the board.......... what determination in those eyes..................When she was good she was very, very good.....

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Dayvo

Robby was 8 weeks old and a tiny little guy when I got him. Playing fetch was the first game I tried with him and he took right to it.I got a couple of mini tennis balls about the size of a golf ball but the where still to big for his mouth,he hid to bite the fuzz to pick them up. Anyway the first time I threw it for him he ran to get it ,came back to me and dropped at my feet. We played like this for a few weeks then  one day he stopped bringing it back. It was like he was telling me that if I couldn't hold on to it he was done getting it for me lol. 

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Corn Niblet

Ten month old Gus loves to run after a ball and bring it back, rolling it to us.  Outside there are to many squirrel distractions. Two year old Rocky (Who just had a birthday November 30th) will also retrieve a ball. Rocky also exhibits the "What's in it for me" But usually when we go for walks. At first I thought it was "Why am I doing this?"

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Dempsy's Mom

Dempsy loves to fetch and then brings it back and runs about 5 feet away right by me  - "Now fetch me!"  So I have to run after him.    Berneen has quite a smart little look - I can see no fetching in his clever eyes.  Precious. 

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Betsy Leiss
On 11/27/2017 at 2:27 PM, Idaho Cairns said:

We are fifty-fifty with Cairns fetching--two wouldn't and two will.  The ones that do seem to enjoy the game.

 

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Betsy Leiss

I'd like to thank everyone who took the time to respond to my question. I knew Berneen wasn't lacking in intelligence, but it didn't seem like terrier independence either. She really has no interest in returning the ball to me. She's probably wondering what I'm complaining about: if I want the darn ball so much I shouldn't throw it away!

IMG_20171206_140204_kindlephoto-109340072.jpg

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Min D
7 hours ago, Betsy Leiss said:

She's probably wondering what I'm complaining about: if I want the darn ball so much I shouldn't throw it away!

That’s probably exactly what she’s thinking...those cairns are like having a little kid...too funny!

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sanford

Excellent Christmas card photo of Berneen!

I can just hear her thinking... "Hmm... Which one should I start with when I chew my way through all these Santas"?😀

Edited by sanford

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Betsy Leiss

We have been so fortunate. After a few firm "no's" and she is behaving like an angel, even when left alone for a few minutes. This is not to say there won't be a relapse! She's not even nine months old, so I don't expect her to be perfect. I've noticed as she's maturing  that she has gotten more tolerant of everything: combing, brushing her teeth, her nails. Thank goodness this breed doesn't require a lot of baths! And so far, she still let's me hold her like a little baby for a good cuddle without squirming. As long as I rub her belly, of course. Quid pro quo! Do you think she'll always allow such attention?

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