So here's the second installment of teaching Summit to retrieve. In the following video you can see how we're starting to get some distance (I started him with easy ones and then started making him get up to retrieve it). I should add a disclaimer that Summit was having a hissy fit when I filmed this. He refused to train for about 5 minutes before grudgingly deciding that he really did want that stinky dehydrated green tripe. Still, he was not really showing the enthusiasm in this film that he has when he is "on". Basically at this point I'm trying to get some distance so that he has to leave me to go and get the toy and walk back to me with it. A couple of times he drops it and I ask him to pick it up again and give it to me. He's starting to get the idea that he has to get it all the way to me.
Now it's time to change toys on him. I had intended to use this as an opportunity to explain how to teach a dog to target but apparently Summit can generalize. He offered a grab the very first try. He wasn't doing it consistently though so I was clicking/treating for grabs even if he didn't bring the toy all the way to me. I will continue working on him with this toy to get some distance and when it gets nicer out I will work on getting even more distance in the backyard. The hope is to eventually switch him over to a toy that we can get some real distance out of like a tennis ball or frisbee of some sort.
Hopefully everyone is thoroughly impressed with Summit's ability to learn to retrieve. I know I'm over the moon about it. If there was one thing I thought maybe I would never be able to teach him, it was to retrieve. I mean, really, he wouldn't put a toy in his mouth! I am so pleased with him. Once the nice weather shows up I'll get a video of a good distance retrieve just to prove that he can do it!