I posted this a week ago admittedly probably in the wrong section:
"I mentioned in another post that Keely has been going to work with OH for the last couple of weeks. Basically, Keely and i have had very few walks together just the 2 of us for the last couple of weeks, and when OH walks her he uses the ball launcher pretty much continuously, which is great in that she LOVES chasing the ball, she gets the chance to search for it when she doesnt watch for it landing, and it tires her out, a necessity when she's at work with him.
The trouble is that this morning (feeling a lot better) i took her out to the nearby park with has deer, waterfowl, marshland, forest, cormorants, duck, other dogs and people etc and all she did was walk beside me waiting for her ball. After a couple of minutes and repeatedly telling her "get on", avoiding eye contact and ignoring her (and nearly falling over her as she kept stopping in front of me), she would leave me behind and venture approx 10 metres from me, then return and begin the whole process again. I made a point of staying at the park for 1.5 hours and eventually she took the hint and began to venture further out, although always stopping to check if i put my hand in my pocket (which i avoided as i keep her ball there). Before this, she was gaining in confidence and independence, but her recall was still superb so i felt that she got a lot out of the walks. Now i feel like she is just absolutely ball-obsessed (which cant be good for her either).
Looks like i've now got my work cut out for me. Do you think it may be worth me laying scent tracks of some sort (somewhere - park, garden, forest, etc)? I intend to re-introduce the tennis ball as a garden-only game for a while.
One really good thing is that OH is getting back into mountain biking so we are planning to take day trips every weekend to different areas, so i can take Keely to a variety of different environments regardless of feeling crappy cos i wont have to drive. Sorry for the rambling post - any ideas or experiences would be much appreciated."
To update, i worked really hard on her retrieve (she got into the habit of dropping it 6ft away from me) and she was bringing it directly to me. I then swapped the ball for a dummy whilst in the forest and she appeared to attach the same value to the dummy as to the ball, ie she would retrieve the ball to me straight away and await the dummy being thrown. However at home in the garden she doesnt retrieve the dummy but insists on lying down and trying to chew it. I understand that the ball retrieve is something she has done in the garden now since she was small and that she possibly doesnt associate the dummy with retrieving once in the garden.
Any ideas to stop her attempting to chew the dummy? Should i just use the dummy outside the garden (she associates it with retrieving then) at least until the retrieval of it is reinforced? She has never had free access to the dummy, it has only been used for the retrieval away from the house, in and out of water.