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I'd like to teach my dog to play fetch. She loves to run, but I can't really take her to a dog park because she gets into trouble sometimes. So fetch seems like a great game for us to play in doors.

She's 9 years old and is half Australian shepherd, half chow. The shepherd is great for the running part, but the chow in her makes her very distractable to outside noises. Also working against us is the fact that she has zero interest in toys, and the fact that she can be pretty aloof.

So, I sat down to see how things would go. I took out a tennis ball (as I said, she doesn't have any toys) and threw it and said "Go get the ball!" Remarkably, she amble towards it, picked it up, and came back. I praised her and gave her a treat, and threw it again. This time she shot after it, picked it up, and brought it back.

I thought it was going great. But, the next few throws didn't go as well. She'd either not bring it all the way back, or she'd run out to get it and then just start running around like the maniac she is, ignoring the ball. A few throws after that, she stopped running after it entirely, sometimes running around in her own way, other times just staring at me.

So what do I do to get her more interested? I thought about getting some beef hot dogs as treats, but I'm thinking she'll be too distracted by that, or even if she does get it, I still don't think she'd actually get into the fetching without the treats.

Can anyone offer any suggestions?

Thank you.
 
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