This first step will get our dog into the habit of returning fast and in a straight line with a thrown toy.
It is aimed towards tricking him into thinking that every time he comes back from fetching his ball, he is in fact fetching another ball already – this way we can transfer the speed that he has chasing a ball into speed for coming back to us.
Play this game in a place where you will have a lot of space. This is not an indoor game by any means. Get several tennis balls (I would recommend starting with at least 5 – but the more the better) and throw one for your dog. As soon as he has picked it up, call his name and throw the next one into the opposite direction.
This should be a very fast-paced game. Don’t wait for your dog to walk back to you and come to a standstill – we want to be able to give them the rush that comes from continuous sprinting back and forth. If he happens to drop the balls in your vicinity you can pick them up and continue on, otherwise just pause the game when you have thrown all the balls and pick them up for the next round
Eventually, if your dog has played this game often enough, you will notice him accelerating out of his turn when he picked up his ball and is getting ready to chase the next one. At this point you start to very slowly delay your throw. We want him to offer us a bit of speed first, before we throw the next ball.
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