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The Compulsion to Retrieve

Ty Handsome the Wonderdog is a Labrador Retriever.  He retrieves.  I don't remember any of us really teaching him to do it, so if there was training involved it must have been pretty minimal.

Gambit II the Pocketdog is a mutt comprised almost completely of fighting breeds--Staffy, Rottie, Shar pei and Boxer.  He does not retrieve.  But he doesn't fight, either.  Anything that seems more serious than a mock grizzly bear fight with Ty--for which they usually use the back deck as their arena--will send Gambit sprinting for safety under a table.

I tell you all that to say this: Trying to play fetch with these dogs is extremely entertaining.  Ty always reaches the ball first.  While he works desperately to retrieve, Gambit works just as hard to prevent Ty from reaching us with the ball.  You can almost hear Ty shouting, "MUST!  RETRIEVE!  MUST!  RETRIEEEEEEEEEVE!" s he tries to outmaneuver Gambit. 

Mind you, Gambit doesn't want to retrieve the ball; he spits it out after a second or two of claiming it, then waits for Ty to try the retrieving thing again.  This goes on until Ty becomes good and sick of it, and forgets about the ball long enough to bark at Gambit and knock the little dog over.  Then Ty, tail wagging, brings the ball to my hand and waits for me to throw it again.

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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
sartorias
Jan. 31st, 2013 03:19 pm (UTC)
I'd love to meet these dogs.

I remember when my bulldog loved nothing better than a tug game.
blairmacg
Jan. 31st, 2013 04:46 pm (UTC)
These dogs would love you. :)

Gambit will do some tug-of-war, as long as he feels solid with his footing. While he no longer acts like Bambi On Ice when walking on the wood floors, he remains alert to the potential.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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