Ours collects anything he can carry on walks and then brings them home to chew on in the yard. He also loves fetching anything that we throw. I'm just waiting for him to snag a sock or undies or other piece of clothing out of the air while it wings its way to the laundry bin. :s He's watching them so I'll assume its only a matter of time.
I have 2 (both boys - not related) that will fetch til they drop, if I let them. The 2 girls (both related and related to one of the boys) will only fetch a time or 2 to take it from the boys, but then they stop and look at me like "this is stupid, if you want the ball, YOU go get it…".
I though it was just because our boy was a mutt and he had some hurdling Australian shepherd in him (hence his blue eyes). But I guess B's just like to be orderly Brody used to love fetching anything in our hand but it didn't take long for him to learn sticks only. Now we just have to worry about him getting overly zealous about ANY stick in our hand.
Zest! will fetch, but it is a carefully cultivated, rewarded behavior. And it does come in handy with her agility training.
No basenji I ever had would fetch. They would chase anything thrown, but bring it back, no way - they'd look at me like they were saying "You threw it, you go get it."
My girl would play kick ball, and I had one boy who loved trains and remote control cars.
Ah well, I did mention that for Zest! it is a trained behavior. She still often gets a food reward for retrieving one of her toys. I started this behavior using the clicker and for a while her agility toys were kept "on leash" since their recall was not reliable. I'd toss them and reel them in, often with a little basenji attached to it. It was great fun. Now she loves retrieving her toys. She will run out and pounce on it with zeal, er, or zest if you will.
My boy would retrieve his plush toys when I threw them, but now he will go and get an item when I ask for it by name (usually but not always the right one!) I clicker trained this behaviour, and will often ask him to bring me something just before his dinner, when he is willing to work knowing that his meal is forthcoming as soon as he brings me the thing I have asked for. He will run all over the house looking for the named item and bring it back to my hand. (on a bad day he just brings whatever is handy and throws it at me!)
Our very first Basenji, Dino, (way back in 1991, where did the years go???) would fetch and fetch - pretty much anything. We got our 2nd Basenji, a girl named Holly, and she saw him fetch. She gave him a look of such utter horror! "What ARE you doing?! Basenjis do NOT fetch!!!" After that, he refused to fetch if she was in the yard, but would occasionally do so when she wasn't around, hee-hee.
I think most Basenjis consider fetching to be "beneath" them, much as a cat would do. That said, I have seen some cats that retrieve. And I have had more than one Basenji (other than Perry) who would do so, but there had to be something in it for them. And that something has to be salient enough for them to make the effort. Otherwise, in most cases, you are in for that look that says "you threw it, get it yourself".
Oakley will fetch, according to his breeders his side comes from a long line of unusually willing fetchers…he will fetch for his toys by name ( some he knows, not all) and will bring it back to me and often drop it at my feet...he loves tennis balls and will nudge them with his nose to me to get me to realize he wants me to pick it up...it's very endearing since I know it's not the norm for a basenji. But there are moments where I get the look that "it's beneath him"...that makes me chuckle and snaps me back to Basenjidom...
Buddy (basenji/lab) will fetch for a little while. He will bring his toys to me when he wants to fetch. Samantha (basenji) will bring her little tennis ball and drop it at my feet every now and then. She will also toss her ball around and run after it herself sometimes. They both don't play fetch when I decide to initiate the game so I just wait for them to feel like it and let me know.
Loki will fetch most of his toys for a time, but he will not bring balls back. I noticed in his first 2 weeks here that he would occasionally bring back his toy all on his own and then began using treats, praise, and play to help reinforce this habit. I'll admit that I mainly worked on this with him when nobody was home as I would get super excited with a high pitched voice, clap, dance, and practically squeal with delight when he'd bring a toy back that he'd get so happy he'd race to get it and then fling it right at me when he was a few feet away! Now with certain toys, and at particular times, he will joyously fetch so long as he gets praise and some tug of war in return. He does reach his limit though and will stand there and stare at the thrown toy, look at me or my husband, then walk away.
He does reach his limit though and will stand there and stare at the thrown toy, look at me or my husband, then walk away.
IMO, it is always best to quit while they still want more. It is entirely too easy to extinguish a behaviour by asking for it too often, especially if the dog is not mad keen to do it in the first place.
If you want him to bring balls back, it is an easy behaviour to clicker train. Fun, too!
eeeefarm, I completely agree. Playing fetch isn't something we do often, it's not even a weekly thing, but it is hard to determine when he's had enough. At times he will want to play fetch and only fetch (no interest in tugging) for a good 20 mins; other times he'll only want to do it a handful of times.
And he really doesn't have any interest in balls period. Well, that's not entirely true, he does love to pull the fuzz off of tennis balls!
Have you ever tried clicker training? It's surprisingly easy to get a dog to perform tasks he previously had no interest in. My guy will now pick up all sorts of things he would never have in the past. I taught him a generic "pick it up", and he will pick up the object I indicate on command. He never was interested in balls either, but now will pick them up and bring them back if I ask him to do so.
When I said to quit while they still want more, I meant while they are still really into it and having fun. Builds anticipation for next time, so quit before you want to, when he is having the most fun, rather than taking a chance of boring him.
Yes, we do some clicker training. He loves it and learns very quickly with the clicker; watches me like a hawk if he sees that I have it. I really like the idea of a generic "pick it up" and will have to incorporate that. I figured that was what you meant when you said to stop while still ahead. The trainers we have worked with in his puppy classes have said and demonstrated the same thing, I just need to work on stopping while he's still excited about it.