Guide dog puppies must play a more controlled version of fetch than their pet dog counterparts. First, Alfie has to sit nicely. Then I throw the toy and he must wait until it completely stops moving. Finally, I ask him to "watch me" and only then can he, on my command, "fetch"!
I know, I know, it sounds like we puppy raisers are a bunch of control freaks! But really, by playing the game in this way, he learns to focus on me while at the same time strengthening his self-control. Not only that, he gets a lot of exercise...not bad for a game of fetch!
I read somewhere once that the innate desire to retrieve was a good indicator of a puppy's future success as a guide dog. While I'm not sure of the accuracy of that statement, I certainly hope that in Alfie's case it holds true! What do you think?
I think that after that, I need a drink.