cmelik10 wrote::withstupid: depending on this dogs age FF is the only option right now. If you decide that this is something that you are going to do yourself do yourself a favor and get an established program like SmartFetch or Dahls 10 min Retriever.
Wonder what the British would do in a case like this since they do NOT believe in E-collars or FFing.
Think about it from the dawg's perspective for a moment. Why not complete the retrieve? Fear? Maybe stern corrections too often already? If not, there's an apparent confusion with WHICH command he's supposed to be following.
Since he marks well, faithfully picks up the bumpers etc, returns part way to you and then drops. You need to re-visit the HOLD command. Once "hold" is mastered, he will follow you all the way back home with the bumper in mouth if asked to.
My suggestion in the meantime? Try turning your back on Major when he gets to the area where he has typically been dropping. See if he will come all the way to you if you aren't facing him. If he does ... praise, praise, praise. Lighten up on any corrections you've been doing in finishing a retrieve.
Another method is to drop to one knee and encourage him to come all the way to you using lots of praise and attaboys. One more ... if the first two don't work well, try running (YES, RUNNING) away from him while encouraging him to finish the retrieve to hand.
Here's my then 4 month old Remi returning to "heel" with a dokken. Notice that I'm kneeling to help keep the intimidation level she might sense low? That's how she came to me, my kneeling on one knee and my praising her all the way back. Try it.
Cappy and Remi aren't my whole life, they just made my life whole.