When I am walking my dog on my own with no one around he will bring the ball back to me occasionally and if so it is not even at my feet.

However, when I am throwing the ball with other people on the field he will bring the ball back to them 100% of the time dropping at their ankle.

At home he very obedient and passive.

I do not know why he does this and I can't find any reasons for it. Any help that I can get will be excellent!

  • I just shortly imagine I am the dog... "Oh cool, Tyran is playing with me. Look at all those other people that could also play with us. How much fun that would be. Tyran offered me the play by throwing the ball, let's offer it to other humans to make them join." Has it by any chance happened, that some of the other people smiled, picked up the ball and threw it back to your general direction with your dog happily chasing after it? If there is only you though, there is no need to drop it precisely at your ankle. You throw, I get it. I place it somewhere near you, you get it. Fun!
    – skymningen
    May 20 '15 at 12:48

Did you consider training him to do it "right" ?

Why do you think he should bring it back to you in the first place?

I don't know why he does this and I can't find any reason either. But that's not the point.

Bringing something back can be more or less "natural" to some dogs, but in any case dropping on cue at the handler's feet needs to be trained.

It seems that you have some reasons to be very positive:

  • he's already bringing the ball back to you when you're alone
  • he's dropping it at others people feet (I doubt he does that 100% of the time, but let's assume he does)

So that's your starting point and it could be much worse...

So now it your job to teach/train him what you want.

As alway, focus on the behaviours you want and then teach them.

I'm a bit worried when you say "very obedient and passive", that doesn't really sounds fun... I strongly suggest that you have a look at training methods that are labelled as "positive reinforcement" or "clicker training" or any variations of these four words.

Have fun !

  • I'm purposely not giving any specifics on how to train it as I want my message to be loud, clear and not diluted :)
    – Cedric H.
    May 19 '15 at 21:56

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