The “drop and walk up” game

I’m not sure if this game is dumb or brilliant. Lyra and I love it, anyway. I throw the ball, Lyra chases it — but before she gets close, I ask her to “drop”. Ideally, she plonks down on the ground and waits. I whistle and tell her to “walk up”. She runs toward the ball. Sometimes I just let her grab it; other times, I ask her to drop again before she reaches it. My reasoning is twofold: 1) it draws on her herding dog ancestry (kind of theoretical, here), and 2) it teaches her (I hope) to pay attention to me even when she’s running and focused on something else.