My dog is inconsistent about finishing retrieves at heel. She marks well and loves to fetch so enthusiasm is not an issue but usually at some point she'll bolt and go galloping off with the bumper. I've been using a long line but it's a pain. The other day I got the idea of using an overhead line. I put it into practice tonight and it worked pretty well.
I spent about $15 on materials at Lowes. I strung 100 ft of 1/4" rope like a clothes line: 8 ft off the ground at one end and 3 ft at the other. Then I fashioned an 8 ft lead with a dog clip on one end and a snap ring on the other.
Then I stood under the high end and threw the marks to the low end. The theory being as the dog approaches the low end it has more side-to-side slack in case my throw is off or if the bumper takes a weird bounce and then as she returns the lead shortens up limiting her ability to stray.
I'm happy to report it worked out pretty well but we have more to do. The frustrating thing for me is she sits and stays on the sit command and I can walk off 100+ yards and she will come to heel but put a bumper in her mouth and it's a crap-shoot.
We're also working on holding the bumper since she spits it out at my feet before coming to heel.
As always I welcome your suggestions.