training trouble


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By Lgaarz - 4/10/2014 9:22:31 PM
I have a 1 year old lab/ border collie. She has always liked fetching her bumpers, sticks, tennis balls and pretty much anything you toss her way. In the past few weeks she hasn't wanted to fetch at all. She not excited about it anymore.  Will only fetch about twice then wants too go do something else. But all her other commands she does just fine. I need some advice guys.  Thanks
By ducker - 4/11/2014 6:11:24 AM
Think back over the last few weeks. Has anything else changed? The way you treat the dog when she retrieves? Did you get more serious about her obedience work? A new dog, or person, in the house? Did she come into heat or get spayed? 99% of the time these quick changes in attitude are due to external factors.
By Lgaarz - 4/11/2014 11:34:19 AM
Nothing has really changed.  I started e collar conditioning about 2 months ago and shes responded really well too it. I went to off leash on a few commands as of last 2 weeks.  But with those she has still been happy and eager to do them. Just whenever the bumper gets brought out its 1 or 2 then loss of interest. 
By ducker - 4/12/2014 6:14:21 AM
I rememeber a fellow that bought a lab pup off of us several years ago. He called, when the pup was about 10 months old, complaining that the pup had no desire to retrieve. After talking to him for awhile about what he was doing with the dog he told me he had recently started steadying the dog and insisting on the dog coming to heel and delivering to hand. He also admitted that, when his kids took the dog into the yard and threw bumpers for her, the dog would happily retrieve bumper after bumper for as long as they threw for her.

The reason she still loved retrieving for the kids, but not for him, was that he had taken the fun out of retrieving for her by putting too many constraints on her too quickly while the kids were still just throwing her "fun bumpers".

I suspect that the same thing is happening here. If you look back at your training over the last few weeks, you may have taken the fun out of retrieving too quickly for your dog. Try getting back to letting the dog just have fun again for awhile and then start adding the trained constraints slowly over time. dogs, like people, mature at different rates. Your dog may need to be treated like a puppy for just a little while longer.
By bigrick_2u - 4/17/2014 8:50:44 AM
ducker has a good point. Training at that age should rarely seem like "training" to your pup. Keep it light most days.
By Lgaarz - 4/17/2014 2:31:50 PM
Thanks for the advice guys, this is my first self trained dog and the training has been fairly easy with her so far. Sometimes I forget how good she has done in the big picture of things when's she has days when she isn't 100% involved. The last few days have been back to normal.  The problem I have been running into is that she chases doves and retrieves them and will chase birds in the yard but wouldn't touch any ducks I brought home this season. Won't even pick up a bumper with taped feathers, any suggestions?
By bigrick_2u - 4/17/2014 9:17:24 PM
Maybe start with duck scent on your bumper. Have her relate that scent to "fun".

Sounds to me like you could do well by getting a couple frozen ducks and just let her get used to them. Start off with letting her sniff and play with them until she realizes they aren't going to hurt her. Sometimes if a dog is used to a certain size bird, the bigger body of a duck/goose can be intimidating.
By ducker - 4/20/2014 5:29:36 AM
Take a look back a page or two. There is a thread titled "dog wont pick up duck".

Texas kayak qwack smacker has, what I thought was, a great original idea on how to get to get a dog to retrieve ducks.
By Lgaarz - 4/23/2014 3:10:27 PM
Thanks for the help guys! Good news we went out too our land the past couple days for turkey hunting and took the dog too get some work in. She was running around as happy as could be, retrieving anything you could throw. Doing great on her gun work and completely off leash work too. I think maybe she needed to get out of the backyard and out to the field where she belongs 
By ducker - 4/23/2014 4:11:12 PM
That's great.

It's always hard to train a young dog on their home turf.
By Lgaarz - 4/23/2014 4:48:52 PM
Luckily I have a decent size yard but it's nothing compared to our land. She doesn't have too worry about cars or neighbor kids taunting her in the woods.
By bigrick_2u - 4/29/2014 12:40:59 PM
Great. It's incredible how different a dog can act when you take them somewhere new. Good luck brother
By Lgaarz - 4/29/2014 1:46:12 PM
Dogs must get the itch to be out in the field or woods as bad as we do!