Fetching


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By Bstand - 4/23/2014 8:37:28 AM
I have a 12 week old chocolate lab, Ive been working with her on basic commands sit, here, and heel. She is doing okay with those. I have one concern though.... fetching. When we go outside to play ill take a small bumper. Ill get her interested in it then ill throw it. She will go get it 5 times out of 10, but she will not bring it back. Im not sure if i introduced something wrong or if it is just the puppy in her. Sometimes she will bring it back to me, but most of the time she will not. It's really bugging me, because I feel like any dog when you throw something should go after it and bring it to you. Any help would be appreciated, thanks!
By Lgaarz - 4/23/2014 3:05:31 PM
I would say that your dog just wants to be a puppy. Having her fetch it 1/2the time at 12 weeks old isn't bad. Do you have a leash or check cord on her while fetching? When my dog was around that age she would bring it back only a few times also. I would suggest keep doing what your doing and keep it fun for her and short on the retrieves, she will want too do it more and more every time you have her fetch. I would also try letting her get the bumper in her mouth then turning your back and walking away, she will want too catch back up to you as quickly as possible tops how you what she did which is get the bumper. Hope I could help, good luck.
By ducker - 4/23/2014 4:24:54 PM
3-5 throws max every couple days. Keep it fun, no restrictions. once she has it in her mouth turn and RUN in the opposite direction. Call her name, clap your hands, whistle, anything to get her attention and keep her coming.

Also, make sure you are throwing something she enjoys retrieving and having in her mouth. too many times guys throw what they think their dog should be retrieving instead of what the pup wants to retrieve.
By Bstand - 5/2/2014 9:04:02 AM
Thanks guys just after I posted this I started throwing a small bumper twice a day every 3 days and she is getting better and better every time. I think it has a lot to do with maturity, she still has a lot of puppy in her. She is also going after live pigeons that I have for her.
By Windjammer - 7/11/2014 3:11:21 PM
Don't worry at all at this stage. The fact that your pup is doing what you described is great as is.  In order to ensure she always brings it back, you will have to "force fetch" her, and that is a whole event in itself, requiring you to administer some physical pain (escape training). For now, enjoy the pup. 
By ducker - 7/12/2014 6:24:35 AM
Now that almost 3 months have passed it would be interesting to find out how Bstands pup is making out.
By Bstand - 9/7/2014 8:30:43 PM
Hey guys, wanted to give you an update on my lab. She enjoys the water and she loves retrieving. She is currently at the trainer she has been there for two and a half months and has another month left. The trainer and I have both come to the conclusion that she is gonna be a great duck dog. He gave me a very big offer to buy her from me, but I'm not gonna let that happen. Hope everyones early goose and teal seasons are going good!
By ducker - 9/8/2014 5:54:16 AM
Sounds like you've got her off to a great start.
Good luck with her. Hope she hunts well for you.
By Bstand - 10/28/2014 8:11:22 PM
After 3 months of training i got my dog back October 18th. The trainer informed me that she was dropping the bird on retrieves. He had informed me of this a couple weeks before but said he was gonna keep her extra weeks to get her right. I got her back and she still is dropping the bird. His suggestion was take her home and just play with her and give her a break. So thats what i have done, we retrieved a few times during the time she is here, and she still stops the bird. I am taking her back to trainer in a couple of days to see if he can't get her right. Wanted to see if anyone else had this problem, she is only 9 months old and maybe that has something to do with it. It is very frustrating though, spending that kind of money with hardly any results.
By ducker - 10/29/2014 7:38:26 AM
Most pro trainers will put a young dog through some sort of trained retrieve program. Whether it is "force fetch", using pressure to get desired results, or a repetition/reward type program. 
Without knowing the details of your agreement with the trainer it is hard to tell whether they are fulfilling their end of the deal.
If this was an open ended agreement, that is, you gave no exact date for the dogs return and, if delivery to hand was part of the original deal or was agreed upon after perceiving a problem, then there is no reason the dog should not be retrieving to hand.
I cannot think of a reason why a pro trainer would opt to send a 9 month old dog home for "a break" rather than work out the problem.
I am not a pro trainer but I have put many dogs through a trained retrieve program for myself and others. Unless I am given a timetable, "I need my dog back in 3 weeks, do what you can", I have never sent a dog home that was not retrieving to hand under any circumstances.
A 9 month old lab should be mature enough to handle this kind of training as long as a solid foundation of obedience has been established.
By Bstand - 10/29/2014 6:36:42 PM
The trainers agreements are that the retrieving program is 3 months long. Once three months is up the dog will be collar conditioned, obedient, force fetched, everything for the dog to hunt when you get it back. As I had stated in a post earlier I was under the assumption that she was going to be a nice waterfowl dog. When i got her back though she was not returning to hand and still isn't. No matter what i do she won't bring it to me. I talked to him and his word was he would make her right like he said he would. Hopefully he will, if not reimburse the money I paid him.
By ducker - 10/30/2014 10:42:39 AM
I hope the trainer is a man of his word and makes everything right for you and your dog.