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4 1/2 month old puppy wont retrieve.

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 Posted 5/20/2013 6:13:58 PM
 

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I've got a 4 and a half month old lab that will not retrieve. When he was younger he would retrieve sometimes but as he got older it seems like he has lost interest. He has done really well with his obedience training, but he just doesnt want to retrieve. Is there anything I can do to fix this? Or do some dogs just not have the desire to retrieve?
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 Posted 5/20/2013 8:12:51 PM
 

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I had a similar problem where my dog would just get interested in other things.. I eventually kept trying to antagonize her with different things such as a bird or bumper until she would start biting at it. I would gently put it in her face and basically annoyed her until she would bite and then I would toss it just a few feet to get her to go after it.. as she gets more interested I would go further and further with it and eventually she started bringing it back to me. This might have been obvious but I didn't think of it until someone else to me about it.  Good Luck
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 Posted 5/27/2013 6:14:19 PM
 

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Hey I had the same issue with my GSP.  She was an amazing retriever till 4 months or so, then she hated it.  So before I resorted to force fetching I did a ton of research.  Now at 7 months she is a good retriever, still wont deliver to hand, but she will always bring it close to me. I'm still working with her, but here is a few things you can do to help.

1) First off she is probably teething, so use a soft toy. 
2) Once you find a soft toy she likes, make that her desinated fetching toy.  Put it away in a spot she can't get to it unless you allow her.
3) Cut back on fetching.  I only did 3 or 4 fetches a day 3 times a week.
4)  Also go to a hallway or room where she can't get away with it and make it fun for her, you know shout, yell, wrestle with her, and let her hold the toy for a few moments.
5) Finally, do the fetch test.  Go outside and throw the toy a few feet away from him.  When he picks up run away clapping your hands saying "fetch" (or whatever command you choose) in a fun in exciting manner.  If he follows you with the toy, then he is a born retriever.  If he doesn't then you might have to consider force fetching, but practice the above for a while.

Remember that 4.5 is still a younger puppy and you need to make everything fun and exciting. Also short, so they don't lose interest. 
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 Posted 5/28/2013 10:45:57 PM
 

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Williamk8987 (5/27/2013)

5) Finally, do the fetch test.  Go outside and throw the toy a few feet away from him.  When he picks up run away clapping your hands saying "fetch" (or whatever command you choose) in a fun in exciting manner.  If he follows you with the toy, then he is a born retriever.  If he doesn't then you might have to consider force fetching, but practice the above for a while.
Seriously??  The fetch test?  You do not have an understanding of FF.  Please continue to not try it, your dog thanks you for it.  I don't care if you FF or not, but you have not even given an attempt at understanding it.  I hope you don't use an e-collar as well.

OP - there could be lots of reasons your pup has stopped retrieving.  To many retrieves at an early age is quite common.  Pup should only have been getting 2-4 retrieves once per day, that is plenty.  Teething, as stated, is another.  Some it just takes time to mature or for the light to turn on.  Still a pup, don't loose hope.

Are you following any material in particular?  Sound Beginnings by Jackie Mertens or Hillman's Puppy DVD?  Do you have a plan for OB and beyond?  YOU can do as little or as much as you want to, it's up to you.  Good Luck!
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 Posted 5/28/2013 11:49:10 PM
 

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No I think I grasp force fetching. I don't think it is always needed, some dogs don't retrieve bottom line. Which is also why I said consider.  I find that labs now aren't as natural retrievers of yesteryear. Due to people breeding them Soley as family dogs.
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 Posted 5/29/2013 9:23:22 AM
 

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Williamk8987 (5/28/2013)
No I think I grasp force fetching. I don't think it is always needed, some dogs don't retrieve bottom line. Which is also why I said consider.  I find that labs now aren't as natural retrievers of yesteryear. Due to people breeding them Soley as family dogs.
So tell me what FF accomplishes and how?  You know what, don't. I don't even believe this is a FF issue.  No need to muck up the OP's original concern.
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 Posted 5/29/2013 11:05:30 AM
 

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I will tell you anyways. It will teach and make a dog retrieve whatever, whenever, and through all conditions.  It is a useful tool for dogs that don't retriever.  Either way I doubt the OP will need worry about FF anytime soon.  His dog is a puppy and what he is going through is common.   I wish nothing, but the best for the OP, which is why I posted a few different things, unlike you....
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 Posted 5/29/2013 3:02:46 PM
 

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It will teach and make a dog retrieve whatever, whenever, and through all conditions.
Partially true, what you stated is an outcome but not the reason for FF.

It is a useful tool for dogs that don't retriever.
Mostly false.  Some dogs just don't have it but they are far and few in between when you are talking retriever breeds, with a couple of exceptions.  FF is not the begin and end all to make a retriever retrieve.  FF may bring out the desire to retrieve but if it isn't there to begin with, well, no use in beating a dead horse.

Below is an excerpt from Evan Graham's Smartwork, good training material.  He sums it up rather nicely.

1. To establish a standard for acceptable mouth habits.
2. To provide the trainer with a tool to maintain those habits.
3. To provide the trainer with a tool to assure compliance with the command to retrieve.
4. To form the foundation for impetus (momentum).
5. Pressure conditioning.
Evan Graham - Smartwork


The retrieve at all costs, any object, no matter the condition is a benefit of FF.  FF sets the dog up to learn and to be able to handle pressure.  A proper FF program uses very little pressure actually, just enough to make the dog uncomfortable.  Pressure can come in many forms and not just from us humans or from dog counterparts.  Pressure can come from a difficult retrieve that needs to be made, decisions the dog has to make.  FF will help them be able to handle the pressure.

Either way I doubt the OP will need worry about FF anytime soon.
Agree 
His dog is a puppy and what he is going through is common.
Sometimes  
I wish nothing, but the best for the OP
As well as I 
which is why I posted a few different things, unlike you....
No, you posted one strategy and an all else fails recipe.  I have refrained from posting possible solutions because I would like to know more about the dog and the plans for it.  I feel I don't have all the pertinent information to make an informed decision.  I could go off half cocked and list several but that may leave the OP more confused and/or the pup worse off.

I am done discussing FF on this thread.  I could not let FF be explained as a "last resort".  It's not.  Done properly, it is a very successful tool to set your dog up for future success, momentum, and to correct/maintain mouth issues.  FF, I do not believe, is the answer in this case, besides being to young.  There are good and bad retrieving dogs from both camps.

To the OP - I wouldn't give up on your dog.  More than likely he can be brought around.  Perhaps I can help, perhaps I can't.  I'm frequenting DU less and less but will check back again sometime soon.  Otherwise I can be found at Refuge Forums or sometimes Retriever Training Forum (RTF) using the same handle.  Good Luck!
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