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Thread: Check Chords

  1. #1
    Senior Member ADB391's Avatar
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    Jan 2014

    Default Check Chords

    I have a 10 week old YLM. Really been a great pup. Attentive, listens, working on basic obedience: sit, come, etc. I've been doing what most programs say to do. Throwing a few very short marks in a controlled environment and then putting the toy/canvas bumper away before he loses interest in it.

    I've thrown a few for him outside (no leash) and he brings them back about 75% of the time. The other 25% he runs off and plays with them so I stop then. At what age should check chords be introduced to make sure he's bringing the bumper back to me? I don't want to reinforce or develop a bad habit, but I know he's only 10 weeks and can't expect too much.



  2. #2


    I only have mine on the check cord at 8 weeks I was using a real light 30 ft string so she cold still run and play but always returned.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Wayne Nutt's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
    Ft. Worth, TX


    From Castile Creek Kennels website. "We recommend that between 10 and 12 weeks you have the puppy wear his nylon collar and drag a 6-foot leash wherever he goes. This way when you call him and he turns to scoot the other way you can stomp on the leash and get him back to you. By doing this exercise at this age you will teach the pup respect and the beginnings of coming when hes called. You cannot do this exercise at a later age because they quickly figure out when the leash is on. You will never be able to have the same effect with this lesson as you will now. Be sure to take the leash off when the pup is in the crate or when the pup is not being supervised"

    And they figure out how long the lease is. I use about 1/4 cord with a clip on one end and no knots or loops on the other end to get caught on something. Mine is a tad longer, say 8'
    Wayne Nutt
    Go Nutts with dog training

    HRCH Patton's Parker Co. Shadow "Shadow"
    HRCH Clineline Hijacker "Jack"
    HRCH Marks a Lot Midnight Hudson, SH "Hudson" RIP (5/26/01-6/18/15)
    Castile Creek's Rawhide, SH "Rowdy"

  4. #4
    Senior Member swampcollielover's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012


    The Bill Hillmann CD 'Training a Retriever Puppy' actually shows this same scenario, and what to do....also I found the CD from Jackie Mertens 'Sound Beginnings" really good to get off to a wonderful start....

  5. #5


    Danny Farmer's article in Retriever Journal convinced me to keep a lead on pup at all times.
    Had a separate one while in the house as the one used outside may get funky.
    Worked well for us.
    Of course it was removed while kenneled.
    Ray K

    HR UH Princess Lillian Vl
    SHR Deke of Sunnyburke MH
    HRCH UH Ray's Cotton Pickin' Jake MH, 500 Pt Club, 02-11
    SHR Callie May JH, 98-09
    SR Gus "The Wonder Dog" JH, 91-01

  6. #6
    Senior Member Gun Dawg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    West Side, WA.


    They grow fast, might want something that can be used throughout basics
    PermaTack - Checkcords

  7. #7
    Senior Member twall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006


    I have a long line, maybe 50 feet?, I will put on young dogs. I don't want them to ever think they can get away from.

    You just want to make sure the line will not get tangled in cover.

    A thin, light line sounds ideal but, it can be hard on the hands if yuo are trying to stop a run-away freight train. My rope is larger in diameter, easier on the hands.

    Tom Wall

  8. #8
    Senior Member DarrinGreene's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Souf Joisy


    I use all 3/8 rope... lots easier on the hands... make it longer as pup gets bigger and can drag more length around...
    Darrin Greene

  9. #9
    Senior Member jecartag's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011


    You can make check cords for dirt cheap. I really like braided nylon because it doesn't get hung up on brush real easily and most of the time slips through it. My favorite is 1/4 inch hollow core braided nylon. This size can be rough on the hands so sometimes I will wear a glove. You can use bigger braided nylon but it has to be hollow core in order to make the eye splic. Buy a snap swivel from the lumber store and put it in the eye's the instructions.....
    Kankakee River HRC

  10. #10
    Senior Member Julie R.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Orlean VA


    Good responses--I also use check cords on pups, starting immediately. At first they're really just tabs, but by 10 weeks I let them drag a 6 to 10' nylon homemade one, to get them used to having it on. Actually most of the time this length works great because as Wayne N. quoted you can almost always get close enough to step on it. Pups that want to play keep away with a retrieve item nearly always can't resist coming back near you with their prize, close enough you can step on it. I found the really long ones too cumbersome for regular use. I also have a short, leash-length one they wear inside. The cheap nylon can be hard on your hands, but you can melt the ends so it doesn't catch on stuff. By introducing it young, they learn how to avoid stepping on it and don't notice it's there.
    Julie R., Hope Springs Farm
    Chesapeake Bay Retrievers since 1981

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