I'm hoping to get some veteran advise on a somewhat alarming issue that has came about with my 7.5 month pup. Basically - he's no longer interested in retrieving...
Just a little background - I'm very much a new trainer as this is the first time I've tried to train a pup myself, so I'm quite positive I'm the problem here. He's had, from the best I can tell at least a very high retrieve drive ever since I brought him home. He's done very well with his basic obedience, had a slight little blip with his collar conditioning, and we have been working on force fetch for a few weeks now. FF has been challenging and that's about the time that I started seeing his enthusiasm for retrieving decline.
For his FF, I'm following smartfetch. He's doing really well with the "hold" portion, and he's up and moving at heel, and know hold and drop. However, he's not taking the ear pinching and "fetch" command well and even though we've been at it for a couple weeks, he's still "bugging" every session (try's to lay down, roll over, get out of the room, just all around fight me). Eventually he will give in and go through a short session but it's not been smooth.
Since I started FF, he's lost interest in retrieving, to the point to where if I send him on a retrieve, there's about a 1 in 10 chance he will actually do it. Sometimes he will run out to the bumper or dokken and leave it, others he just ignores it, others he just flat out refuses to go. Please note he was a retrieving fool up until recently so it's a bit alarming to me to see this change.
So from what I've been able to gather is that the best thing to do in this situation is to stop all retrieves. All bumpers, all dokkens, all ball in the backyard, toys in the house, everything? But my question is do I continue with the FF? Do I keep working on basic obedience? Or do I put him in a complete pause mode and just see what happens? Also if I should "stop", how long should I wait? Or am I totally of base on where to go next?
Any/all advice/criticism is appreciated and thanks!
Oh, and I should mention that my goal with this pup is to end up with a solid hunting dog and to be able to run hunt tests.