Been playing fun fetch with my 12 week old BLM. He's been doing great, mostly short marks in the back yard but extending them a little at a time. Done some slightly longer ones in the local park. I always brag on him and praise him when he brings it back and he wags his tail and has that proud walk. I've also been working on some low pressure OB, sit and here with the voice and whistle, he's doing great at that with 100% on here and nearly that on sit, just an occasional delay.
Anyway, today I took him to a new location to do some light training in a new location. Took the puppy bumper out of my pocket, shook it a bit to get him excited and tossed it out. It was a short throw because I didn't want to push it in a new location. He took off as usual but this time when he got to the bumper he sniffed it and turned around and hauled tail back to me, not scared but wagging his tail. I walked him out to the bumper and with some encouragement he picked it up, but by the end which he's never done before. I decided not to push it and put the bumper away and had a good session with some long sits and me walking a good distance before calling him in.
Anyway, all I can think of is one of two things. Either he has some teething pain, but it seems a bit early for that. Or, I've done something to make him not like the bumper. All I can think of is that a couple days ago as I was putting the bumper away in my pocket he was still pretty excited (quit while they want it) and he jumped up to grab it and caught my thumb, it surprised me and hurt and I kind of jerked and yelled. I'm hoping he doesn't think I don't want him going after bumpers now. He very much wants to please and I could see him not wanting to go after them if he thought it made me mad.
My thought is to put the bumper away for 3-4 days and then try again back in the yard on short throws to see what happens. This is my first retriever that I'm trying to train right, I grew up with labs but they were pretty much self-trained and I've had pointing dogs of late. Please let me know if I'm anyone sees something in this that I don't.
Thanks in advance.