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Thread: Fetch Class

  1. #1
    Senior Member Maxs Mom's Avatar
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    Default Fetch Class

    So recently we went to a hunt test to look at labs and talk to breeders. My husband and I were drawn into the competition and the whole way home we thought "our dogs can do this". I was thinking our young golden Teddi as she is younger. Well we got the opportunity to bring home some chukkars from a WC test we went to watch and see how Teddi handled the guns (not bad). Well my lab DEFINITELY showed her bird side when we came home with those! I have a couple small problems. Teddi won't pick up the bird, she will chase it, mark it, etc but she is not sure about putting those feathers in her mouth. Belle she WILL pick up the bird, but after a retrieve or two she decides it is time for lunch! LOL

    So tomorrow I am going to a trainer for some fetch training. Not sure what method she teaches. I am going alone (DH is getting ready to go deer hunting) so it should be interesting with two dogs at opposite ends of the spectrum. I am excited. I think both will catch on. There is re training to be done. My hope is if we can get good basics on them, that maybe next year we can do some WC's and JH tests. I doubt I can afford or train enough to go further. However we are getting a puppy in December who knows what all we will do with her. I just thought it would be fun to see what they can do, and another avenue to explore. Our journey begins!

  2. #2
    Senior Member GulfCoast's Avatar
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    Good Luck! Enjoy your journey!
    Wm. Mark Edwards
    Pascagoula, MS

    HRCH (500) UH Ellie Mae MH
    SHR Tipsy

  3. #3
    Senior Member Socks's Avatar
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    Hey a another person from MI!
    Joe Dickerson

    R.I.P. 4xGMPR HRCH Hunters Marsh Jack Daniels Bubba Jazz MH
    Call Name: JD

  4. #4
    Senior Member Maxs Mom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Socks View Post
    Hey a another person from MI!
    I am not too far away either!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Maxs Mom's Avatar
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    We had our first class. Mostly the trainer wanted to see exactly what my dogs could do. She was impressed with both of my dogs marking skills. Having the bumper thrown by a different person (than me) was a new element but they watched and went straight to the mark, and returned to me.

    My golden Teddi she did not come right to me, she would run past all happy with her toy. Yup we have good suggestions on how to encourage her to come to me. My lab Belle she came right to me and dropped at my feet looking at me like "throw it again!". So from there we discussed some of the obedience things, like teaching them to finish. We also discussed teaching both to "hold". That is new to me to because before this we wanted them to drop. So for homework we were sent home with hold exercises, and working on the finishing. She did say do more longer mark exercises so they get used to more distance.

    Too bad I got interested so late in the year. The returning to us out of water will be a bigger issue. They come right out but have a happy dog game that they play. I need to encourage that game to stop. I don't know how much swimming weather we are going to encounter before next spring.

    I plan to join a local golden club so I can be alerted to practices and I need to find a local lab one too, same reason but I serious figure the clubs will allow my "other" dogs to attend too. I do think my dogs could do a WC or a junior hunter test without being too embarassing right now. No they don't return to hand yet, so they would not pass but I think that may be the only thing they would fail right now.

    I do have a question. My young golden is a much softer dog, and a bit of a thinker (problem solver actually). She is reluctant to pick up a bird right now, though she will mark it. The trainer said don't worry about that right now, work on holds with bumpers. I was wondering if I should get some bumpers and some bird scent so she will get familiar with picking up things that smell different? Would that help or not make a difference? We do have a bumper "with wings" that will be the next step before we advance to the actual bird.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Leslie B's Avatar
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    Good Luck and Enjoy

    We have Goldens and, yes, they are thinking dogs. They also like to do the "parade" run with their prize to make sure that all can see what a wonderful job they have done.

    As for the scent or wings on bumpers - I would not bother. Work on the hold like your trainer advised. The feathers or scent will not make much of a difference to the dog. Hold means hold - regardless of what it is. When I work with my young dogs (and your dog is young in training) we work up to lots of different things to hold. Once they understand that I want them to hold a wooden dowel we move on to holding a bumper. We then move on to other items. Dog toys, plastic pop bottles, lopsided wooden dowels, and eventually birds are all subject to the same "Hold".

    As for it being winter, it is a great time to work on hold and Force Fetch. You can do it inside your house. I often ask the older dogs to fetch something stupid and then hold it. There is no parade for these items but they love the praise when I take it from them. My husband has now trained one to hold the tv remote so he can bring it to me. Without meaning to, the dog now knows "take it to Mama".

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