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Thread: Rookie with questions, Please Help !!! (Following Smartworks)

  1. #1
    Senior Member Mac Lassiter's Avatar
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    Default Rookie with questions, Please Help !!! (Following Smartworks)

    I have a 12 week old BLF, and I know it's still "early", and the pup is just a "baby" ! BUT she has great prey drive ! always chases ! But somedays she can't get enough, and then another day see won't bring back for nothing ! I have tried to start having my brother act as a gunner and toss short marks for her, but this has turned out to be a epic fail both times we have tried ! first time she always wanted to take it to him, and today she wouldn't even pick it up after running out to it !

    Smartworks Volume (1) says 12 weeks should be the starting point for having someone remote tossing marks, but I do not feel she is ready, and wondering if, or were I have already messed up somewhere ? Should she be further along ??? When she is on she retrevies great ! BUT when she's off she's off !!!

    We have been doing treat training, and she has her come, sit, down, and kennel very good ! Crate training is still rocky! She seems to not mind laying in her own Pee !! ??? but that's another story we working on it ! .

    I have been tossing around (4 to 6), 25 yard marks for her every other day, and like I said some days she looks awesome, and then like today she acted as if she had never seen a paint roller, or every retrevied anything !

    I am confused because each time she messes up she does something diffrent ! Like run away, or run past me, or not come at all ??? it's never the same ! and don't know how to correct it ! She is a very high energy pup ! and it's been hard to get a grip on her ! And I am getting frustrated !!!! I always use a check cord when throwing marks, but on the days she doesn't come back I actually have to drag her in !!! And then the next she comes to me and will run me over to get to me with the bumper!

    I am doing everything I know to do, but have come up empty ! I know everyone says let her be a pup, but I say that's fine in moderation !!! She has to mind me and learn to obey !!! I am not trying to push her, I am trying to be patient, and let her develop at her own pace, but I am afraid she is 2 or 3 weeks behind were she should be, Maybe I have to high of hopes ???

    Any help is very much appreciated !!!

  2. #2
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    Any help is very much appreciated !!![/QUOTE]

    First, relax before you have a heart attack. Sounds like a normal puppy to me. "Smartworks at 12 weeks should be the STARTING point...." not the ending point. Keep it all fun at this point.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Matthew J. Ries's Avatar
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    Your use of a checkcord is great. Try to keep the retrieves brief and fun, plenty of time for formal marks later. Introduction to them is good if you have help, but make sure she isnt losing focus. Praise her when she gets her retrieve and turn to run away while calling her (and give a light tug). Spend this time working in obedience like you are and having pup excited to do it, take some nature walks and let them explore. Can get them use to the lead too on more formal walks. Sounds like you are doing well, keep at it!
    Matthew Ries, Pharm.D.

    Poole's Matador's Maggie May (04/14/2012 - Present)
    Lacakota Super Magnum (02/20/2002 - 07/2010)

  4. #4
    Senior Member Ken Bora's Avatar
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    Welcome to RTF Flip
    only hard and fast timeline in dog training is there is no hard and fast timeline!
    worry not if the page says 12 weeks this and the pup at your feet says not today.
    it is a thing a lot of new folks get hung up on. worry not.
    what part of the world are you in Flip? lets get you into a training group.
    "So what is big is not always the Trout nor the Deer but the chance, the being there. And what is full is not necessarily the creel nor the freezer, but the memory." ~ Aldo Leopold

    "The Greatest Obstacle to Discovery is not Ignorance -- It is the Illusion of Knowledge" ~ Daniel Boorstin

  5. #5
    Senior Member sick lids's Avatar
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    I think you are probably over doing it a bit. 12 weeks is just a baby regardless of how much drive she has. If she plays fetch give her 3 maybe four in a session and then let her explore if she dose not want to don't press it. How long are you keeping her in the crate, at that age I still had to get up every 2.5 hrs to let mine go out any longer and I took a huge set back. She might seem to not mind laying in her pee because she doesn't have a choice. I would be much more concerned with socialization right now.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flipinnpitchin View Post
    I have a 12 week old BLF, and I know it's still "early", and the pup is just a "baby" ! BUT she has great prey drive ! always chases ! But somedays she can't get enough, and then another day see won't bring back for nothing ! I have tried to start having my brother act as a gunner and toss short marks for her, but this has turned out to be a epic fail both times we have tried ! first time she always wanted to take it to him, and today she wouldn't even pick it up after running out to it !
    Well, one of the best suggestions has already been made; check core/rope, as it mentions in your book. If you don't have the Puppy Program DVD this would be a heck a good time for it.
    Quote Originally Posted by flipinnpitchin View Post
    Smartwork Volume (1) says 12 weeks should be the starting point for having someone remote tossing marks, but I do not feel she is ready, and wondering if, or were I have already messed up somewhere ? Should she be further along ??? When she is on she retrevies great ! BUT when she's off she's off !!!
    No, you should not be "further along" at this point. Don't worry about advancing her work so much as just getting better at her current level. Your distances are fine for now, especially while she gets used to the rope.

    "7-10 weeks old: Basic marks on a very light rope. This means very short marks (only a few feet away) on bare ground, if possible. Promote success. Make it fun. Guns in the field may be gradually introduced during this period. Educate your bird boys to make their throws long and flat (not high). This encourages pups to go to the bird rather than the bird boy. Use the rope to ensure that the puppy brings the bird/bumper back to you by using light ‘tugs’, while encouraging him as usual."

    This doesn't go away because your pup got a few weeks older. Use your tools.
    Quote Originally Posted by flipinnpitchin View Post
    We have been doing treat training, and she has her come, sit, down, and kennel very good ! Crate training is still rocky! She seems to not mind laying in her own Pee !! ??? but that's another story we working on it ! .
    Stay with it, and don't test; train.
    Quote Originally Posted by flipinnpitchin View Post
    Any help is very much appreciated !!!
    Anytime. You can contact me at our email address if you wish; rushcreekpress@aol.com .

    Evan
    "Prepare your dog in such a manner that the work he is normally called upon to do under-whelms him, not overwhelms him." ~ Evan Graham

    “People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.”

    ― George Bernard Shaw


    The Smartwork System for Retriever Training (link)
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Mac Lassiter's Avatar
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    THANKS for the replies guys! And the replies are right on course to what I have been telling myself ! Take it easy, and chill out !!!
    "KEN" I am in Middle Tennessee! This is my second Pup to train by myself, But it's also been 14 years since I trained the last lab I had, so I might as well be starting over !

    "Sick Lids" The socilization is not a problem ! She's with me everyday ! Im starting to think she's with me too much ! She goes everywhere with me, as well as to work when I am on shift (FireFighter/EMT) I have put her into every situation I get into on a daily bases so far, and we have also just went to the farm 3 times now to just let her romp around for a hour or so !


    Guys again thanks for the replies, and answers !

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