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Thread: Retriever not retrieving

  1. #1

    Default Retriever not retrieving

    I have a 14 week old female chocolate lab from pretty good blood lines. I'm young and new to this kind of training. When I throw a bumper she will go out to it and sit there and chew on it. How do I get her to come back to me with it? She has chew toys and rawhide bones are they causing the problem?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by firefighterok View Post
    I have a 14 week old female chocolate lab from pretty good blood lines. I'm young and new to this kind of training. When I throw a bumper she will go out to it and sit there and chew on it. How do I get her to come back to me with it? She has chew toys and rawhide bones are they causing the problem?
    Got a rope? and get ride of the rawhide chewtoys (can cause blockages), squeaky toys are dangerous as well. For chewing use a deer antler or nylabone.

    Back to the retrieve question, a rope works well to bring them back. You can also begin to walk away once the pup reaches the bumper, they will usually follow with bumper in mouth.

  3. #3
    Member Griddoc's Avatar
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    Teach here command first. Integrate here command to the retrieve. Blend the two together. Soon enough she'll pick up the bumper and run in hearing your "here" command. Here. Sit. Heel. BIGGIES.

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    Senior Member achiro's Avatar
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    Heh, at 14 weeks I'm not sure that anything is a "command", more of a request. Use a rope on the pup, throw the bumper, let pup run to it, when she gets to it tell her "here", "good girl", etc, be very animated, slowly pull her back to you, giver her the chance to pick up the bumper of course but don't worry too much if she drops it, just give a bit of slack if she tries to go back to it to let her pick it up again, no worries if she doesnt pick it up though, then keep pulling her back to you, stay animated, praise her a ton when she gets back to you with or without the bumper. Repeat once or twice but no more. She will figure out that if she wants the bumper that she will need to pick it up and hold it all the way back to you. Enforcement comes later.
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    I recommend the Bill Hillman DVD. Make it fun, she has probably stated theething and her mouth is bothering her a lot.

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    Senior Member swampcollielover's Avatar
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    Sounds like you have a good lab, as she does chase the bumper. All of the above information is good, get a 20' or 30' rope and use it to help her back to you. Don't take the bumper away from her, instead slowly help her give it, in time she will understand the game. Obedience training is critical..."Sit", "Here" are critcal coupled with 'Down", "Give", "Leave it".....I have trained 5 retrievers by going to a obedience class...low cost and really helps me keep on track. Then my yard work is more fun and fruitful. I have an 18 week old girl now, her obedience is going well, in class and her yard work is also progressing. I will take her to a pro trainer for 60 days in May.....when I get her back I will have a great hunting dog!

    Also, consider getting the "Training a Retriever Puppy" with Bill Hillmann. My breeder recommend this DVD and it really breaks this initial training down....do a search on the web to find it....not expensive....as I recall...Good Luck!
    Last edited by swampcollielover; 03-29-2013 at 10:13 AM.

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    Senior Member BHB's Avatar
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    What you are learning in all these answers above is that the instinct in a retriever is not to retrieve but to hold something in their mouth. Retrieving it to you is a TRAINED response that you have to help the dog learn. They will chase it but it becomes theirs until you train them to return with it. This is our teaching part as handlers which is to train the pup to bring it back.

    Once the pup learns because of your teaching and training that the game of chasing the bumper can continue if they bring it back to you they will love the game.

    Also, don't let him/her have the bumper except when you play the game. It's not a chew toy.

    BHB
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    14 wks and she'll chase a bumper, let her chase the bumper, don't worry about the return yet, let her chase those bumpers as far as she will chase them. Work on here etc. without the bumpers , soon it'll all come together. Chasing is marking, marking is good, going out on her own is good. Retrieve will come later, you can start with hallway retrieves, to get her to bring it back, but you might want to use something softer and lighter than a bumper. Plastic bumpers can be heavy for a pup, they can also hurt their teeth, you don't want a bumper to be associated with painful mouth. If all she's doing is running to the bumper and not picking it up, your good, now when they start picking it up and running off (15-16 weeks) a rope is your friend , I'd get HERE trained and enforced before that happens .
    Last edited by Hunt'EmUp; 03-29-2013 at 12:08 PM.
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  9. #9

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    I start all pups in a hallway. Try a tennis ball. Roll it down the hall or on the ground and use lots of praise after picks up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ze6464 View Post
    I start all pups in a hallway. Try a tennis ball. Roll it down the hall or on the ground and use lots of praise after picks up.
    tennis ball or small paint roller works perfectly
    Labrador Retriever, a 20g & grouse...is there a better combination?

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