Puppy help needed
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Thread: Puppy help needed

  1. #1
    Junior Member Hdmike04's Avatar
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    Default Puppy help needed

    Got my male black lab pup at 7 weeks and he will be 12 weeks Wednesday, he picked up sit fast, potty trained great, kennel he’s got down, but man this dog is lazzzzzy lol. He’s more interested in eating everything on the ground than anything to do with retrieving, like leaves, sticks, rocks, bird poop, rabbit poop... he’s not top gun dog bloodlines but his dad is a good field hunting dog. Should I be worried that he doesn’t seem to have a ton of retrieving drive yet for bumpers, balls, dead dove, frisbee or if I keep it fun the few times he does it should he keep getting more energy and drive?? I’ve raised and hunted German shorthairs the past 15 years so I’m just wondering if I’m just use to their pace or my dog just isn’t gonna be a great duck dog. Thanks for any advice or help.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member David Maddox's Avatar
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    Welcome to the world of Lab puppies.
    I have an 8 week old that has “ground to mouth syndrome” as well. Now, she’s not lazy at all. She’s either a 100 mph or sleeping.
    We are only as good as those that surround us.

    Birthplace to:
    •'09 National Finalist FC-BAYOU TECHE TEX
    •FC-BUTCH's DREAM CODE of TCR
    •FC-DREAM DANCIN'
    Gettin' Jiggy Widdit-MH
    Dancin' Dreamer Kate-MH (dam to FC-"FINN", several QAAs, 2-MNHs)

    RIP My girls Jiggy, and sweet mamas Dancy and Tip. We love and miss you all!!!

  4. #3
    Senior Member Labs R Us's Avatar
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    One day the switch will flip and you will WISH for those days where your dog was lazy. Last summer when I brought my pup home, I thought I had selected a "dud". He was more interested in the grass and bugs than he was in the toy I just threw. Then one day something clicked in him and I now have a dog that is totally obsessed with retrieving anything and everything. Hang in there as he will get there in his own time. Enjoy the journey!
    Becky
    Life is Good . . . Do what you like - Like what you do.

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  6. #4
    Junior Member Hdmike04's Avatar
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    He is also the first born and the biggest of the litter, at almost 12 weeks he is 33lbs and not fat by any means at all, with giant paws and legs to grow into so I’m Guessing a lot of his energy is going into growing right now. Loves to be by people but is also independent when he’s active and not scared of anything. Will swim with with coaxing.

  7. #5
    Senior Member Rainmaker's Avatar
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    A. He's a big puppy, really big, may take longer to mentally mature and kick it in gear. Hope you have him on a good, large breed puppy food and limit jumping, stairs and running on paved surfaces especially. Protect those joints.
    B. You say his dad is a hunting dog, nothing about the dam or the whole pedigree, which may or may not lend itself to a high drive retrieve, or at least, not an early starter.
    C. How hot is it by you?
    C. Relax, stop trying to force the issue, I'd be more concerned about doing too much, rather than too little, at this stage. The more you push, stress and worry, the worse you can make it. There are lots of threads on getting a dog enthusiastic to retrieve, keep pup in balance, not so much on the obedience, lighten up, have fun. Make sure pup isn't hot and is well rested. Get yourself all pumped up about the object, get crazy stupid with the hup hup, toss a few feet in front of you, big praise if he brings it back, do nothing if he doesn't, don't act all disappointed, watch your body language. I use a string or rope on puppy bumper so I can lead it better, swing in front of puppy and when pup is chasing it around just let it go a few feet, usually pup will at least continue to follow it. Try a few times, then stop for a few days. Try a live flapping bird. That would personally be my last choice, as I want pups excited about retrieving whatever I throw rather than making them addicted to live birds with no interest in anything else, at this young of age. But others will feel that using a live bird will kick in the retrieve instinct. You can try competition with another, safe, dog retrieving, but, that can backfire too. I'd just keep trying to get the pup to retrieve a squeaky toy, paint roller, rolled up sock, whatever, every few days, and just play puppy puppy puppy when and if it's cool enough. Usually by 9 weeks, my "late bloomers" are kicking in, but, they have parents insane to retrieve and bred for generations, it does make a difference. I have a mostly bench bred Lab that took a bit longer to get going but by 11 weeks, she was reliably retrieving bumpers in water and on land.

    Patience, not pressure.
    Kim Pfister, Rainmaker Labs
    Rainmaker's Bella Luna, MH/QAA
    Rainmaker's Southern Gamble, MH/QA2
    Port Bay's TNT Dynamite, MH/QA2
    Rainmaker's Working Class Payday, MH/QAA
    Rainmaker's Redhead, MH
    Rainmaker's Early Bird Special, MH
    Rainmaker's Pink Is The New Red, MH

  8. #6
    Junior Member Hdmike04's Avatar
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    It has been about 80-90 degrees so I haven’t been pushing him at all and figure that’s part of the laid back drive. I’m not getting frustrated with him when I’m playing with him, keeping it fun and letting him do what he wants and praising when he does do good!! So I should relax on the obedience training as well for a while? Because he’s doing great with obedience!! Just retrieving and energy is lacking. Thanks for elaborate answers as well!!

  9. #7
    Junior Member Hdmike04's Avatar
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    I feed Diamond large breed puppy food, for my adult shorthairs I have always fed diamond sport dog food as well. Is that a good food? Have had zero food issues in 10 years with diamond.

  10. #8

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    He's 12 weeks, a baby. don't rush him, he will be fine. I would not put to much obedience on him.. enjoy this puppy stage and relax.

  11. #9

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    I have only had 3 retrievers but two of them turned out to be fire breathing dragons. But at 7 weeks of course they showed nothing. They are just babys at 7 weeks. My current Ford pup who is a retrieving machine now at 6 months didnt start to show real desire until week 12 or so. Enjoy the puppy time while you have it. And read and watch everything Bill Hillman puts out there. He is the master at pulling out the retrieving desire in pups. Lots of free videos on youtube.

  12. #10
    Senior Member ErinsEdge's Avatar
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    Typical bigger male=slow to mature. Light bulb may not come on until a year. Also, add to it the effects of the heat. Work him ifor short sessions in the morning or evening, and quit with success. It's normal.
    Nancy P



    "We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare and love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. It's the best deal man has ever made." M.Facklam

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