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Hi THere,

I have a 6 month old lab. My pup has lots of desire for her retrieves on singles in a field setting no problems marking or finding the mark. She runs out full speed picks up the mark quick and heads straight back to me.

But when she is comfortable in a area or if it's not along retrieve say over 40 yards she plays on the way back like shaking her head etc. Suzy returns good but cuts left or right when she is within 10-20 feet of me.

I've been doing retrieves on the check cord for 2 months now and tried the running away excited etc ..tactics which works to get her more excited but it just makes her want to play with the dummy more.
She only sees the bumpers when were training. So I don't know why she thinks they are toys LOL!

Is this normal behavior for a pup her age? Again this is my first retriever so I'm not entirely sure what to expect from her at this point.
 
G

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LuvMyLab said:
Hi THere,

I have a 6 month old lab. My pup has lots of desire for her retrieves on singles in a field setting no problems marking or finding the mark. She runs out full speed picks up the mark quick and heads straight back to me.

But when she is comfortable in a area or if it's not along retrieve say over 40 yards she plays on the way back like shaking her head etc. Suzy returns good but cuts left or right when she is within 10-20 feet of me.

I've been doing retrieves on the check cord for 2 months now and tried the running away excited etc ..tactics which works to get her more excited but it just makes her want to play with the dummy more.
She only sees the bumpers when were training. So I don't know why she thinks they are toys LOL!

Is this normal behavior for a pup her age? Again this is my first retriever so I'm not entirely sure what to expect from her at this point.
N-O-R-M-A-L for many dogs. She's playing with you... She's getting beyond the age where running away works well because she's getting more independent.

Some dogs are rough with their bumpers and birds as far as the shaking and playing thing.

This is why six months is the "magic" age for force fetch -- in addition to the permanent teeth issues, it's because it's the age where you see them get more independent and willing to "test your will" so to speak.

With that said, if she hasn't done this all along, this type of behavior can also come from bird snatching in young dogs. When a puppy or young dog returns with the bird, the first thing that happens should NOT be that you grab the bird. The first thing should be that you bend down, pat all over them and tell them good dog, then gently take the bird (if possible).

If you reach down for the bird IMMEDIATELY upon their return, some dogs will start to play keep away before they reach you. This sounds like a classic case of keep away, which isn't terribly uncommon even when you've tried to have good mechanics as far as not grabbing for the bird.

IF it's a SIGNIFICANT problem that makes training difficult... And IF the dog has lots of desire, good attitude, good temperament... THIS is the type of dog that I'd go ahead and collar condition before force fetch. They're not doing anything major, but the keep away prevents training from being smooth and if you allow the keep away, it can create more problems. so I'll go ahead and knock it out if I feel I can.

-K
 

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At 6 months you should be starting ff and collar conditioning. Until you can control her recall in the field it doesn't make sense letting her misbehave. Your only creating bad habits. Have you thrown any birds for your dog??

Angie
 
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