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Hello,

I have an 11 month old male lab who just doesn't seem very interested in bumpers. He will retrieve them and bring them back but he just doesn't seem that into it (he also cigars bumpers). My friends dogs go absolutely insane just seeing their bumpers you can tell the dogs are really into it when sent on retrieves. Just wondering how I can get him excited about his bumpers, he does love tennis balls and retrieves them like a maniac. I come from a hunting family and have always had trained hunting dogs but this is the first one that I've actually trained myself, any advise would be greatly appreciated!
 

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Is the dog force fetched? I'm training a very mellow CLM now that would only retrieve canvas bumpers before ff. Through force fetch he was introduced and forced on all bumpers, dokkens, and frozen birds. He now willingly and excitedly retrieves anything. This should also teach the dog proper hold.

If you just need him more excited try waving, borderline taunting, him with the bumper until he is trying to grab it from you. Give it a toss and wildly praise him when he comes back. Don't give more than a few retrieves a session for a couple weeks and see if he gets more fired up.
 

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I haven't had him around any birds yet, he is force fetched but when he picks up the bumper off the ground on a retrieve he always grabs the end, he still brings it back but his hold like that is sloppy and he sometimes drops it.

Ya I'll give that a try. He just doesn't seem to be having any fun with it. But its only with the bumpers, throw a tennis ball, or anything else and he's off like a shot.
 

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If your bumpers have knobs on them it might be irritating to him. Take duct tape and wrap a mouth wide section around the entire bumper center. Have your dog sit and make him grab for it it around the center. Next do walking fetch with him required to do same center pick up. . After a few days of this . Throw bumper close in. Failure. Go back to sit /walking fetch. It works for most dogs.
 

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I haven't had him around any birds yet, he is force fetched but when he picks up the bumper off the ground on a retrieve he always grabs the end, he still brings it back but his hold like that is sloppy and he sometimes drops it.

Ya I'll give that a try. He just doesn't seem to be having any fun with it. But its only with the bumpers, throw a tennis ball, or anything else and he's off like a shot.
You said this is the first dog you trained yourself, so I assume that includes the FF portion of his training. Are you following a formal training program?

It sounds to me you have taken the fun out of it.

What's in it for the dog when you toss him a bumper? You need to make it for them.
 

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Get Hillmann's puppy DVDs. Look at his you tube clips in building desire.

I never ff until retrieving desire is high. If it were to never get high, I wouldn't bother.
 

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Throw out all tennis balls.

Your bumpers are the "tennis ball".

I'm betting there is no rules or very little rules when throwing a tennis ball which is what you need to do with the bumper. Put the fun back into your pup... And like someone else said get the Hillmann videos.
 

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But its only with the bumpers, throw a tennis ball, or anything else and he's off like a shot.
Not rocket science then is it? At a guess I'd say he finds the existing dummy uncomfortable, or associates it with the stress and discomfort of FF.

Try the dog with one of the Kong type bumpers made from tennis ball type material. If he goes better with it you've eliminated the problem. If not, use tennis balls in all formal training until you get into birds.

Eug
 

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Hello,

I have an 11 month old male lab who just doesn't seem very interested in bumpers. He will retrieve them and bring them back but he just doesn't seem that into it (he also cigars bumpers). My friends dogs go absolutely insane just seeing their bumpers you can tell the dogs are really into it when sent on retrieves. Just wondering how I can get him excited about his bumpers, he does love tennis balls and retrieves them like a maniac. I come from a hunting family and have always had trained hunting dogs but this is the first one that I've actually trained myself, any advise would be greatly appreciated!
I'm having the same issue with my dog. Will retrieve, but doesn't seem interested. I jump up and down sometimes and give him praise. But he just trots back and forth when doing pile work, no real bumper drive, but does like birds... Did you ever resolve this issue?
 

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A fact if life. Some dogs just don’t have the same prey drive others have. Force fetch does not develop prey drive. And then there is the issue that maybe just very immature and not focused on retrieving. Sometimes you just have to wait. It makes training very hard when they don’t have a lot of prey drive.
 

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As others have said, put away the tennis ball

A lot here are wondering if you've ever formalized fetch (hold and force fetch). Whether you have or not (and how that may have affected your dog's drive), and what other requirements you have (steadiness, for instance) can play a big part in your dog's level of enthusiasm for retrieving.

Other things that might interfere --- too much exercise. too many retrieves in a day or in a row. too many demands. etc. I think if you can explain what you have done with the dog up til now, as far as training and daily regimen you might get some ideas about how to go forward.
the dog is 5 years old now. I'm sure the issue has been resolved ;)
 

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Good advice. Throw him some wing clips, shoot him some flyers, do whatever it tales to get him interested in retrieving. If nothing works you might want to consider getting another dog---Life is too short.
 

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I'm having the same issue with my dog. Will retrieve, but doesn't seem interested. I jump up and down sometimes and give him praise. But he just trots back and forth when doing pile work, no real bumper drive, but does like birds... Did you ever resolve this issue?
How old is your dog? Sounds like you are doing pile work so you must be through FF? Some dogs just don't love drills. Does he likes marks with bumpers?
 
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