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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Puppy turns 4 months tomorrow and we're really focusing on retrieving now... his obedience work is coming along nicely but I'm wanting to build his drive to retrieve even more... he will do retrieves up to about 10 yards all day long but if I start extending them much past that he stops sniffs around and goes and does something else... any suggestions? By no means do I think he should be doing marks out to 100 yards already, Im just wondering what causes a puppy to stop short on retrieves and how to help my little guy past the hurdle. Thanks!

(BTW Boykin Spaniel... following Hillmann's Method)
 

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Try and get your pup excited, use someone out front to throw the bumper, and have them be excited too. Start short and slowly add distance. Don't worry about keeping him steady Do only a couple a day leaving him wanting more. Also he is at an age where he may have a sore mouth from losing teeth, If that appears at all to be the case wait until he is ready to start up again.
 

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has he been exposed to live birds yet? that can help and do like the above said, have someone else throwing marks for you and being real excited.
 

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The big thing is not keeping him steady and having some else help you throw some marks. I like to use a duck call, as most would agree, it is a great tool to use to get his/her attention. Make sure you are in a large open short cut grass field so no matter how far the bumper or mark is thrown they can see it plain sight. The biggest thing is crawl, walk, run. start out close and slow get further out.

The other thing is they are starting to loose there puppy teeth right now and they may not have as much drive as they would so I like to use canvas bumpers right now so its not as hard. I have 4 1/2 month blm that is really starting to loose his teeth but is able to mark over 100yrds for 2 or 3 a couple of retrieves and stop but like I said before crawl walk run start 10 yards then 20 yards then 30 yards.

are you following a program right now?
 

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For those that are advising Not to concentrate on keeping pup steady,,,,

Please note that the OP is following Hillman...

Part of Hillman program "Balances" steadiness and "Excitement" bumpers from week 11.

To the OP.

Are you out of balance with your "Excitement" bumpers?
Are you working "To Much" obedience?

Remember,, Hillman really stresses Balance.

Maybe time for intro to birds.
 

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Keep in mind that if the pup is only getting hand thrown bumpers from you thenhis range is limeted to the distance your arm can throw, and he won't learn to look afield for the bumper.

At 4 months you should think about starting to train with a group and expose him to guns in the field.

Bert
 

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Extend her out incrementally. Go to 12 ft retieves for a day, 15 ft for a couple of days etc. Remember bill saying something like the pup shouldn't realize that he's done anything different than the day before.

The other big thing is stopping with the dog wanting more. That could be two or three retrieves for your pup. And keep the steadiness but also remember to keep it in balance with excitement. Also, find something your pup is crazy about and that may not neccesarily be a bumper. Could be a stuffed animal or a tenis ball. The important thing at this point is to get them crazy about retrieving. Hillman recommends this anyway if bumpers are bothering them when teething.

Good luck
 

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On longer marks have bird boy throw another bumper when/if pup is loosing momentum, even if it is two or three more tosses while in route! Just my newbie 2 cents!
 

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For those that are advising Not to concentrate on keeping pup steady,,,,

Please note that the OP is following Hillman...

Part of Hillman program "Balances" steadiness and "Excitement" bumpers from week 11.

To the OP.

Are you out of balance with your "Excitement" bumpers?
Are you working "To Much" obedience?

Remember,, Hillman really stresses Balance.

Maybe time for intro to birds.
Very well put, couldn't be put any better and BALANCE is the perfect word.

They only reason why I mentioned "not keeping" steady was because they mentioned that they havent done much with retrieving so I would rather build up that excitement more and once he gets the retrieving up and distance up then can work on steadiness but couldnt agree more on balance.
 

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Keep it VISIBLE!!!!!!!!!!
Think about what the puppy has to look at from the line and while in route. Remember their eyes are 12-18 inches off the ground your are closer to 65-75.
Allow the puppy to see his/her destination throughout the entire length. White bumpers on short cut grass and running up a slight incline.

Tim
 

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Keep it VISIBLE!!!!!!!!!!
Think about what the puppy has to look at from the line and while in route. Remember their eyes are 12-18 inches off the ground your are closer to 65-75.
Allow the puppy to see his/her destination throughout the entire length. White bumpers on short cut grass and running up a slight incline.

Tim
This was going to be my thoughts too... Use sod farms, baseball, and football fields. They work great for this.
 

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Have someone else throw the marks while you handle the pup. If the pup stops short, the thrower can encourage the pup foward by throwing other bumpers.
 

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Stay within the dog's success range---you can only move as fast as the dog's talent level.
good luck
GG
 

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By no means do I think he should be doing marks out to 100 yards already, Im just wondering what causes a puppy to stop short on retrieves and how to help my little guy past the hurdle. Thanks!

(BTW Boykin Spaniel... following Hillmann's Method)
Losing sight of the mark will definately cause pup to start huntin' short..As mentioned, make sure it's a featureless area and in short cover.

100yds.?
I always like to get my pups looking out as soon as possible, and we do this with a bumper on steroids lol, ...


Once pup has marked , we'll slip a regular bumper or a bird in place of it.



Have someone else throw the marks while you handle the pup. If the pup stops short, the thrower can encourage the pup foward by throwing other bumpers.
This^^
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for the ideas guys... I hadn't thought about doing retrieves on an uphill incline so that it is better visible... thats a great suggestion.

We are definitely having to limit retrieves right now because he loses interest very quickly.... I may have thrown a few too many retrieves early on... still looking for that magic object that he goes nuts over... I've been trying duck wings attached to soft bumpers, but all he wants to do is lay down and chew on them.

Definitely time to get him on more birds.

I know when I talked to Esylivin about Chief he said that it is a little tough to get Boykins fired up to retrieve at first... what have you Boykin owners discovered to get your dogs wild to retrieve??

My pup definitely knows the difference between fun bumpers and retrieves he has to be steady for (he's actually more explosive when he has to be steady)... but I haven't been able to get him to the point where he views retrieving as a reward yet... any thoughts??
 

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For those that are advising Not to concentrate on keeping pup steady,,,,

Please note that the OP is following Hillman...

Part of Hillman program "Balances" steadiness and "Excitement" bumpers from week 11.

To the OP.

Are you out of balance with your "Excitement" bumpers?
Are you working "To Much" obedience?

Remember,, Hillman really stresses Balance.

Maybe time for intro to birds.
But I think that assumes the puppy is excited about bumpers. If the pup is not excited about the retrieve you must first build the excitement, without excitement you have nothing to steady.:)
 

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I know when I talked to Esylivin about Chief he said that it is a little tough to get Boykins fired up to retrieve at first... what have you Boykin owners discovered to get your dogs wild to retrieve??
Time! Just be patient, do a little here and there and he'll turn on when he is ready, keep it fun!
 

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We are definitely having to limit retrieves right now because he loses interest very quickly.... I may have thrown a few too many retrieves early on... still looking for that magic object that he goes nuts over...


 

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^^^^^^ That

I was going to suggest you get some live pigeons, pull the flight feathers and let the pup chase it around. If you've gun broke him, having someone shoot some live pigeons for you will get 'em fired up.

.
 

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But I think that assumes the puppy is excited about bumpers. If the pup is not excited about the retrieve you must first build the excitement, without excitement you have nothing to steady.:)
This is VERY true..

If the OP is following Hillman as stated,, then Pup should be excited or "Crazy" as Hillman puts it,, to retrieve before any OB or traffic cop starts.
He repeatedly says this is the first step in his DVD.

With my pup,, I held off on much obedience and just took the pup on walks, working in Excitement bumpers each day (Maybe 2 throws max) untill the walks were just routine for her, but she was anticipating the throws from me.

She wanted the throws worse than exploring, and being distracted by the birds and bees, leaves, wind, bugs, my stinky socks ect.. She wanted the throw..

THEN,,,, I started the Obedience and traffic cop...

Bills pup in DVD was 11 weeks when he started this..,,, I waited till my pup was almost 14 weeks,, and wanting to retrieve...

She is 5 months right now,, and I am just starting having BB thrown marks at distances of maybe 50 to 75 yrds.. On Open cover.. Ball fields..

We are going slow... But I am VERY pleased.

MICHAELBAKER
(gooser)

JMHDAO!!!!!!:p
 
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