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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been having A LOT of issues with my 9-10 month old lab. She has been back for about two weeks after being at a training kennel for 2.5 months. She knows how to heel, sit, whoa to sit (they specialized in pointers and taught this to her), shot over and she had been force fetched. All this is fine and dandy and she listens well... in the backyard... most of the time.

Anywhere else she is uncontrollable even with a prong collar or an e collar. I can't even take her for a walk around my neighborhood without her forging ahead, pulling and pretty much choking herself when she sees a squirrel or someone playing with a ball. I live in the city so I'm limited in the type of exercise she gets. The trainer discourages playing fetch with her because she is OBSESSED with the ball/bumper and loses all focus. However I can't take her for walks because she is everywhere and once again I completely lose control when she sees a small animal or someone playing with a ball (she is screaming and pulling). She will not listen, not with food or force.

I don't know what to do, I've called the trainers but they insist I keep working with her in the yard. I need to give her some sort of exercise so she doesn't go nuts and destroy everything. They also said her obedience would translate in the field, how would this work if I can't even get her to listen in a quiet neighborhood?

Has anyone else had this issue? Should I try taking her to a local dog trainer for her obedience? I have a feeling the Gun dog trainer will continue to give me the same advice or discourage me from taking her out at all? I'm willing to do what I can but I do not want to have to keep her in the backyard and only take her out when the season begins. I do not want her for competitions, just a hunting partner who I could also enjoy as a pet in the off time. If my issues seem trivial or so simple to fix please forgive me, I am new to this type of training and I've never had these types of issues with other dogs.
 

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I've read through your previous posts.

I'm not sure that this is the right type of dog for you, right now.
When/if you decide to give up, I'll be willing to give her a shot.

She sounds like the kind of dog that I like best.
 

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Obedience work for sure as 2.5 months really just got things going and nothing is solid yet. You might consider a Delmar Smith Wonder Lead for leash OB training. Some great discussion of its use on this site. I've never used it but filed it away for future reference. I work OB for all ages when walking my gang on leash for exercise. FWIW
 

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I don't take my dogs, especially young dogs on walks because I don't have the patience required to only walk about 30 feet when I go. Which is what you end up doing because as long as you continue to go forward when the dog is pulling, you are reinforcing that behavior in the dog. So when the dog pulls, you need to stop moving forward and bring the dog back to heel.

2 1/2 months is not nearly enough time to engrain a behavior. Your trainer is correct in telling you to continue to work obedience in the yard. I've never heard of a trainer saying not to let a retriever retrieve. That makes no sense to me.

My recommendation would be to buy Bill Hillmann's puppy DVD. You will learn how to balance the exciting work with the control work and end up after about 3 months of training, with a dog that will sit and walk on lead and will continue to progress with the work you will need for a hunting dog. Yes the puppy dvd (the original anyway) shows a pup from about 11 weeks to 5 1/2 months of age, but I've started a 7 1/2 month old right from the beginning with great results.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I've read through your previous posts.

I'm not sure that this is the right type of dog for you, right now.
When/if you decide to give up, I'll be willing to give her a shot.

She sounds like the kind of dog that I like best.
She's a great pup but I feel like she won't reach her potential with me. She just might be too much dog for me to handle. Even my sister who trains dogs has had a bit of trouble with her but it might just be that energy level of hers and my novice experience.
 

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She's a great pup but I feel like she won't reach her potential with me. She just might be too much dog for me to handle. Even my sister who trains dogs has had a bit of trouble with her but it might just be that energy level of hers and my novice experience.
It very well could be. Truly high-powered dogs are a handful for anybody.
And usually overwhelming for a first-timer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I don't take my dogs, especially young dogs on walks because I don't have the patience required to only walk about 30 feet when I go. Which is what you end up doing because as long as you continue to go forward when the dog is pulling, you are reinforcing that behavior in the dog. So when the dog pulls, you need to stop moving forward and bring the dog back to heel.

2 1/2 months is not nearly enough time to engrain a behavior. Your trainer is correct in telling you to continue to work obedience in the yard. I've never heard of a trainer saying not to let a retriever retrieve. That makes no sense to me.

My recommendation would be to buy Bill Hillmann's puppy DVD. You will learn how to balance the exciting work with the control work and end up after about 3 months of training, with a dog that will sit and walk on lead and will continue to progress with the work you will need for a hunting dog. Yes the puppy dvd (the original anyway) shows a pup from about 11 weeks to 5 1/2 months of age, but I've started a 7 1/2 month old right from the beginning with great results.
My sister actually started her off on the Hillmann DVD and the pup was doing great but still very 'obsessive' toward the bumper. Since I had her I've always done the stop and sit motion to the point here I stop and if she's ahead she'll stop and backtrack into the heel position but never stays in it very long. Either that or she'll be JUST out of position and she'll be jumping up and down or squealing on the walk. She has no concept of stay even though it's been something I've been working on, when that bumper is out it's 50/50 whether she'll break the sit. If there are no distractions she will stay but if I say any other word that is not SIT or if I make any noise, she breaks.
 

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My sister actually started her off on the Hillmann DVD and the pup was doing great but still very 'obsessive' toward the bumper. Since I had her I've always done the stop and sit motion to the point here I stop and if she's ahead she'll stop and backtrack into the heel position but never stays in it very long. Either that or she'll be JUST out of position and she'll be jumping up and down or squealing on the walk. She has no concept of stay even though it's been something I've been working on, when that bumper is out it's 50/50 whether she'll break the sit. If there are no distractions she will stay but if I say any other word that is not SIT or if I make any noise, she breaks.
You need to do Hillmann. It's not for the dog's benefit so much as it is for your benefit. You need to understand and be able to apply what he is doing.
 

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Sounds like your dog is driving the train! Maybe you and the dog need a trainer, someone to show you the ropes. Good luck with the pup and hang in there.
 

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I have been having A LOT of issues with my 9-10 month old lab. She has been back for about two weeks after being at a training kennel for 2.5 months. She knows how to heel, sit, whoa to sit (they specialized in pointers and taught this to her), shot over and she had been force fetched. All this is fine and dandy and she listens well... in the backyard... most of the time.

Anywhere else she is uncontrollable even with a prong collar or an e collar. I can't even take her for a walk around my neighborhood without her forging ahead, pulling and pretty much choking herself when she sees a squirrel or someone playing with a ball. I live in the city so I'm limited in the type of exercise she gets. The trainer discourages playing fetch with her because she is OBSESSED with the ball/bumper and loses all focus. However I can't take her for walks because she is everywhere and once again I completely lose control when she sees a small animal or someone playing with a ball (she is screaming and pulling). She will not listen, not with food or force.

I don't know what to do, I've called the trainers but they insist I keep working with her in the yard. I need to give her some sort of exercise so she doesn't go nuts and destroy everything. They also said her obedience would translate in the field, how would this work if I can't even get her to listen in a quiet neighborhood?

Has anyone else had this issue? Should I try taking her to a local dog trainer for her obedience? I have a feeling the Gun dog trainer will continue to give me the same advice or discourage me from taking her out at all? I'm willing to do what I can but I do not want to have to keep her in the backyard and only take her out when the season begins. I do not want her for competitions, just a hunting partner who I could also enjoy as a pet in the off time. If my issues seem trivial or so simple to fix please forgive me, I am new to this type of training and I've never had these types of issues with other dogs.

sell her to me and buy yourself a show lab or golden ( Im told they make better pets )
 

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I have a dog like this as my first dog (the dog in my avatar), and it can absolutely be overwhelming at times. I can't tell you how many times I told my wife I was going to give him away and start over, but I just liked him too much to ever do it. It's been a slow road, and I have had lots of really good training help, but this dog is within spitting distance (knock on wood) of getting his MH and qualifying for the MN. So it can be done.

If you will stay with it I can promise you 2 things. First, you will be frustrated a lot because the dog lets its excitement override its talent. Second, you will learn a LOT about dog training because this dog will challenge you every step of the way. "Train a fast dog slow" will come to mean a great deal to you.

I have found that I have better luck with my bird-crazy hound by forcing him to decide to behave correctly to get birds than anything else. Your standard has to be really high with a dog like this, but you have to have some balance in that you need to get this dog to decide to behave because he wants the bird.

I don't want to start a debate, but a properly used e-collar would probably be of great benefit with a dog like this, but to each his own. Good luck with your pup.
 

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So this is how you sell a dog?

Post that your dog has an incrediblde prey drive with an uncrontrolable urge to retrieve, and you get 4 offers.



Seriously I would advise that you place this pup in a home that is more suited to it.
 

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The dog may or may not be a heck of a dog, but that is irrelevent to me. I also suggest you find another home for the high strung dog. Someone who has experience handling them, as well as the patience. Find a dog with a personality that suites you. Having a dog that you can not control is not good for you, the dog, or anyone else around the situation. Best of luck.
 

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Copterdoc said. "I've read through your previous posts."
Me too and have responded to many dealing with your ongoing, extensive trials and tribulations with this pup. You said, you've done Hillmann, worked long and hard at training and been all over the map in term of issues (real or not...don't know). If true, they are mostly yours (not so much the pups).

Many helpful and experienced RTF members have provided "extensive" advice. The most recent attempt to train your retriever pup was to have a pointer trainer work for 2.5 months in the upland. From my perspective, that is difficult to reconcile or maybe "You got to be kidding!" describes it better.

I was about to load up and head out to train my pup and glanced at RTF (should not have gone there). At first I was going to just ignore your new thread and not become involved (hind sight is often fleeting).

However, you either like to engage the RTF forum as some sort of troll entertainment or this pup needs a new owner.

The expression "It's not the pup." will eventually become clear (or not). And while this may seem a bit unkind.....enough is......
 

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In addition to others great advice, I would second the advice about obedience training for both the dog and yourself. I'm also wondering if you're not properly using the prong collar. Look at online sources to make sure you're using the prong collar correctly. You could hurt your dog if the collar isn't on properly.
 

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Theres a very good RETRIEVER trainer in your area. I wasnt aware you sent the dog to a non-retriever, trainer... PM me for info if you would like . I train as well, but there is someone much closer to you...
 

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One of the first things people talk about when trying to get control of a puppy in this sport is collar conditioning to "here". Philosophy and how someone looks at something can make someone content or unhappy. One way of looking at the ecollar is that it can not cause physical harm. Do you really want to go on leisurely walks with your dog to give him exercise, or is it to transport him from here to there under control. If you want to give him exercise, collar condition him to "here" and take him to remote locations and do something fun with him like boat in a canoe or something. Let him run around. Teach him to get in and out of a vehicle. I'm just rambling. Take it for what it is worth. It is a more immediate solution to a pressing need maybe.
 

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Exercise Exercise Exercise
Take her to a school yard after school is out ( try to find one that is fenced in)
And if nothing else put her on a sit and walk as far as you can away from her then
call her to you. If she moves collar correction after you've said a verbal sit- go back
and put her in original spot and say sit with a burn - you may have to dial it up to
Get her to comply but you HAVE to make her mind. This will help you with her gaining
Respect for you, doing what she is told, and exercise at the same time. You may have
To introduce this in a shorter distance and keep increasing your distance. The number
One rule in dog training I was given was " If you tell your dog to do something make
Them do it". You have to take control.
One of my favorite Rex Carr's quote is:
" It is a principle of life that the obedient are rewarded and the disobedient are disappointed"

I also encourage you to let her be a dog and run around in a controlled safe space, jogging next to you,
let her Swim behind you in a canoe etc. Once you get her to comply with your commands I hope you
Can do more fun things where she gets a work out.
Good Luck
 
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