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My Dog Flunked Doggie School

3562 Views 21 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  kb27_99
I took my 1yr-old BL to a local trainer of good repute to have her force-fetched last month. I waited this long because she was pretty hyper and I thought she do better if she matured a bit. She was there five weeks, I visited a few times and the trainer said things were going reasonably well. At the end of the five weeks, I had a talk with him and he declared that she was about the least trainable dog he'd ever worked with and she completely lacked the desire to retrieve. He said she was force-fetched but didn't like retrieving. He also collar-conditioned her and he said he had seen fe dogs that required as high a level of correction as she did.

The trainer said he would love to take my money but didn't feel right about trying to go forward with my dog. In fact, he didn't even charge me for the fifth week she was there. He suggested that I try and get a started dog several times. I didn't ask him straight out if he was saying this because he thought I screwed this dog up, but I might talk to him again about that. I don't think I did, but Raven has always been kind of lukewarm about fetching and obedience in general, and she gets wound up pretty easy and then she's just plain stupid. He asked me a couple of times early in the month, if I had tried to force-fetch her myself. Which I hadn't, but had made her hold the bumper some when she wanted to refuse to fetch it up. I also took her hunting a few times last fall, and she retrieved a few ducks and refused a couple but I chalked it up to a young dog.

So here I am, with a dog that flunked out of freshman year of college. I am tempted to find a good home for her, in fact I have a couple of offers already. Part of me wants to take her out this fall again and give her one more chance before I wash her out. But this trainer pretty much guaranteed me that she was not going to do any good. In fact, he said she was one of the all-time worst dogs he ever had come through his kennel, and the guy's been in business for quite a few years.

Finally, he said a good started dog was around $2.5K, and a finished dog $4K. I'm toying with the started dog idea, and also with getting another pup and starting from scratch. By the way, this dog of mine wasn't from hunting stock, just purebred lab. So I knew I was taking my chances, and not having had experience with them before I didn't recognize that she wasn't going to pan out early on. She seemed to fetch the bumper well enough, and was birdy as judged by how she toook interest in birds around the yard and ponds.

One good note, my buddy brought his Chessie to the same trainer and she's doing very well, so I will get to hunt with a good dog this fall one way or another.

Advice and/or consolation is welcomed. Or give me an earful if you think I'm to blame.
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I am not the one to give advice but I can elaborate on my experiences that seem similar to yours. I have a YLF that is 9 months old and had a huge lack of drive when she was younger in part because of me. I think I reacted as you did and she sensed too much pressure from me to perform. She would go crazy over a live quail or dove but would just out right ignore a bumper. At about 3 1/2 months old I had washed her out but was to attached to let her go even when the breeder agreed to give me a full refund. We continued OB training because she is a house pet but from the age of 4 months to almost 7 months she didn't see one bumper or bird, after she finished teething I decided to give it one last shot with a bumper but this time she didn't feel any pressure and I tried my best to make it fun. Well after about a month of that she was more eager to retrieve than she ever was. Just this passed Sunday we were at a friends place working on some easy water marks and she wasn't even touching the first 10 feet of water from the bank because she was blasting off so hard. I was blessed that we were able to correct MY mistake, this may not be your case but if you leave correction at the way side for the time being and make it a fun game you may just see a different dog arise in front of you.

Just my 2cents, Kevin
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achiro said:
kb27_99 said:
At about 3 1/2 months old I had washed her out
:shock: :? :? :shock:

I know I know bad judgment on my part. That’s why this place is so valuable.
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