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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Total Newb here with a total newb question, if it please the court ;)

My 3 month old pup has days when he wants to chase a bumper and days when he really doesn't regardless of his mood, how long he's been confined prior, etc. I know a few people like that, too :) So, I'm guessing it's just that. Extensive reading on the RTF has convinced me to chill and not get too worried about it as it seems most of us newbies are prone to do.

So, here's the question: what happens when I get him interested, tease him, toss the bumper a short distance and... he just stares at the fall and back at me and goes off and does his own thing? Do I try again? Put the bumpers away for the day and try again tomorrow? Get more creative about getting him in to it? Try again later that day? Try again in a different context or location?

Today, I threw a pheasant wing a few feet after he dissed the bumper and he liked that.
 

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A real shot in the dark. It sounds like he may be bored with it all. How many retrieves do you do in a session? Should be just a very few, say three.

A suggestion, put him up for a few days and don't do any retrieves. Then try just three, wait a few days before any more.

Also, try to do it where there are no other distractions. Like in a hallway in the house or a narrow strip between the house and a board fence.

Some dogs just mature slowly and he may be one. Try to get him really hyped up before you toss a bumper. Tape a bird wing to the dummy.

These are just wild guesses without knowing any more information or seeing the dog.
 

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Total Newb here with a total newb question, if it please the court ;)

Today, I threw a pheasant wing a few feet after he dissed the bumper and he liked that.
The prosecution would like to cross-examine your honor..

Mr. Scubasteve, have you sir ,..at anytime while in the possession of your pup,.. tossed said pup,... one of these clipped winged in the yard?....



If not sir, this court will impose a $2500.00 fine, 6 mos. imprisonment with 6 mos. suspended, and fine suspended upon successfull introduction of a live bird to pup..ASAP, (pun intended:p)

Court will now recess untill further posting.
:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the help. Seems to me that you're right on. I'll try those things.

But you bring up a point I've wondered about which is: I've got 4 young kids, my house backs up to a pond, there's a lot of adjacent land to explore AND he has lots of toys and chews. So, I've been thinking that if I were a dog, why would I get excited about bumpers?

Of course, he loves to jump in the pond after a canvas bumper. And he loves wings and feathers. So, should I take a canvas bumper on a walk and do 1 fun bumper during the walk? And if so, forget about the retrieve and just get him barreling after it? I know some sources say not to let them develop the habit of taking off with it or sitting down with it.

Again, thanks so much for the help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The prosecution would like to cross-examine your honor..

Mr. Scubasteve, have you sir ,..at anytime while in the possession of your pup,.. tossed said pup,... one of these clipped winged in the yard?....



If not sir, this court will impose a $2500.00 fine, 6 mos. imprisonment with 6 mos. suspended, and fine suspended upon successfull introduction of a live bird to pup..ASAP, (pun intended:p)

Court will now recess untill further posting.
:)
LOL!!! Will do, your honor!
 

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Chasing after it is most important now. Perhaps you should buy, borrow a copy of Bill Hillman's Training a Retriever Puppy.
 

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Thanks for the help. Seems to me that you're right on. I'll try those things.

But you bring up a point I've wondered about which is: I've got 4 young kids, my house backs up to a pond, there's a lot of adjacent land to explore AND he has lots of toys and chews. So, I've been thinking that if I were a dog, why would I get excited about bumpers?

Of course, he loves to jump in the pond after a canvas bumper. And he loves wings and feathers. So, should I take a canvas bumper on a walk and do 1 fun bumper during the walk? And if so, forget about the retrieve and just get him barreling after it? I know some sources say not to let them develop the habit of taking off with it or sitting down with it.

Again, thanks so much for the help!
I'd say it's all up to you, but whatever you decide to do, keep retrieving fun!
Lots of praise for success!
Don't have too many expectations on retrieving right now, in fact I'd be getting pup used to being on a leash with an affiliation with it..
The leash=outside for fun!, or a walk! A great opportunity to teach pup some "do's and don't" of being on a lead. If pup pulls against it, it goes no where untill there's no resistance or pulling against it.
As far as retrieving, it's always good to keep it fun, (and short), and get the idea across to pup that if it goes and brings it back, it'll get it again.

Try to strike a good balance between those fun water retrieves and retrieves on land..Sounds like he lvs water. :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Chasing after it is most important now. Perhaps you should buy, borrow a copy of Bill Hillman's Training a Retriever Puppy.
Thanks. I bought it after reading lots of threads about early puppy work on the RTF. I've watched the first half twice. Haven't had a chance to watch the whole thing yet. But the DVD is one of the things that got me nervous. The old "my dog's not doing anything like his dog, oh crap I'm doing something really wrong and messing him up for his whole career right now" alarm started sounding in my head.

I think I need to just relax, watch Hillman's DVD over and over, and not get in a hurry. I also have the SmartWork Puppy Program DVD and I love all the explanation that Evan Graham gives regarding operant conditioning and just the simple, overall tips, tricks, does, don't's and other advice that he has in there. I think the 2 seem to complement each other really well.
 

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Thanks. I bought it after reading lots of threads about early puppy work on the RTF. I've watched the first half twice. Haven't had a chance to watch the whole thing yet. But the DVD is one of the things that got me nervous. The old "my dog's not doing anything like his dog, oh crap I'm doing something really wrong and messing him up for his whole career right now" alarm started sounding in my head.

I think I need to just relax, watch Hillman's DVD over and over, and not get in a hurry. I also have the SmartWork Puppy Program DVD and I love all the explanation that Evan Graham gives regarding operant conditioning and just the simple, overall tips, tricks, does, don't's and other advice that he has in there. I think the 2 seem to complement each other really well.
Amen.....My friend. :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'd say it's all up to you, but whatever you decide to do, keep retrieving fun!
Lots of praise for success!
Don't have too many expectations on retrieving right now, in fact I'd be getting pup used to being on a leash with an affiliation with it..
The leash=outside for fun!, or a walk! A great opportunity to teach pup some "do's and don't" of being on a lead. If pup pulls against it, it goes no where untill there's no resistance or pulling against it.
As far as retrieving, it's always good to keep it fun, (and short), and get the idea across to pup that if it goes and brings it back, it'll get it again.

Try to strike a good balance between those fun water retrieves and retrieves on land..Sounds like he lvs water. :cool:
Pup does love the water. And he loves to explore and is very curious. So, I think I need to keep it fun, fun, fun with everything we do. And just be patient. He's really smart and I'm sure he'll do fine eventually even if I have to have a pro's help to get there.

I think this is a lot like having your first kid. You obsess and worry about every developmental milestone and check the progress constantly and worry and worry. Then, with each subsequent kid, you get less and less focused on that cause you know they'll sit up, crawl, stand, walk, run when they're ready. In fact, eventually you start to hope they'll slow down their development so that you don't have to chase them around constantly ;)
 

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X2 on the birds. Or you say he has a lot of toys I would pick his favorite one and use that in the hallway and make it fun but very short. If you have 4 young children you understand how easily they become distracted and bored..
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
That's the other thing I need to focus on, is keeping it short. I feel like I throw a couple of good ones and then think, that's it? Or, the opposite, I throw one or two and he's not that interested so i feel the urge to keep after it till he is interested. I think I need to just pick up the bumper when that happens and maybe try one later that day on a walk just to set him up for having a success.
 

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This is going to sound silly to a lot of people here but look into schutzund for some great ideas on building drive and focus in puppies.

Check out Michael Ellis work on leerburg.com for free or look for Bernhard Flinks seminars on building drive and desire.

There is a lot of good stuff on motivational work out there you can get for nothing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Had to google that. You're right, that does sound strange but it makes sense. After all, I read in James Spencer's Training Retrievers for Marshes and Meadows that force fetch was initially developed for pointing breeds in the late 19th century to get more reliable retrieving in those breeds. So, it makes sense that a lot of techniques work across different breeds. Of course, I know zero. So, not sure that my analysis counts for anything.
 
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