RetrieverTraining.Net - the RTF banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,045 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Background on pup: purchased as an 8 wk old from breeder. Great FT lines, but mom was a washout (has only one JH pass, but supposedly has been in training for SH and MH for the last 2 yrs) and according to breeder, was really burned with the e-collar on water marks. Got pup home and he was a cocky, self confident, beat up the cat (which was 3x his size and wondering why the pup didn't just want to play!), fetching fool. We did everything to encourage his obnoxious behavior (what the trainer wanted) along with gentle manner training, avoiding the word NO and using distraction instead of correction. Pup was difficult to housetrain/crate train, likes to paint with poo, so he went outside at the age of 4 months and was kenneled with 9 month old pup at night outside, and was given more free time outside with older dogs as well during the day. He was intro to water as soon as the ice was thin enough to break and he loved it. We threw "happy" bumpers to the dogs as a group and he would run/swim out with the other dogs, but wasn't fast enough to get his own. Sometimes he would steal the bumper from the other dogs, most of the time he would come back and sit, waiting for the next one.
Ok, now to the problem. He is now 6 months old and has zero interest in retrieving.....anything! We have checked his mouth to make sure it is not tooth related, we have tried getting him excited about fetching with the following: frozen ducks, live ducks (scared of both), canvas bumpers, plastic bumpers, bumpers with wings attached, wings on a fishing pole/line, sticks (yes sticks!), plastic pop bottles (used to be his favorite toy), socks, balls, toys. He looks completely bored with the whole thing. We have tried it in the house, in the yard, in the back pasture, at a couple of training days. He either slowly trots out to the mark (15-20yrds max) and sniffs it, or he no goes and wanders off looking for food. I don't want to have to smear peanut butter on a duck in order for him to be interested! Lord knows I don't want him eating the birds.
I realize that all dogs progress at their own pace and you cannot force nature (at least not with good results) but geez! I have a lot of hopes, dreams, and cash riding on this little fella. The trainer mentioned that a dog that we both know well didn't seem interested in retrieving until he was darn near 9 months old, and he is a bird fetching machine now!
Anyone have any other ideas that I can do to help "turn on the lights" with this pup? He has until the end of this month at home, then he is going to the trainer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
303 Posts
There is nothing a professional can do for you that you cannot do for yourself until the pup decides to retrieve. I suggest you keep him with you until his fires light. I have one here that will not retrieve. GMHR dam and FC/AFC sire. Don't get in a hurry. The breeding will probably come through.
Lynn
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,680 Posts
He's had too much time with other dogs for one thing. Kenneling pups together plus letting him have so much free time with other dogs at crucial ages when he needed to be solely focused on his humans and doing his basic OB, informal puppy training is probably making him way less interesting in doing retriever stuff. It isn't easy with having a lot of dogs. I have two pups, 9 weeks and 14 weeks, plus my 10 adult Labs, the pups get just about zero time playing with the other dogs and are only interacting with me at this point to create that focus and bonding. Playtime is with me throwing a few bumpers, puppy marks with my husband as bb, leash walks along the roads, going places with me for socializing with people. Once they hit 4-6 months, depending on the individual pup, they can start doing some interacting with other dogs as long as it doesn't cause them to want to play less with me. I'd seriously isolate him and he only gets to be with you and his only activity is fun bumpers, OB kind of stuff. Otherwise, it's way more fun for him right now to be with the other dogs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
195 Posts
I'm a beginner, but his teeth might still hurt. I stopped all retrieves with mine from 5-6 months and just did obedience. After 2 months of nothing but obedience and her gums healing she was ready for retrieves.

I think going away from it takes away the mundane nature for a pup and makes them miss it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
400 Posts
Oh my goodness! I feel the same way.

My 6 month pup will retrieve a few paint rollers, indoors, after a training session but I keep it to only 3 or 4, as she has a tendency to lose interest and we're suppose to quit the game while she's still excited.

However, if I take her outside to a field with a check cord she's way more interested in chasing the cord or finding vegetation to chew on (weeds, and shrubs sticking up from the snow). If I get rid of the cord she'll sometimes run to the bumper with excitement, sniff it and then run in another direction.

I am scared that she isn't going to be a retriever. When she's with other dogs playing fetch, she's more interested in chasing the dogs than actually getting the ball.

To bad it wasn't as simple as turning a switch on :p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
400 Posts
in the time it took me to write my post, three others were posted!

I'm going to take rainmakers advise and avoid walking through the dog parks and having her friends come over, etc. This will hopefully get her a little more excited about bumpers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,045 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
He didn't get to spend time with the other dogs until he was over 4 months old, and then it is only play time (with us being there) and at night when he would normally be crated in the house. His sit is wonderful, including his "honor" grrrrrr! I have had pups stalk the other dogs before to steal bumpers, but at least they were interested! We are still doing one on one sessions, we just thought that group play would show him what all the excitement was about! Last night we let 5 ducks into a large enclosure with our group of 16 wk old pups, our just turned 1 yr old, and the above mentioned pup. Of course at first they were all kind of intimidated by the ducks (one was really mean!) but once they figured out that the ducks would run and flap and were fun to chase, they really got into the groove of chasing them down and bringing them to us to do it again.....that is all except this pup. He went around the pen sniffing for food, and then laid down and watched the fun. He would get up and move, in no hurry, when the ducks and other dogs came running his way. He didn't act like he was real scared of the racket, but he really wasn't interested in joining the chase either. He did sniff up some loose feathers, and when we were done he checked out the now chomped on birds in the bucket, but he was more interested in the empty feed bucket in the garage.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,680 Posts
in the time it took me to write my post, three others were posted!

I'm going to take rainmakers advise and avoid walking through the dog parks and having her friends come over, etc. This will hopefully get her a little more excited about bumpers.
Don't take it as a catch all for every dog, I was responding strictly to Firehouse's post because her pup was kenneled with an older pup, allowed free time with other dogs and also was thrown bumpers with other dogs when he wasn't big enough to keep up with them, etc. and only because I've been there, done that, I'm not a pro or advanced trainer by any means. Doesn't mean your 6 month old pup shouldn't be able to walk in the dog park or have social playtime, some dogs go through a period where they just lose focus and need more consistent schedule, less all about playtime for a while, at least I've found it to be the case with my own when I get busy and it's easier to just let them exercise themselves by playing instead of me deciding who is doing what and when. Then payback when they aren't so focused on work anymore. Live and learn.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,672 Posts
Firehouse,

Isolate the pup for 4-5 days - in an outdoor kennel, with no activity at all. Feed him and water him, and clean up after him, but don't talk to him or otherwise give him any attn.

While he is kenneled, let him watch you throw happy bumpers for the other dogs. Let him get excited and want to play...

Next, take him with you to a training field. Stake him out and let him watch while the other dogs get marks. Same for water marks....Do this for a couple of days...by now you should see some real desire from him to want to have some fun....Next day stake him out again and run him last....hand throw him a bumper....just a happy bumper....Really tease him with it and get him pumped up....Then put him back on the tie out and let him watch the other dogs....This is a dog I would want to work up to having to hold him back before letting him go. Let him go as the bumper reaches the top of the arc....

I agree with the others on several points. He was allowed to play with other dogs, was not successful in getting retrieves due to the competition. Could be he was growled at or snapped at when he tried to take a bumper from one of the other dogs w/out you knowing it.

Juli
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,045 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I've just never had to work this hard at getting a pup interested in fetching before! Even with our group of 16 wk old show bred pups! I seem to have better luck with the "I paid under $500" then the "I paid over $1000" pups!!!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,287 Posts
Crate the pup while he watches other dogs retrieve....??? Sometimes this will get them going.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,680 Posts
I've just never had to work this hard at getting a pup interested in fetching before! Even with our group of 16 wk old show bred pups! I seem to have better luck with the "I paid under $500" then the "I paid over $1000" pups!!!!!
Yeah, but look who you bought the pup from, there were a whole lot of Copper sired litters out there from nice bitches for what you paid for your male, if not less. Just sayin'. The pup's dam couldn't even finish a JH.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,877 Posts
I have a pup out of a NFC and a MH female that will not retrieve a bisquit. Had all kind of go as a pup and one day he just quit. I have tried everything imagineable to get him going but so far nothing. Gonna give him away ........sad though with his pedigree he should be a ball of fire. Not all dogs are created to be retrievers I guess.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,045 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
There weren't at the time that I had the deposit down though! And the mother WAS at a trainer in Texas during that year and a half that I had the deposit down, was supposed to get a female, but only one born so I took a male instead since I didn't want to wait another year or more (I would have been 4th on the list still) and they weren't giving refunds of the deposit (really hurting for money) so kissing that money goodbye and shopping for a new litter really wasn't an option. I'm not bad mouthing the breeder, their female, the stud dog, or the pup by any means, he is not going anywhere and I haven't given up on him. I just wanted to see if anyone had any different ideas since when you are this close to the "problem" at hand, you tend to over look the obvious!!!!!!
Plus I'm just having a flustrating and expensive yr with the dogs. It happens!!!! :) Just got to keep plugging away at it and who knows, maybe by the end of this year I'll come up smelling like a rose. :0 :)
If all else fails, I will smear peanut butter on those damn ducks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,680 Posts
There weren't at the time that I had the deposit down though! And the mother WAS at a trainer in Texas during that year and a half that I had the deposit down, was supposed to get a female, but only one born so I took a male instead since I didn't want to wait another year or more (I would have been 4th on the list still) and they weren't giving refunds of the deposit (really hurting for money) so kissing that money goodbye and shopping for a new litter really wasn't an option. I'm not bad mouthing the breeder, their female, the stud dog, or the pup by any means, he is not going anywhere and I haven't given up on him. I just wanted to see if anyone had any different ideas since when you are this close to the "problem" at hand, you tend to over look the obvious!!!!!!
Plus I'm just having a flustrating and expensive yr with the dogs. It happens!!!! :) Just got to keep plugging away at it and who knows, maybe by the end of this year I'll come up smelling like a rose. :0 :)
If all else fails, I will smear peanut butter on those damn ducks.
Ah, you probably wouldn't know the history of said breeder but for what it's worth, the dam has been "at a trainer" for about 3-4 years now.:razz: Besides, who doesn't give a refund if the pup desired isn't whelped/available? That's crappy right there. She's got the goods behind her though regardless of what she ever does, so no, definitely don't give up on pup, he's got plenty of time for the lightbulb to come on, but for sure try Skyview's suggestion for a while, I think you'll see a big difference if he has no outlet but marks/training with you for a while.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,668 Posts
Rainmaker and Skyveiw both have it right as far as I'm concerned. If the dog is crated (not in an outdoor kennel, but in a crate in the house away from the other dogs) so that his energy is built up till he is busting to do anything. I wait a whole day before I even give them a chance to reteive. By this time he is ready for anything. You bring him out and throw a bumper, little easy retreive, I'll even use a tennis ball cause they roll and promote chasing. If after a few times they won't get it put them right back in the kennel. Of course you let them out to air, but no playing and right back in the kennel.

It has never failed me yet. Has never taken longer than 48 hours to work.
5 dogs that didn't want to retrieve. They were all a little neurotic about it after that. My current dog went through this and now he drives me nuts with a bumper.

It only takes a few days and it is worth a try.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,668 Posts
I have a pup out of a NFC and a MH female that will not retrieve a bisquit. Had all kind of go as a pup and one day he just quit. I have tried everything imagineable to get him going but so far nothing. Gonna give him away ........sad though with his pedigree he should be a ball of fire. Not all dogs are created to be retrievers I guess.
Send him on down to Ga. and we'll take a run at him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,877 Posts
Terry, this dog has been the hardest challenge in my 30+ years of training dogs. Usually when you have several dogs out at the same time they are competitive with each other. With my pups I use treats thrown for them to be wound up about things thrown. This dang dog will just sit and watch. Even his stomach will not motivate him. I would not put this dog with anyone wanting to compete or even hunt with him. Just proves my saying"" A DOG IS A DOG, IS A DOG." Nothing is guaranteed even in the best of circles.
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top