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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My lab bruce is about 6 months old. He is developing a problem where most of the time he is hyped about fetching and retrieving his dummy, but sometimes he just looks at me like he is bored and doesn't feel like it, even if we haven't worked in a while. I will throw the dummy and try to get him excited and send him, but he just takes a few steps and takes a piss and turns around or something like that. Suggestions?

Corey
 

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First thought was: get him on birds

Second thought was: get him on birds

;-)
 

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Is this new behavior or is it something that has always been there. Think about injury, illness, teething, etc.

If it is something that has always been there, maybe the dog lacks the desire needed to be a working retriever.

I was watching the beginning of TRT where Mike is discussing training principals. He talks about dogs that wash out. He mentioned lack of desire and that you can read it in the dog well before introducing the ecollar.

Hillman mentions in his puppy dvd that the dog needs to be crazy for retrieving before introducing doing the walking on lead and sit work.

Not diagnosing your pup, just giving you something to consider.
 

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Right. 6 months is around average time of adult teeth coming in. This could very well be the issue.

But I'll reiterate that if he hasn't been on birds, you need to get him on birds as soon as possible (when teeth allow - if this is the issue).
 

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My lab bruce is about 6 months old. He is developing a problem where most of the time he is hyped about fetching and retrieving his dummy, but sometimes he just looks at me like he is bored and doesn't feel like it, even if we haven't worked in a while. I will throw the dummy and try to get him excited and send him, but he just takes a few steps and takes a piss and turns around or something like that. Suggestions?

Corey
That part right there concerns me.
If you have been "sending" him that implies that you have been steadying him,STOP THAT!
Just throw,and let him go,get him "Wild to retrieve" as Hillman would say.
 

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With young pups just do a few retrieves a day. Have you been doing too many and he is bored?
Check mouth for teething.
 

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A buddy of mine had the same problem with his YLF and he tied a rope to the dummy and hung it in a tree about 3' off the ground and give it a good swing and watch the pup chase it back and forth like a game. After doing that for a while he would take it down and throw it. When the pup finally got it she was so happy and retrieved fine again. Idk if it was a good idea or not but it worked.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks everyone. I try and keep the throws limited to no more than five times a day. I'm going to relax on having him sit and wait for me to send him and just let him "wild retrieve" for now. That's a good idea. He has been on live birds before but it has been a while. I'll post again in a week or so and see how he does.
O and tying a rope to the bumper is a great idea that always gets him excited. Thanks everyone.

One more thought. Its getting warm, what are thoughts on how to introduce him to swimming? Jump in with him? I know not to throw him in. He loves to wade around but wont go in deeper than he can stand for now....
 

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Make sure he is eager to retrieve first. Try to find a pond with a shallow end or gentile slope. Toss bumper so that he just has to get his feet wet so to speak (wading). After a few times of this toss the dummy a little further, just up to his tummy. Keep going until he makes his first swim of a couple of strokes. Then a little further.

Let the dog decide when the time is right to swim. You can encourage him but don't push it.

Sometimes I have put on my waders and walked out in the water and encouraged him to come to me. Generally not required.
 
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