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Walleye Wegs

Training ?'s

4 posts in this topic

I am a first time trainer and have been working with my 8 month lab all summer. She is a very hyper pup that is crazy about retrieving. A couple of questions for anyone that may have some imput. I am having trouble getting her to sit by my side to throw the dummy, she will sit and face me. When we go for walks and I tell her to heel and she stays right by my side. Another issue is that I am having is I attached a pheasant wing on the dummy and when it fell off the other night she would barely touch the dummy without the wing attched. When I put it back on no problems. Has this happened to anyone else? Any help would be great.

WW

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Well, I'm far from an expert but I've seen and experienced a lot of the same things you've described as I've trained my lab over the past six months. My lab would also sit in front of me instead of at my side. This is basically a heeling problem. Have your dog heel (use a short leash), walk a short distance, and stop. As you stop give the sit command. If the dog attempts to slide around to the front, pull on the leash and give her a tap on the flank with a heeling stick. She'll learn soon enough that sit means "sit right there" and not "move to the front and then sit down". The "ratchet" drill will also help get better heels from your dog. Basically rotate in short angles, using the heeling stick and a short leash, using the heel command each time you stop. Depending on which direction you are turning you will need to either pull on the leash or tap with the heeling stick. This may take a little time but soon you can simply heel the dog, sit ti down, and it will stay at your side until you send it for the retrieve.

Not wanting to pick up the dummy without the wing is pretty common, especially when a bumper-trained dog is introduced to birds. This is where your force-fetch training comes into play. If you haven't started forcing yet you'll probably want to start.

Remember she's only 8 months old, too. You won't believe the difference a few months will make. Keep it fun and good luck. smile.gif

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WW, your dog is young yet, you need to keep doing the repitions on sit, heel, stay, be consistent, eventually your dog will understand. Expect some setbacks, when they don't do it right go back to the basics, outthink them and set them up to where they'll do what you want.

On the heeling problem, get back to doing more work on the leash, its easy to just pick up the dummy and throw. When I'm doing the heeling, I walk around lots of trees and obstacles on both sides so that my dog realizes by my side is where she belongs. Then carry a dummy with, make her sit, throw the dummy, then unleash her. When she comes back, before you throw it again, make sure she sits at your side. If she doesn't, put the leash on an do it again. She'll get it. Repition. Plus I always do a heeling session, then the dummy session.

As far as not wanting the dummy without the wing, that IS a common problem. First get yourself another dummy so you can throw the plain dummy, then the winged dummy (as a treat). By tonight, if she likes dummys, you should be able to throw the plain dummy again. If she doesn't go right after it, work up some enthusiasm, kick the dummy, she'll bring it back. Then work a week or so without a wing, then use a winged dummy as a treat at the end.

Just so you know, I'm going thru this with my 8 month old lab. Last night she broke twice when I tossed the pigeon. Tonight we're going back to sit, heel, STAY before I do dummys and a pigeon.

Good luck!

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Thanks for your help guys.
WW

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