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mudman

help with training

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mudman

I have yellow lab that just turned 6 months, He heals, stays, fetches long runs in and out of the water but this last week he has been droping the dummy at the shoreline instead of doing a full retrieve, I have tried walking away from him when he gets closer to shore but it doesn't seem to be helping. 2ndly when on land he is tring to play keep away, I started using a rope but once he's off he starts all over again, any suggesting for me I am begining to get very frusterated.
Thanks

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Lowe

Usually you should start water retrieves by meeting them right at the shoreline. Dogs like to shake as soon as they are out of water. By meeting them at the shoreline you are training them to give up the bumper first and then go shake. Once they get that down you can gradually move back.

You're other problem sounds bad but he's only 6 mos old and wants to play. Try going back to throwing a dummy in a hallway so he can't run around or away from you. When he starts bringing it back to you without a fuss try him outside again. The check cord is a good tool, but I like to think since he's already showing some signs of being a good retriever he will bring it back when he understands what is expected of him. Dragging a retriever in by a rope just seems wrong to me. He should do it because he wants to, not because he has to. IMO, give him a little time before going to the check cord.

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mudman

I agree 100% with the check cord. I dont' want to force him, I would rather have him enjoy his time out with me than dreed it. The hallway is a great idea, I haven't heard of that before, Thanks

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springerspeed

Going to a hallway or a narrow contained area is a good way to go.

Also, if the dog is wise to the rope on him, try tieing the rope to the dummy. Don't rip the dummy out of his mouth. When he starts to veer off give him a sturn NO and stop him with the cord. Don't jurk on the cord and don't get in a tug-o-war with him. Call him to you. Then praise him when he starts in twards you.

The other thing you can do is go back and reinforce the come command.

Like Lowe said. He is only 6 months old and is just wants to play.

Hope this helps.

Brian

[This message has been edited by springerspeed (edited 08-20-2004).]

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mudman

Thanks guys I will try it out over the weekend and let you know how he progresses. I am certain I will be back with more questions later.
Thanks again!

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duckbuster

Have you done the force fetch on your friend yet? If you have, then it sounds like you did not get it finished and will need to re-address the force fetch. If you have not started the force fetch yet and his puppy teeth are all out then you need to start the force fetch now. You will be suprised how things fall into place after the force work has been completed.

GOOD LUCK

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BLACKJACK

Mudman, make sure you praise him heavily when he brings it back to you, so he knows thats what you want. As the others said, try it at the waters edge, praise him, then progress to dummies on land with lots of praise. Do enough water retrieves with the delivery to hand and praise that he has the idea. Do it over several days so he really knows what you want - delivery to hand.

Then you have three methods for land retrieves. a) do the hallway retrieve where hes forced to bring it back (with lots of phrase) even between two vehicles will work. B) extend the water retrieves to where you're backing off 5-6-10 feet from the edge, making him deliver to hand. If he drops it, run up, say no, kick the dummy so he chases it and brings it back you you (with lots of phrase). c) on land, put a 10 foot check rope on, throw the dummy, when he starts the evasion, RUN away, he'll follow, when he gets close, turn around and take it from, the check cord is for you to grab/step on if hes too quick for you.

Amp up, put some enthusiasm into your training, praise them when they get back, they'll want to bring it back so that you'll throw it again. I prefer that vrs the force training. Its a nasty piece of business thats best done by a pro.

Good luck!

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mudman

Thanks again everyone!
I will post next week with my progress.
Thanks again

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mudman

Well I worked with the boy for a half hour 3 times a day these last 4 days and there seems to be a little improvement.
I just got to keep it up. the one big concern I still have is the water retrieve. He just wants to play and that is it. period. He will bring it back but once he gets within 5 feet he stays out in the water and plays with it. He will push it to the bottom and then dive for it which is encourging but not what I want. I think it might be time to bring him to a professional.
I also have to keep reminding my self he's only 6 months.

Thanks for the help again fellas

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mudman

where can I find some info on force fetching?

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Bushwacker

The best book I have seen for force-fetch training is SmartFetch by Evan Graham. It is very detailed going through the process. Force fetch training is a low time/high skill training. Good luck with it, my 11 mo. female is force trained and her mouth work is outstanding. She will carry a bird at heel beside me all the way back to the truck if I would want her too. It is truly amazing what these dogs can do if they are led in the right direction.

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O2BFSHN

Mudman:
I am siding with BLACKJACK on this one. When working a dog over water, I would not nessesarly meet him at the water. If you do this he will expect this every time. I do a lot of hunting in ND where the sloughs are muddy around the edges.

How I trained my Chesy Bay is simply praise her like she was the best thing that ever happened to you. If she does not come out of the water you must let her know that that kind of action is unaceptable. You do not want to go down to her or turn your back and walk away. You simply stand there with a stern voice calling her name. She will come eventually, it may take a while but show no interest in what she is doing. When she gets to you scold her, let her know that you did not toerate the action.

Dogs live to be praised by their owners! They love it. If he gets one good retrieve praise him and congradulate him greatly. My father was a trainer of the chesapeake Bay's for years and I'm sure its the same for labs.

Best of luck!

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springerspeed

I would disagree with some of your post o2bfshn.

To scold the dog when it gets back to you would be the wrong time to correct the dog. By doing this, the dog thinks it is being punished for coming to you. You need to make the correction when the dog is not obeying the command. example: When the dog stands in the water not coming to you. You need to go in the water and get him or have a check cord on him and correct him at that time.

I do agree that dogs live by praise. So when he does do things the correct way, the dog should be praised heavily. Especially when it is the first time the dog has done it correctly. That will tell the dog that this what you want when you give a particular command.

Brian

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O2BFSHN

I would just hope that the dog does not expect you to come into the water all the time, a lot of the time the dog will then act as if it were being played with and swim or run away with the dummy or fowl. If a dog receives a scolding I do not believe it will think that it was because it came to you. It is in the tone of your voice when calling their name that they should be allarmed that something is wrong.
Thus not getting muddy or wet
Believe me the first time they do a successful retrieve they will be more than happy to continue retrieving the correct way for the correct praise.

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Fishook

I would try to keep this simple. I would first start with a very, very short land retrieve. Assuming he brings you the dummy, PRAISE, PRAISE, PRAISE and repeat. If he does not bring the dummy to hand, use firm NO, NO, NO commands, get the dummy from him and put him in his kennel. Wait an hour or two and try another session all over again. Once you feel comfortable with the delivery on land, move to the water. If successful, PRAISE and, if not, back in the kennel. Your lab wants to a) please you and do what you want and B) he wants to retrieve. Be patient and keep things simple and I think you will have your lab performing the way you want it to.

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LABS4ME

At 6 months the dog is going to be losing the rest of it's puppy teeth and replacing them with permenant teeth, so I'd hold off on the force fetch for a couple more months. Keep working with him to complete retrieves to you. It probably would be quicker to do multiple short retrieves on land to get him to understand he has to bring the dummy all the way back to you, than to do the training in water. At about 9-10 months of age start the force fetch and water work (unfortunatley water work will be spring as you'd be forcing him in November - december. In the interim, start teaching him the "hold" and "drop" commands while you have him sitting on a picnic table. Put the dummy in his mouth and say "hold"... extending the length of time he is actually hold the bumper in his mouth, then let him deliver the bumper on the command "drop". do not let him release the bumper until he actually is told to do so. Even if you have your hand on the dummy, he should not release it until commanded to do so. Do not do this training while training retrieves. It should be done seperate. Once he has a firm grasp of these 2 commands it will be worked into the retreival process. I think force fetching is required for most dogs now a days if you really want a finished retriever.

Good Luck!

Ken

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fishnutbob

Labs good points, as well as the other posters. I trained dogs for many years mostly Pointers so keep it simple at that age and teach the retrieve from land until he has it down then work towards the water, Before you move on to different parts of training be sure he knows well the step you finished, repeat it and repeat it, at a young age keep it fun with alot of praise. I think hes a little young on the force training just keep up a good program, better to do it correct the first time than correct a bad habit. Good Luck

[This message has been edited by fishnutbob (edited 09-09-2004).]

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