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Problem Retrieving

6 posts in this topic

I have a 6 month old male Springer Spaniel that I am getting ready to hunt with this fall. Recently he has developed the bad habit of not retrieving when I throw out a dummy. I will get him excited throw it ou. He will run to it, pick it up and run right by me and continue playing. I have tried putting him on a check cord and giving him a tug when he doesn't come. This usually results in him dropping the dummy and coming.

Its a little frustrating expecially when he was retrieving fine about a month ago. Just looking for suggestions on how to correct this.

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This sounds like you have a teenager on your hands. The best way I have found to resolve this problem is to train the come command heavily now and put a hold on the retrieving. Once the puppy is obeying the come command reliabily then go back to the retrieving. It is a phase that all puppies this age go through. Hang in there.

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when my pup was doing this, I just took the dummy away, played with him instead, and retrieved with him at a later time. I didn't want to force him to retrieve. He had no problems retrieving when we went back later.

He's teething at 5 months and I think that this was a part of it, along with him wanting to show his independence, being curious, and being playful.

springerspeed had good advice regarding emphasizing working on the dogs commands and obedience. I've learned that rather than try to fight it, I try to change gears with the pup if he is not interested in training; it is a lot less frustrating. After a little bit, the pup forgets why he didn't want to train earlier, and is eager to retrieve again.

good luck!

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I had the same problem with my dog as I'm now certain most do.

Prior to Force Fetch training the dog I used a check cord, lots of encouragement, and would walk/run backwards to encourage the retrieve to my hand. Your dog will want to catch you. I am by no means a trainer but it was effective. At this point to bigger concern would be if the dog didn't want to retrieve.

Once your dog finishes getting the adult teeth start a Force Fetching program with your dog and this should correct any mouthing and holding issues with retrieving. You need to be pretty sound on obedience prior to Force Fetch. Don't expect a 6 month old dog to be a Master hunter. At most I would be encouraged that you can hunt over the dog and the dog wants to find birds really really bad. If the dog retrieves it great. Next year you can expect the world if you continue with your dog's training.

Don't be afraid to see a trainer either. A couple of hours with a trainer will do any rookie good. I went 2-3 times when my pup was young and I learned tons about training.

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Sounds like you got me pegged. This is the first dog I have ever trained and maybe I am getting ahead of myself. Just a little frustrating when you see your dog relapsing on something you thought he had down cold. Does anyone know of a good trainer in the Becker area that I could talk to?

I have shot over him a few times now and he hasn't been bothered by it. Anything else you can think of as far as what a rookie trainer such as myself should be doing with a 6 month old dog.

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A few suggestions

Find a book, read it, and follow it to a tee. Once you pick your book you cannot deviate as it will only set you back.

Patience, Patience, and more Patience. Your best training day ever inevitably is followed by your worst.

Keep it short (5-10 min) and surround it by fun. Walks in cover worked great for me and of course for a retriever a few retrieves.

Only give commands if you are prepared to correct.

Be committed to training and you will have a great dog.

See a trainer or ask for advice when you are having a problem. Trainers are a wealth of knowledge and can put you back on track pretty quickly.

Try Mike Stewarts columns on ESPN outdoors for lots of training advice also

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