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gman2002

returning dummy

14 posts in this topic

hey guys i have a 12 week old lab that is really starting to enjoy retrieving a dummy and a dokkens dead fowl , the problem is that he's starting to run all over the yard and play with it . he's pretty young but thats not a habit i want him in. theres really nowhere that i can pin him to make it that he has to come to me, my question is should i let him just be a pup with it or should i put a check cord on him and make them real short for awhile ,i relize being so young theres no need to rush , but i also don't want him thinking this is o.k. , i thought about small treats to get him to return but if he knows i have treats then he won't leave my side to fetch . he knows the come command but not like a older dog would ,he just gets so excited about what we're doing that all that goes out the window . also if i'm just playing with a tennis ball he will bring it right back ,but the dummy is a different story .any help ?

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I'm no trainer but this has helped me in the past and I'm sure others have better ways but, no better time then the present, you dont need bad habits early. In the past I have just put them on a check cord and reeled them in with saying (here or come) you teach them to come and to bring the dummy to you. In time he will alltimatly bring it back without you pulling on him. Keep the retrieving short 3-4 throws per day. you dont want to end on a bad note so stop the retreiving before you think he will play games with you. if you end on him running away from you he thinks he won. Remember alot of praise and patience.

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You're right he's young..don't push too hard. One thing i've always done in training my pups that seems to really work is when you do get them to come back with the ball/dummy whatever-take it from them and throw it again immediately. Dogs enjoy the chase the most so as soon as he gets to you, take from him AS you are praising him and throw it NOW! If you hold it too long and dally around they sometimes think they're not gonna get it back-hence won't bring it back. But, if you throw right away they realize the chase is fun and if they want to chase they have to bring it to you. Takes practice of course but has always worked for me.

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Put the check cord on him. Make sure the cord you use is light. I used a length of the thin nylon rope and tied it to a collar. I like to use a regular collar at this point of the training.

When he starts to run away from you just quickly step on the rope. Enough to stop him. He will turn and look at you wondering what just happened. Then call him to you. If he turns and runs again repeat action above until he comes to you. When he comes to you praise him to no end.

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He's a very young pup. Start with short distance retrieves. The point here is not to worry about the length of the retrieve but to get them conditioned towards returning the dummy towards you. After you throw it, close the distance between you and the dummy so you're closer to the dog. When he picks it up, get his attention, get him excited, and run away from him. He should follow you. Run slower than his pace so he can catch you. Keep doing that. If it continues to be an issue in the coming weeks, you can certainly move towards a check cord. Even with a check chord, use it to just get his attention and move him in your direction. This is common with pups. Enjoy the time with your pup

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I also have a 12 week old lab pup and she is doing the exact same thing you are talking about. When she picks it up, if I run away clapping, she chases me and i then grab the dummy but if I dont, she just plays with it, even lays down and looks at me, BUT this is only if I practice retrieving in my yard. Its like she knows the backyard too well or something. I take her for alot of walks, and periodically let her off the leash to play fetch, and if it is in an unfarmiliar area or one we dont go to every day, she chases the dummy and brings it right back to hand, but no way does she do it in my backyard. I dont get that part of it. I expected a new place to have too many new smells for her to pay any attention, but its like she is so focused then, try changing the scenery like I have. So far it is working.

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Dog is young...don't rush. Short distances (everyone wants to get long...but no need to)....if needed a light check cord in the coming weeks. Basically do what dumb things you need to do to get them to come back to you at this point...even if you look like a fool! laugh.gif

One other thing...don't grab the dummy from them right away when they get back to you. Let them hold it for a few seconds so they don't associate them running back to you to you taking there fun away. Praise first for coming back and then grab the dummy.

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Attach 30' or so nylon rope to collar and hold the other end. Short pitch of the dummy. When the pup picks it up, get down to their level and call them to come. Don't pull them in with the cord but just take up the slack when they give it to you. Don't get frustrated and stay with this. Eventually they will come back.

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Have any of you tried to train them in the hallway of your house? That way there is no way to get around you , and they have to retreive to you. Short thoows and lots of praise or rewards.

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Run away from the dog when they start to wander. They will then chase you. A check cord is also a good idea, but only if my first suggestion doesn't work. 12 weeks is pretty young. If it were my dog, I would limit the retrives to one or two. If they do the first one perfect, praise them and put them away. You can do it again in an hour or two. Always heap the praise on a young dog when they do something positive.

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wow thanks for all the replys. kinda what i thiught shorten the distance , run away from him. the only thing is he's past the running away deal , he's figured that out. i'm thinking either a check cord or a club to help with

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GMan...As I said above, short retrieves, get his attention, and run away. I'm posting again as I mentioned check chord but I would suggest that at this age you only use it to get his attention to start running after you. I really wouldn't force the issue at this age (i:e pull him too you)until he clearly knows the "come" or "here" commands. In fact, if it were me I wouldn't even worry about the check chord too much right now. It will all come together as he learns his basic commands (i:e come, etc). I probably tend to do things at a later age of a dogs life than many but personally I don't push them too much until they get around 5-6 months. That doesn't mean not teachning basic commands but I don't worry too much about other aspects until they mature a little.

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Im having the same problem with my 6 month old dog, he will retrieve everything all day, but when i bring out the pheasant wing he will come halfway back then run around the yard or lay down and lick it. running away worked for a bit but he has caught on too that. Im thinking the check cord will work. Do you guys pull them back in when they wont come then praise allot when you take the dummy or like I read in a previous post do you just bring in the slack until they get closer. Also how long on the check cord does it take for this annoying behavior too stop?

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I'm assuming your dog knows "come" or "here" and you've done some basic obedience. Also, it is helpful if you have started some whistle training such that they know when your blowing on the whistle, that means come too. With that assumption, when on a check chord, if the dog doesn't come then I give them a good pop (enough to get their attention) with the chord and say here or come. Anytime they veer off and don't keep coming to you, do it again, until they're at your side. You will have to be the judge of how much force you use with the chord and pull (depending upon dogs response). Really, the same thing can be accomplished without check chord too. If you don't use a check chord and the dog isn't returning on the retrieve, you can also run out to your dog saying "come" or "here", grab his collar (while dog is facing you) and say "come" or "here" popping him in your direction and then let go and make him follow. Repeat as needed. Hope that makes sense. I have actually found that better than the check chord because eventually they can learn when the chord is on or not. This way, the dog knows you will come out and get him if he doesn't return the dummy (chord or not). There are other methods too (e-collar) but I have never had a dog that didn't respond to these methods. Good luck.

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