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Scott M

Retriever pup plays keep away

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Been spending the last week or so sitting in the jon boat in the back yard, making my pup sit, stay, and come with some frozen pigeons I shot a few months back. She does pretty well but then gets impatient and by the end she's sick of me always getting the bird after the drop command that eventually she gets close and then takes off and chews up the bird. She won't come and won't listen and actually swallowed a wing tonight. It's a safety issue because when I got up to get her to stop chewing up the bird, she starts running around wildly, ignoring all commands I give, no matter the tone.

I don't want her eating the birds and I don't want her running into the street during such a stunt. Any advice on dealing with this behavior? Maybe limit it to a few minutes? She seems to do well early on but wants to play by the end...

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How old is your dog? I have my first pup right now too and have been working on those things with her. She does the same thing sometimes. Mine likes to tear the wing of and chew on it as well. From what I have heard, that is just the puppy in them. Mine is almost 7 months, and I have heard they will grow out of that. What I have been told by the trainer/breeder I bought my dog from is to always have a rope on them when working with the birds. If she starts to mess around with the bird and ignore you, reel her in. The pup will not like, but pull her back in with the bird and then take it from her. Do it a few times and she may start to realize that she has to bring it back to you in order for her to get it again. Again, same problem here and I think it is starting to work. Mine loves to retrieve dummies. If she is not doing well with the birds on a certain session, just stop and throw dummies for a bit. Keep it short.

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I agree with WildFan10. Keep the training sessions short to begin with. Make it fun. Use a check line. If she doesn't want to retrieve any more and would rather play keep-away, walk her to her kennel and put her away for awhile. Don't scold her, just take her by the check line to her kennel, showing no emotion and close the door behind her. It won't take long before she realizes that "Dad" isn't happy.

One thing about dogs, they do aim to please their master even though it doesn't seem that way some days.

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6 months is still really young. It sounds like she's fine doing some work, but she draws the line and decides when to start playing.

Definitely keep them on a check cord of some sort for a while. I still use one on my 2 yr old when he seems to be "forgetful".

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Based on the discription you gave it sounds like you are doing to much (time) work at a given training session. When the dog acts up like that take a break. You have a young dog, she will get better.

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I too agree...your training sessions might be a tad bit long...And at such a young age, they are like kids...Doesn't take long for them to loose focus.

In the training session I do with mine...I ALWAYS end on a positive note in what I'm trying to accomplish.

A bit of advice I was given by "professional" trainers. Just when you think your pup has mastered what your trying to accomplish...Condition that skill for an additional 2-3 more weeks. Then move on to the next phase. People tend to move way too fast.

Good luck and have fun training!

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Those are good suggestions.

I'll add keep working on the obedience training. IMO thats when the all correction should be made. Better to discipline when they disobey then, then with any negative association during retrieving.

In the case of not returning the bird, I'd be working on come.

Check cord on give the command come. Even if he comes to you, hand over hand that check cord as fast as you can. Then praise when he gets to you. As with all training repetition is key. If at anytime during obedience training he doesn't beeline it back to you with the come command, put the check cord back on and reel him in.

At 6 months and at his level, I think your rushing the jon boat stuff.

Focus more on getting the dog to high tail it back on a retrieve. Use encouragement and back up as hes coming in.

Stop with that before he gets bored and move onto something else.

I don't like my dogs dropping birds.

They come to heal and hold till I take it away.

If at any time I see them fail a retrieve with a bird, I'll take that distraction away and go back to a dummy till they get that routine down. Again keeping each retrieving session short and fun.

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Out smart the dog!

If the dog will do 3 good retrieves than just do 2 and stop when she still wants to keep going. This will build her enthusiasm for doing it right and you can gradually increase the number of good retrieves to 6 per training session.

The very best thing she doses is bringing the retrieve to you and that should be rewarded with lots of lavish praise and may be a small treat that she really likes but only for a short while. Treats will encourage dropping the bird or dummy before the retrieve is completed and we don’t want to encourage this.

Run away from the dog when she is coming back with the retrieve and when she gets close turn and squat down when she comes in lots of praise. You can also try turning your back to her and squatting down, which works bettor sometimes.

Hide around the corner of a garage or behind a tree when she is coming back with the retrieve and make sure she knows she is the best retriever in the world when she finds you. Make it a fun game!

Also find a long narrow area where she has no choice but to come back to you. Like a narrow fenced area next to a garage, etc.

Last but not least only choose and try one of the above ideas at a time. Some people in the past have tried all these ideas at once and this royally screws up their dog training.

Good Luck

Tink

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I'm going to need a check line I guess. She's closing in on 6 months.

Wear a glove on the the hand that holds the cord. I learned that the hard way.

Good info in these posts. The only thing I can add is, as long as the puppy is not chewing on the bird, I would let him keep holding him as you praise him, rather than take away his prize right away.

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