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troutkingmaster

6.5 month old lab retreiving issue

25 posts in this topic

My 6.5 month old lab does pretty well returning directly to me with a dummy in the house, but when I get her outside, either in the front yard or out in the field, she will come about half way back to me, then take a hard left and run away, at which point I have to pull her back in using the leash. Is this to be expected at this age? What can I try to remedy the situation? Thanks

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Right now my lab is 8 months old and I had this same problem. I just used a shock collar and that solved it now he is retreiving like a pro.

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Thanks, Joe, I assume you had introduced the dog to the E-Collar on basic obedience first? I have a collar but have been hesitant to use it while field training. I have always heard that you want to keep it as Positive as Possible for the dog. I guess I don't know when you can start getting real serious with them?

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Exactly, do not use the collar when you are thowing retrieves, you could end up with a dog that will never retrieve again. The dobs force breaking and table training is the way to go if you don't know how to do it hire it done. There is a lab trainer in waseka that charges only like 300$ and does a decent job. We train down in your area every weekend and you could come check out the club and join us for training and get some help if you like we are just north of waterville on 13.We run our dogs in trials and are always training and looking forward to new faces so come out if you like. You can for now use a narrow long pen say snow fence wall about 3 feet wide and 30 feet long with the end closed. and you can even use a wall of a building for one side too. throw your retrieves in there with the check cord on them and they have to come to you, if they dont a little jerking to iritate him in to moveing will work. Stop on only a few tosses and quit, find the threshhold when the dog starts screwing around and stop short of that many tosses for awhile. Always quit when he wants more. put em up and do it a few times a day spread out.If he does 2 nice then screws around on 3 stop at 2. Get the Picture here?Let me know if you want to train this weekend we will be there.Ken

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Ken, thanks for the invite, I am actually having the girl spayed tomorrow, so she will be out of commision for a couple weeks. Could I get your email address? I would be very interested in coming out for a day in a few weeks if you would not mind. Thanks

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It's a deal, No cost either we all help eachother out. So bring the little flabadore.blueriverkennel@gctel.com

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I made a fetching coridor in my back yard using snow fence. i used that for about a week and it solved that problem for me.

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TK hope your surgery goes ok for ya, I spose you will get the cone collar treatment. Get ahold of us when your ready. the snow is gone there so you can get right at it and she is definately the age that will benifit from some summer training.

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Another thing to try is giving her a treat when she returns it. I had the same problem with my 4 month and I started to use treats as a reward when she brought it back. Start with short distances, beteween five and ten feet. After a day or two I would do every other time and now I don't give her any treats. I also noticed that after the surgery and not retreiving for 10 days that she was happy to retreive and bring back the dummy. Hope all goes well with the surgery. And be carefull of the collar on retreives. I scared my first dog by doing that.

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I agree the treat is Ok to add but then remember to watch how many too because we all know how round our labs can get. Pluss don't do much if you are having trouble when a pup is teathing, it is very comon to have them not want to retrieve when losing baby teeth, just wait a week if that is going on,for some it doesn't matter, for others it can be a negitive session best to avoid. Edit here also I avoid the treats, that stuff can cause diet gas in some, simply use the food curnels it works just as well and you don't have to buy treats. just decrease normal feed to compensate How did it go today.

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I used treats for retriever training in moderation. Every time at first, then every other, then maybe once in a session.

What I do for treats, though, is not to use the stuff that's sold as treats, but just a different kind of dog food. It's MUCH cheaper that way, isn't canine junk food, and labs will scarf it down like it was raw meat anyway. Royal Canin recently had a deal at Pet Supplies Plus where you get a free 6lb bag after rebate. I'm using that for treats right now and that should last several month.

Our vet says he uses hotdogs cut up into cubs about the size of the tip of your pinky.

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Thanks for all the info guys, I may try integrating a few treats in to the next training sessions as well as making the corridor in my yard. Surgery went well yesterday, she seems to be on the mend already eating and drinking as if nothing happened.

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Good deal, just keep her away from those darn stitches, I know we hate to leave the cone head collar on, but I took mine off once and the dam dog pulled out a few stiches right away and back I went for a bigger bill. Hope to see you at training when she is healed up.

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My 6.5 month old lab does pretty well returning directly to me with a dummy in the house, but when I get her outside, either in the front yard or out in the field, she will come about half way back to me, then take a hard left and run away, at which point I have to pull her back in using the leash. Is this to be expected at this age? What can I try to remedy the situation? Thanks

What training program are you following?

How much work on "come" have you done, and how reliable is the pup on it?

Are you ever giving the "come" command when you can't reinforce it?

IMO there are no reasons to use a treat in training to "come"....which is your issue here. I am not going to trick a dog into coming back to me, it should be the only thing he knows and obey's that command and I need to be ready to correct it the moment he does not. First and for most you need to have your dog trained to the come command and be able to enforce it. That means using a check cord until you see the pup is reliable at that command. Personally, if the dog is mature enough I would be collar conditioning to "come" so I have the tool to use....until then check cord.

The dog needs to be on a check cord until he is reliable on come or you have another tool to reinforce the command. If I can't reinforce I don't use the command.

Edit: One good point that FC mentioned....only do a few retrieves per session. For me with a pup that is enthusiastic for retrieving......2-3 good retrieves at the end of a training session. My training around this age usually begins with the basics for 5-10 min and then finishes with a couple retrieves making sure he returns to me (bumper or not). He must obey the "come" command first and for most.

One other point is that while at a very young age some of this is introduced in the house or yard, once more formal OB begins I move these sessions to other locations away from the pups comfort zone. This is usually a park or a parking lot (I change it up as I have a few locations close). Especially in winter months parking lots can provide an area to train under lights and in a plowed area. Often I can't train during the day (obviously work) so this is the next best thing I have available. You should be working this as often as possible...every day if you can. I will miss days here and there, but the goal is every day.

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I agree, come should have been established first, I thought maybe you have her coming on comand. but if not I agree with getting that down.And I agree not to use too many or if any treats at all. I will start this in the house with the whistle or come command and some times give the dog some of there food next time just praise, mix it up. is gets them paying a bit more attention to the comand before going out side. And if you are going to condition the dog to the collar I would get the dvd trained retriev from jim dobs if you don't know what to do. the ecollar is a valuable tool but can go bad in a hurry to if you have no experiance reading how soft a dog is.Just remember to take your time and don't train if you are frustrated.

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Thanks again for the advice guys. As far as the "Come" command goes, I have much the same issue there as with the retreiving, In the house, 100% compliance, but once we get outside, she thinks she can do what she wants. I assume this is becuase of the lack of obedience training I have done outside because of the weather, work etc.(all the standard excuses, i know). Now with the weather getting better and the days getting longer that is my next goal. I think i will shore up the obedience outside before continuing with the retreiving.

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Perfect plan.Then you won't be all over the place in your training.

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Some real good information and direction given here.

As has been discussed extensivley in past posts... obedience is paramount in all training regimens. A proper foundation for all field training is solidifying the 'sit' 'stay' 'here' and 'heel' commands. The dog must comply to all commands each time given before formal field training begins.

Collar conditoning don right will be your greatest ally for correcting the dog when they do not follow a given command. I agree Dobbs tapes are a good resource for CCing along with Lardy's tapes.

I am not a fan of treats in training. Never have been and never will use them... My feeling is the dog is not completing the commands based on 'you' being it's master, but rather for self fulfillment... ie: food in the belly! I equate it to bribing a kid to clean their room... I know guys have had success starting off with a treat and weaning them... but I'd rather just start them out knowing their treat is praise from me for a job well done.

Good Luck!

Ken

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more good points, What it realy boils down to is yes like LBSFM, is saying get some obediance stuff done first and do it every day like said earlier but short sessions. I also believe diferent stratigies work on different dogs, you have to be open minded and be willing to try ideas from many sources. don't be narrow minded I mean I guess. If things don't work step back, evaluate the situation and be willing to try the other guy's Idea. The one thing dogs have for sure we all know is different personality's. I don't use dobs tapes on some dogs because the collar will shut em down to nothing. The next its the only thing that gets there attention. It is nice when you have one that responds to any situation and can learn from many angles. Youl be fine just as I said take your time and be open minded to what anyone of these guy's said and experiment with what works for the dog at that time. When you come to the club you will see several different dogs and stages and different ways that they are being worked, it's endless. And I for one will forever be learning.

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This is some good information here guys.

We're getting a new Chocolate pup in May and all this is very helpful, along with all of the other posts.

So at what age is the dog supposed to have the basics down? then at what age is the formal training to be started? are there guidelines? We haven't had a puppy in 13 years and I want this one to be trained correctly from the start.

Thanks

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Well, no guidlines, like lbsfm said just start right away as a little guy and work on sit stay come, Two or three short retrievs in a hallway can be mixed in, don't expect much and always keep it fun. If you do anything thats not fun and he is losing intrest you have most likely done too many repititions, do not go that far. With hup, sit, I use the food and get them to sit to the whistle or comand before giving the food in small portions so you can do it a few times each time. you will have to help the rearend down a bit at first, as soon as the hindend is down place the food down, and repeat this, again do not give the whole portion at once. this is the period I refer to as treat training, I do not like useing treats further down the road but with this no harm. Once he sits with out help wait slightly longer each time and when they become trust worthy on that, you have started the stay comand already. Say sit, pup sits, back up and lower dish slowly and say stay if he comes tward you pull up and repeat. He will eventualy sit stay and for longer periods. when you wish him to go eat use the release comand, In trials it's there name. Some like back or somthing for hunting. you are at this time teaching Sit, stay,back, hup,come and laying ground work for steadying a dog and the dog realy doesn't know that this is going to be what makes everything easier down the road. When you want to get come mixed in use whatever you want them to come to before and right when you want to do all this. I use the whistle,because of trials we use them. only the name for release. This is the stuff I do with the pups at the very first stage 8 weeks or whatever age you get em. It lays down good ground work for the future. Make sure there is no distractions, they are easily distracted and you defeat the purpose. And remember I can't stress this enough short sessions keep them wanting more. quit early before pups mind wanders. It is the hardest thing to do to have a handler want to quit playing with the pup.Prety soon you will be calling the dog, he comes, you say sit or hup the dog sits, you say stay he turns his head sideways and watches you, you back up and place some of the food in there dish down say 10 feet away, The dog sits there and you go make a call, walk around the dog a few times whatever and he stays. You release the dog for there reward. Once they are that far you can begin to use praise instead of the food sometimes keep em guessing. Throw a few retrievs for a reward ect. And by then they have developed a habbit of the comands. Then just keep up on reinforceing them as you progress to the more formal gundog training. Clearly you don't want to have the dog bringing you birds only if you have a treat so I do this only in the house as a pup. when they are a bit older they now have a darn good grasp of what the comands are.good luck. And remember what I, me personaly mean by treats is there normal food, I don't ever buy real treats, beggin strips and that junk, never will. When have you seen a dog pass up food unless it is crapy food or you have been spoiling them with table scraps.

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Each pup is different and there is no set time line, you will have to read how your pup is doing and adjust to him/her. My current pup was around 6 months when he was mature enough to start formal OB. You don't want to push the pup if he is not ready....there is no hurry and you could do more harm than good. The first month or two we just let him be a pup and have fun (explore and socialize, and lots of it), but would do small exercises to start the understanding of sit/down/kennel/come.

Also, my pup went for a walk with me in every day in the fields or the woods (basically hunting type terrain), from the day we brought him home (49 days) to about 6 months. This walk was just me and him, no one else. His focus was on me and only me, and in doing this you create a bond between you and your pup that others in the house don't have. That's not to say they can't take the pup out or on a walk, but "the walk" was always just me and the pup....that's it. We started out very short and easy, and then progressed in length, cover, and terrain as he grew.

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Hemi,

That's a good, no great training book! I used a combination of hers and 'The Waterdog' and i am pretty impressed with the lack of screwing up I did with my first dog last spring.

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Hemi,

Good plan with the walks. althought i didn't think about it, it makes sense to get the alone time with the pup to let him/her to know who the master is.

I'll have to train the wife also. grin Last time she was using different commands and didn't follow the same guidelines and let the pups get by with a lot of stuff.

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I'll have to train the wife also. grin Last time she was using different commands and didn't follow the same guidelines and let the pups get by with a lot of stuff.

This is the toughest part! I can't say I have any recommendations on that one....let me know if you find a good training manual!!! shockedgrin

One other thing I think worth mentioning...on our daily walks I was pretty much totally silent. No commands...no calling for the dog....no praising. Just us walking through nature and him having to respond to me and my movement. This is something that comes out of one of the books that listed in the sticky for training material (Julie Knutson). Not my idea or something I have really read in other books that I recall.....but something I see as being worthwhile with creating a bond with your dog and getting him to watch and respond to you and your movement, and getting him associated and familiar with the areas that are most important (the field).

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