View Full Version : Lab Training-Help

09-05-2003, 08:16 AM
I have a 5 month old Choc Lab male. He is AWESOME!!! The problem I have is that he is not very excited about retrieving. I know most labs absolutely love to retrieve but mine will retrieve only about 2-3 times before he gets bored with it. And the 2-3 times he retrieves he runs hard to the dummy but lollygags back to me with it. Is this normal because I know he is still a pup but I don't want to get behind on training if he should be doing more. Thanks for any info, help, or ideas!!!


09-05-2003, 09:23 AM
Get him excited about the bumper before you though the first one and praise the crap out of him as he is coming back. If you get down on a knee for him to come back to, while praising him he'll come back faster. Also, you may want to try, as he is coming back with the bumper to turn and trot they other way as he is coming back. He will want to come back to you, so he will pick up his pace to be with you. Finally, make sure you keep these early sessions fun. And always leave him wanting more. That means each session may only be 3 retrieves at a time. Play with the bumper before putting it away. Then that is it, he'll want it like crazy. I'm no expert, but this has worked for me.

Good luck.

09-05-2003, 10:06 AM
Two questions, is he force fetched and are you using an ecollar?

I was a diehard anti force fetch person until I force fetched my youngest dog. If you go through it correctly, all the problems you described should dissapear.

If you don't want to go either of these routes, your training progress could be slower, but you would still do fine.

With that said, here is another suggestion. I'm assuming this is a house dog, from what you described (if not, say so). I would crate the dog for around 10 minutes before training begins. You should see a dramatic increase in enthusiasm and concentration from this. I would also crate him after training for a few minutes. This should increase the desire to train. Another suggestion would be to stop worrying about the length of your training sessions and focus on what your dog will tolerate. ALWAYS end on a good note, and always end before your dog is "through". That will keep him wanting more.

Another suggestion (I'm just full of them today I guess) would be to use the retrieving portion of your training as a reward. Start most of your sessions with obedience, and move to the fun stuff of retrieving.

Just my suggestions, take them or leave them, but I hope it helps.

09-05-2003, 12:06 PM
At 5 months I would guess that all his adult teeth have not came in yet. It usually takes to about 6 months for all the teeth to be shed and the new ones fully in. It might be that his mouth is sore and he wont keep things in it because of it. Do not force fetch till after 6 months of age. Then I would recomend it!! Dogs will progress at their own pace and there is no time limit on when things should be done. You could end up farther behind by forcing something and then having to fix that than if you would just take your time. 15 to 20 minutes in the am and the same in the pm of training is a good time frame to work from and always lots of praise and end each session on a good note if possible.

I wish you the best!!

09-05-2003, 02:39 PM
i agree with these other guys. dont force fetch your pup until his adult teeth are completely developed...usually 6months or so as already stated. secondly, as mentioned, dont worry as much about time frames and schedules. get yourself a good program to follow and stick to it. you will see results that develop slowly and you will experience amazingly fast results. it will be a direct result of these things...1) your chosen program 2) your dedication 3) your chosen program 4) your dedication. ask yourself what your goal is first... average meat dog? solid steady hunting dog? field trial dog? whatever? set a goal! that will allow you to focus on one step at a time...as you work towards your goal.

i know i say this a lot on this forum, BUT ill say it again...do yourself and your pup a huge favor and purchase mike lardy's total retriever training video set. he has the quickest most efficient program for retriever training. he has the hardware to prove it. he is the michael jordon of retriever training. i know his background is field trials, but this program is solid for hunting dogs as well. its all the same training. you may not want to take your dog this far, but if you want to waste as little time as possible to train your hunting dog...get the videos. and remember...there is nothing quick about retriever training. be patient.

good luck

Woods and Water
09-05-2003, 02:50 PM
I think that everyone above hit the main points that I would stress for a good hunting dog.The consitancy aspect,make it fun,and keep the sessions short at this age and FF is good but not yet....JMO
Good Luck with your new hunting buddy....good retrievers are one of the best parts of hunting birds.....Mark