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Thread: Teaching lab pup to retrieve (anything)

  1. #1

    Teaching lab pup to retrieve (anything)

    Any tips/pointers please, it's hardly urgent, but I'm surprised that our 4 month old lab bitch who in many other respects seems old before her time shows virtually no interest whatsoever in picking things up, with one exception, namely pears off our tree which she carries around before devouring!

    if you throw a ball for her she just isn't interested, dummies, the same, my previous dog training experience has been with spaniels and they've just always wanted to be carrying stuff (more often than not shoes and socks) I thought it was in built into labs, but apparently not......

    any tips? Like I say, I'm not trying to rush things, and it's not a big deal really, but I would like her to retrieve and it seems to be a fairly basic side of training.
    On the plus side she isn't phased by gunshot, she is calm and steady (unless a butterfly takes her fancy in which cases she's useless) but for her age I cannot fault her.
    Opinions are like arseholes....... we all have them, and most of them stink

  2. #2
    I was worried that I was going to have the same problem with my GWP/Lab cross pup. If I threw anything for him to fetch he just looked at me as if I was daft. I found that going out with him to the ball and then kicking it about caught his interest. After a day or two playing like that he picked it up pretty quickly. He's only 14 weeks now, but he'll retrieve a ball up to 50 yards away without any trouble (we've only tried it on grass and stubble fields so far though).

  3. #3
    Hmm strange eh my labs esp the last pup have all been habitual carry merchants in fact the pup now 15 months won't do anything without something in her mouth esp greet you try the usual food treat with a carry and hold before any type of retrieve .why the intro to gunfire at an early age not something I do till much later after many a dropped pot and slammed door Ect not a pop just interested
    Cheers N

  4. #4
    I've tried the treat training technique, but she isn't stupid and is more interested in the pocket with the treats than focussing on the dummy/ball etc so I was going to drop the idea of treat training for a bit.....
    gun shot is something I've always tried to introduce early, from a distance at first then working closer etc... There are arguments for and against, but there is a great deal of literature to suggest that exposure to such things at an earlier stage of brain development is better than leaving it later, but each to their own, everyone seems to do it slightly differently.
    Opinions are like arseholes....... we all have them, and most of them stink

  5. #5
    You've probably got one of the few intelligent labs
    norma

  6. #6
    Athough if it was a pup I had here, I would not be too stressed, without sounding patronising, if I were in your shoes, I would be looking to overcome this now, before it becomes an issue. Labs should be retrieving (or at least running after, picking up and carrying) well by 4 months.

    Unfortunately I get a lot of customers who bring in 12-18 month old labs for training that won't retrieve, this is a much bigger hurdle to overcome.

    You do however, need to be very careful not to overdo it at the tender age of 4 minths either!! One retrieve a day will be plenty. You need to make it fun and once the pup is carrying the key is to praise the pup and make no attempt to try and grab at the retrieve, make a fuss of the pup and the 'prize' will be given up, try and grab at it, pup moves away, turns head, tugs and bad habbits start!

    My suggestion is when you get in of an evening take of a sock (yes I mean it!) Roll it in to a ball and sit on the floor (hall is ideal place) keep the sock hidden for now, make a fuss of the pup, show the pup the sock, throw the sock down the hall, but only 4-6 feet, don't say anything! Pup will hopefully run out to the sock and sniff it, keep quiet at this stage (makes life easier later) and hopefully the pup will scoop it up and come back to you. STOP AT THAT IF IT GOES WELL.

    If not, lean forward and flick the sock a bit further, this time use a nice encouraging voice to help the pup get the idea of picking it.

    Use whatever encouragement needed, but make sure you don't grab at the sock, just stroke the pups chest and soft vocal praise. End on ONE successful retrieve.

    Mike
    Specialist boarding for working dogs in Staffordshire.
    All breeds of dogs trained, puppies and older dogs sometimes available
    Click here------->Wren's mews, kennels and cattery.<-------Click here

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Wrens Mews View Post
    Athough if it was a pup I had here, I would not be too stressed, without sounding patronising, if I were in your shoes, I would be looking to overcome this now, before it becomes an issue. Labs should be retrieving (or at least running after, picking up and carrying) well by 4 months.

    Unfortunately I get a lot of customers who bring in 12-18 month old labs for training that won't retrieve, this is a much bigger hurdle to overcome.

    You do however, need to be very careful not to overdo it at the tender age of 4 minths either!! One retrieve a day will be plenty. You need to make it fun and once the pup is carrying the key is to praise the pup and make no attempt to try and grab at the retrieve, make a fuss of the pup and the 'prize' will be given up, try and grab at it, pup moves away, turns head, tugs and bad habbits start!

    My suggestion is when you get in of an evening take of a sock (yes I mean it!) Roll it in to a ball and sit on the floor (hall is ideal place) keep the sock hidden for now, make a fuss of the pup, show the pup the sock, throw the sock down the hall, but only 4-6 feet, don't say anything! Pup will hopefully run out to the sock and sniff it, keep quiet at this stage (makes life easier later) and hopefully the pup will scoop it up and come back to you. STOP AT THAT IF IT GOES WELL.

    If not, lean forward and flick the sock a bit further, this time use a nice encouraging voice to help the pup get the idea of picking it.

    Use whatever encouragement needed, but make sure you don't grab at the sock, just stroke the pups chest and soft vocal praise. End on ONE successful retrieve.

    Mike
    this is exactly what I did with mine.

    I sat in my chair watching tele and the lab would lie on the floor by my chair, I would casually roll the socks away from him not making any effort to encourage or push him, I actually left the rolled up socks in his bed for a couple of days before doing this.

    He started retrieving the socks on second or third throw.
    There is a place on this planet for all of God's creatures, right next to my tatties and gravy!!!

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Wrens Mews View Post
    Athough if it was a pup I had here, I would not be too stressed, without sounding patronising, if I were in your shoes, I would be looking to overcome this now, before it becomes an issue. Labs should be retrieving (or at least running after, picking up and carrying) well by 4 months.

    Unfortunately I get a lot of customers who bring in 12-18 month old labs for training that won't retrieve, this is a much bigger hurdle to overcome.

    You do however, need to be very careful not to overdo it at the tender age of 4 minths either!! One retrieve a day will be plenty. You need to make it fun and once the pup is carrying the key is to praise the pup and make no attempt to try and grab at the retrieve, make a fuss of the pup and the 'prize' will be given up, try and grab at it, pup moves away, turns head, tugs and bad habbits start!

    My suggestion is when you get in of an evening take of a sock (yes I mean it!) Roll it in to a ball and sit on the floor (hall is ideal place) keep the sock hidden for now, make a fuss of the pup, show the pup the sock, throw the sock down the hall, but only 4-6 feet, don't say anything! Pup will hopefully run out to the sock and sniff it, keep quiet at this stage (makes life easier later) and hopefully the pup will scoop it up and come back to you. STOP AT THAT IF IT GOES WELL.

    If not, lean forward and flick the sock a bit further, this time use a nice encouraging voice to help the pup get the idea of picking it.

    Use whatever encouragement needed, but make sure you don't grab at the sock, just stroke the pups chest and soft vocal praise. End on ONE successful retrieve.

    Mike

    Thanks mike, that was kinda my thinking, I'll go back to basics with the sock as you say, would it be sensible to make the toy more interesting, say with rabbit fur or alike wrapped on it? Or would this me running before walking...?
    Opinions are like arseholes....... we all have them, and most of them stink

  9. #9
    Go with the sock first.

    Mike
    Specialist boarding for working dogs in Staffordshire.
    All breeds of dogs trained, puppies and older dogs sometimes available
    Click here------->Wren's mews, kennels and cattery.<-------Click here

  10. #10
    Just make sure it's a big sock my pup promptly swallowed the wife's smelly sock cost me 120 to retrieve the sock at the all night vets (induced vomiting ) she knocked the said sock back like it was a short !LOL
    good luck sure it will be fine
    N

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