Sounds like your pup is coming along well Jeff! How old is the pup now?
I think you should really get the OB issues down now before FF. Are you following any training books?
If the pup is over 4 months old, I would collar condition to the command "Here" or "Come" whatever you use. This will solve your problem with the dog not coming right to you. Before I did this, I always had the dog on a checkcord that way I could make sure 100% that the dog would come right back to me. Also if you are reeling her in, she has less opportunity to drop the bumpers.
How is her sit? I think sit is the most important command before FF. you need to make sure she can sit with distractions around, tugging on her lease trying to get her to stand up, etc. The dog should not move when it is told to sit.
Oh and the pigeon trap, I have one you can use. Its really nice but I just never tried it. You can use it if you give me a few pigeons every once in a while! I never found a good spot to use it.
We work this every time we work. "Sit." "Stay." And I walk off leaving her there for a few minutes and 20 yards or so before I tell her to heel. Not gonna say she's 100% perfect or ready to move on....but I am pleased with where she is at for the time being. When she is 100%, we'll move on.
Wow 7 months! Time flies!
10 minute retriever is a good book.
Dropping the bumper when she gets to your side is not to bad. Its good that she is bringing it back! Hold should fix this problem. Is there anyway you can take the bumper from her before she drops it?
Sounds like she is doing really good! Sounds like you could move on to hold. You can teach hold while you still work on other things. Once you get hold going you can work with heel while holding, sitting, etc. Its up to you though.
You have a lot of time before next season, with a little work each day you will have a great retriever next season!
Do you have a place to trap the pigeons?
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