Hey guys, I've got a black lab that's pushing 2 years old. I know it's a late start, but I want him to start retrieving. I hunt alone about 98% of the time and honestly, it can get boring. I think it would be nice to have someone/something to cuss at when I miss a bird!
Back to my boy, I feel like he's already established a great retrieving foundation. He's always retrieved tennis balls, frisbees, and things like that. He's got the common commands down alright (sit, stay, no,). He's a great listener, almost too good (I was running him the other day with the 4-wheeler and he was so fixed on me he actually ran into a fence.) Needless to say he was alright. My biggest problem I have with him is that when he sees water, he dives in head first and won't get out. He associates water with play time, which i'm assuming is a good thing, but how do I get him to stop diving in and just hang out with me on the edge? I feel like I really missed my chance to have a good hunting partner, by choosing to not work him at a young age.
What I'm wanting are ideas, personal experiences, or books to teach me how to teach him. Things to really focus on, that sort of thing. I don't know the first thing about teaching a dog how to retrieve, he's always just done it. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!