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check cord retrieving ?

902 Views 10 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Teebs
Hey Guys,
My four month old lab was doing really well retrieving puppy bumpers but started to want to take off with the bumper instead of bringing it back to me. Now I only throw bumpers when he's on the check cord. Sometimes he brings them back pretty well but other times he gets interested in playing with the slack in the cord between me and him and drops the bumper to play with the cord. What do I need to do to correct this ?
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It's very simple, snipe, once you get a couple of things out of the way. 1) You shouldn't be throwing for your own dog, and 2) no routine's necessary so long as you use the check cord correctly--and with decisiveness.

Have an assistant go out about 40 feet and throw the bumper a short distance, maybe a flat toss of 15 feet. Release the pup for the bumper when it hits the ground. Follow along behind the dog quickly as it runs out--if your checkcord's a 30-footer, you've only got to run 10-15 feet till you can catch up to the end of the checkcord. Now, as soon as the pup puts its mouth on a bumper, start reeling it in, until you're both back up to the original line where you sent the pup from. Do not stop reeling until the pup is at your side or directly in front of you. All the while, blow your come-in whistle and/or continue commanding "Here! Here! Here!" in as encouraging a tone as you can.

And what's most important--keep reeling even if the pup has dropped the bumper or didn't get its mouth secured around it when you started pulling it in with the checkcord.

This will impress upon the dog that the imperative is the return, not the retrieve. They will always retrieve.

You've got to be quick on this and determined to see it through. Also calls for some athleticism, so be ready, but do not fall victim to manhandling or berating the dog out of frustration. Retrievers aim to please, you're just showing the pup what it must do to please you. Stay cool and always encouraging, even though this is "hands-on" training.

If the pup did not get the bumper and retrieve it to you while being check-corded, tell the helper to pick up the bumper and start over. Another throw. And another repetition even after it's succeeded in getting the bumper back to you. Couple of days getting the checkcord treatment, with four or five straight successful returns over those two days, and you should be able to remove the checkcord and get compliance with a return.

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