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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Wanted to share that after 3 weeks of on/off training my (5 month old) lab FINALLY learned HEEL today! Last 20 mintues of our walk she didn't pull on the leash but the slightest bit. Was SO excited that I just had to throw up a post!!

Now I just need to keep up the practice, practice, practice!

Question: She is starting to decide that bringing stuff back isn't as fun as running to a corner and chewing on what I have thrown. . . is this pretty normal at her age? I have a 30 ft. long line and am considering putting it on her so she gets the idea to ALWAYS return to me.

Duck Mann
 

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Nice work on esatblishing the heel command I got a pup in may and worked with her everyday and for the seqason she is over 50 retrieves what a great year for a new pup she is now 10 mo. and is excited about the hunt everytime we go out. Now for your question about retreiving to you or to the corner to chew on the item the dog is young so keep that iun mind when I say this you will want to try to stop that behavior asap because if that is your mountable bird that is beiong chewed you will be very unhappy. I started out by doing easy retreives on a stuffed animal in a hallway so the pup has no place to go back back to you. that might help you with your dilema if not the check cord may help as well. to be perfectly honest I used the tail wag principle on training if the dogs tail is wagging while training keep going if it stops do one more thing that you know the pup will do correctly praise the heck out of the dog and then pack it up for the seesion I did about 3 sessions a day 10 minutes each and I could not be happier with my pup. Could luck to you on the training and congrats on the accomplishments to this point by next season you should have a top notch hunting buddy.

Flyman
 

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DM, those labs sometimes frustrating can be fun. mine is 4 years and just getting the hang of it. he does great on pheasants though. An oldtimer told me once, (when mine was a pup) he said nice looking dog , he will act good in 5 years. he is about right. haha.
 

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good coments/suggestioins by Flyman...I agree, a corridor or hallway or any 'enclosed' arrow area is an excellent start on bring back.....I also agree that a check cord is a standard for the first few weeks and then occaisionally thereafter even if the pup is doing everything right....just a bit of re-enforcement.....Fortunately I have never had the problem you are encountering with any of my retrievers (nor the pointer), so I can only assume you can work through the issue by not overdoing it and by strict controlled sessions. good luck! And yes, a dog is considered a pup through 3 years, and they are prime for about 5 years thereafter. Then you need to manage the retrieves and when you put him in tough situations, alot more carefully.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I think what I will do (after reading the great posts) is re-arrange my basement and create a narrow corridor with the piles of junk stored there and then move the pup back inside for a few weeks for all of her retrieve work. Then when I feel comfortable that she is returning successfully to me I will take her back outside on the check chord and see if the issue is gone.

She was doing well on the retrieves until she started playing "keep away" with her big cousin at my brothers house. Could this be part of the issue or am I over thinking things?

Duck Mann
 

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I would assume that the Keep away game is the issue that was the one thing that I really had to establish with mine. I have a 10 yr old dog to and they like to play that game but I have stopped that no keep away no tug of war none of that which stinks because I do want the dogs to play which they do constantly but they cant play games that will lead to bad habits. So I see you are in augusta that is where I live. Maybe this spring when the training weather is a little better we can get the dogs out for a little work. I also have a source for live training ducks if you need as well. good luck
flyman
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I worked so hard to not have the "humans" around the pup enforcing bad habits that I totally forgot about other dogs possibly being poor role models!

Heading to my brothers tonight so will get a chance to try and cut back on the bad behaviors (tug and keep away) and enforce the good ones. Will be hard when EVERYTHING is a toy (Sticks, rocks, bottle and cans!!) but will try. . . :)

Sounds like a plan, would be great to connect with someone who has been working dogs a lot longer than I. Yeah, getting a few live ducks would be a great training tool.

Duck Mann
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Wanted to thank everyone for their replys. I used the "narrow corridor" idea with the pup and after only 40 reps over 4 days she was bringing back consistently. I even took her outside (with no lead) and threw a couple and she also brought those back as well. My outside trip used the same principal as the "narrow corridor". I used my driveway which is long and straight with bushes on both sides and it worked to keep her focused! Thanks again!

Duck Mann
 
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