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15 weeks is pretty early to worry too much about drive. The key is to make it fun. Grab one end of the bumper and rattle it around on the ground in front of him, get him to chase it back and forth in front of you. Make a BIG DEAL about it and jump around and hoop if you have to. Once he is pumped up about it toss it off a few feet and coax him back. Make him understand that it is a game that will continue as long as he keeps bringing it back.

The advice on him being tired is a key as well. During the first year for my current dog the rule was that he stayed kenneled for two hours before I got home. That way he was ready to roll when I arrived. For the first three months he wasn't willing to retrieve the bumper as often as I was willing to throw it everyday. Now (1.5) he is a retrieving machine. The retrieving should be built in, just do enough to keep it fun for him. Concentrate on obedience. The goal is to make them rock-solid obedient WHILE they are retrieving.
 

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I agree with the "some don't have 'it'" statement too, but 15 weeks is WAY too young to determine that. If it is a lab from a decent pedigree then it is born with the desire to go get things. The extent of that desire is part of the 'it', it is the trainers job to do everything required bring 'it' out. Some dogs don't require much help from the trainer, others do.

From now until 28-32 weeks it should be primarily fun but also instructional. After that, force fetch the dog. At that point it becomes primarily instructional but should also be fun when appropriate. Around the same time it should become apparent as to whether the dog has 'it', or more appropriately, how hard the trainer will have to work to develop 'it'.
 

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Dag gum KPatton. I'm sorry to hear that. I love dogs and cannot stand to lose one.

Don't worry about the retrieving part with your new pup. Just have fun with her, bond with her, and teach her some commands along the way. The retriever is built into the dog, it will come out when you need it to.

:thumbsup:
 
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