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Old 12-17-2006, 11:11 AM
Dennis-UT unlogged
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Default How do I teach my lab to retrieve--and drop?

He likes to go get it and then sit and chew on it. But he won't bring it back. I think I might have done something wrong with him because now he has no interest in retrieving my canvas puppy dummy. What I did was tell him to drop, then pry his mouth open and praise him when he dropped it.

I took a duck wing yesterday and had him retrieve it. He did a great job of going and getting it, and showed a lot of enthusiasm. But he wouldn't bring it back. He'd then sit and chew on it. I'd force it out of his mouth, but after about a dozen throws he finally ate the dumb thing--feathers and all.

How do I teach him to retrieve and undo the bad I've done with him? How do I teach the Drop command.
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Old 12-17-2006, 11:20 AM
mac mac is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: watertown, sd, usa.
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Default RE: How do I teach my lab to retrieve--and drop?

The fact that you are asking shows you need professional dog training help.

I don't know what you do for a living, but if you mow lawns on your day off and pay that money to a dog trainer you will be a lot better off than if you tried to train the dog yourself for that same amount of your time.

The return you get from a well trained dog rather than "old rover" who comes when he happens to be going that way anyway, eats your birds, chases deer and rabbits, runs to the end of the field flushing birds in all directions and many more things that will happen, is worth what ever you spend.

When someone says "I trained the dog myself and he is really working well", I tell him I won't be able to go with him next weekend.

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Old 12-17-2006, 12:45 PM
Texeye Texeye is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Fritch, Texas.
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Default RE: How do I teach my lab to retrieve--and drop?

Dennis, I'm not a professional dog trainer but have trained a few different dogs that turned out to be excellent dogs. I paid a pretty penny to have one professionally trained and it was a disaster.

There is also great satisfaction in training one yourself. There are a lot of good training books on the market and if you are training one yourself, at least invest in a good trainig manual. If you have the time and money to get it trained then be sure and get references on the trainer.

One note on your dog. On the average it is good to try and teach your dog only one thing at a time and then to only teach one thing per week of training. Get your dog to retrieve well then teach him to drop what is in his mouth. Once he understands each, it will be easy to put them together. At least this has been my experience.

Either way, hope your dog turns out well.
Have a good one.
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Old 12-17-2006, 12:57 PM
retire55 retire55 is offline
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Location: Ottawa,Ontario, Canada
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Default RE: How do I teach my lab to retrieve--and drop?

Firstly, how old is your pup? Secondly, have you purchased some good training texts to complement and/or confirm your own thoughts? If you follow the recommendation to use a professional trainer, select carefully. Various training tools (e.g. starting pistols, cattle prods, slingshots, carbon dioxide pistols and electronic collars) can be used inappropriately.

I contend that retrieving is a natural ability you look for as one of your selection criteria for selecting a pup. When I lasted selected a lab pup from 6 male syblings, only two of the 6 pups retrieved a pidgeon wing in my retrieve test. The other selection tests I did only involved those two pups. As for the drop (leave) command, I worked with a "buck" (a 1 inch diameter piece of wooden dowel with a wooden cross on either end to prevent sliding out sideways). I was primarily teaching the pup to hold the buck for longer and longer periods of time. His natural tendency was to want to release the buck. When I was ready for him to satisfy his natural tendency, I gave him a command to release it - for me that command was "leave". I'm no professional trainer, I'm just sharing what worked for me. I had one very real advantage - my pup was very smart and was eager to please.
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Old 12-18-2006, 08:14 AM
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Default RE: How do I teach my lab to retrieve--and drop?


What you are experiencing is normal stuff and not difficult to change. You are in the very beginning of training and are experiencing the first problems a novice runs into. I could give you advice on how to deal with it. However, you will get through this period merely to run into other problems along your path to having a fully trained dog. Fortunately there is a lot help available without forking out big bucks for a professional training.

Get hold of the book "Gun Dog" by Richard Wolters. I got mine through e-bay some years ago. I think there is a video tape version of it out as of 2 years ago -- and there probably is a DVD now too.

Also get the book "The Working Retreivers" by Tom Quinn. Wolters' book was written before he embraced the need for "force training" and therefore does not deal with the subject. He later did embrace the technique but his book doesn't contain any instructions regarding it. The Quinn book does.

I have now trained 4 dogs as both pets and hunters using these techniques. They really work.
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Old 12-18-2006, 03:13 PM
Gumbo Gumbo is offline
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Default RE: How do I teach my lab to retrieve--and drop?

I have Game Dog and Water Dog--plus the Water Dog DVD. There's a lot of good info, but Wolters' writes like a shotgun--he throws a lot of info out there without much structure.

My pup is 13 weeks old, and he's doing great overall. He's sometimes not as quick to respond as I'd like, but he's doing great. I have an older, professionally trained 'perfect' dog he's learning from too.

Sometimes I feel I just need more info that Wolters provides. I'll look into Quinn's book.

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Old 12-19-2006, 05:35 PM
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Default RE: How do I teach my lab to retrieve--and drop?

When I started my dogs on retrieving, and the word "come", I put a long lead on them and tossed something they really wanted out about 10-15 feet. I would say, "back" and send the pup out...once the pup picked up the treasure, I would say the word, "come" and pull them back in with the lead and continue to say, "come" until they were all the way back in. Once back with the toy, I would say, "leave it" (insert your own word here) and take the toy from their mouths. Giving them a little "nibble treat" of some kind each time.

It didn't take long for them to start to understand that they were supposed to go out and get the toy, bring it back, and drop it when I said, "leave it". Once they have the basics down, you can start doing it without the lead, and move on to feathered things.

They will do anything for "treats" don'tcha know...lol

Give it a try, it might work just as easily for you too.


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Old 12-21-2006, 04:54 PM
Hunter II
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Default RE: How do I teach my lab to retrieve--and drop?

Make it fun for him.
Sometimes it works to just start walking away from him. He will probably follow with the dummy in his mouth.
Most guys throw the dummy too much.
Keep it to 3 or 4 times a day, so it is a treat to fetch it up.
Worked for me on several.
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Old 01-04-2007, 01:04 AM
went522 went522 is offline
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Location: montrose, MN, usa.
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Default RE: How do I teach my lab to retrieve--and drop?


Juls has given you a good starting point. The lead insures the dog comes back to your side. Keep your commands simple, short and EXACTLY the same every time. What your dealing with is a "hard mouth" when he sits down and starts ripping the wing/dummy apart. This can be fixed...take a dummy, 2wings and some tie wire. Put a wing on each side of the dummy, use the wire to secure the wings, wrap tight with pliers and snip off the twisted ends so there's a short tag remaining, you'll want the wire to be flush or just a hair above the wing. Wrap with 3 seperate wires, each of the 3 should be on different sides of the dummy. The next time he goes to bite down on the dummy/wings, he'll get an unpleasant poke in his mouth.

I can recall a few dogs I've worked with that had very hard mouths, a couple days of working with this "wired" dummy and they were fixed. One of the dogs is my cousins which I get a chance to hunt over a few times a year, he brings the birds back with a soft mouth and gently lays it your hand every time.

Prior to the wing/dummy method I used large dowels with finishing nails pierced through, it also worked but the dummy method is easier and more effective as it better resembles a bird both in size and softer texture.
Good Luck.

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Old 09-16-2016, 02:45 AM
Lucy Diamonds
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Default jgj,mv

Thank you very much for sharing. This is something I would want to share with you in return. http://livecustomwriting.com/blog/us...ain-your-puppy This is a wonderful article about training a puppy.
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