"Retrieving" Question - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-02-2011, 07:05 AM Thread Starter
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"Retrieving" Question

This may not sound like a field question, but since I hope to do some hunt tests with Gabby I want your opinion.

In general Gabby's retrieving is getting pretty good. We have still only been able to work inside due to too much snow outside. It is melting (ssshhh I am pretending I am not noticing) She goes out well and returns quickly with the object. She is also in the ever most elementary meaning of the words, working "take, hold, give". However here is my "issue".

Gabby is CONSTANTLY carrying socks and slippers around the house. If we put the socks in the clothes basket, she gets them out. If we put the clothes basket on the bathroom sink, she jumps up and gets them. I know I can correct that behavior (getting in and on things), but the carrying of things around, I am not 'correcting' her. She is retrieving right? I don't tell her she is a good girl, I also do not tell her she is bad. I call her to me, and I ask her to "give" which she does, and send her on her way. Because I want her to retrieve I don't think I can correct this behavior. She has a LOT of toys she has access to all the time, which she also plays with and carries around, but she likes socks and slippers. To this day, she has not chewed on them.

Recently she is doing more of this behavior, she has done it from the start, but lately more common. I wonder if it is because she is teething. I know the slippers and socks are softer on her mouth. However if we give her a stuffie she kills it. So I am open to your thoughts. No I don't want her taking laundry, but what can I do? So far the only way to get her to stop is to close the door which we are not in the habit of doing never had to, so it is hard to remember. Should I care?

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-02-2011, 07:59 AM
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I never cared with Tito....he brings everyone shoes (not necessarily their own) all the time.



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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-02-2011, 08:07 AM
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I don't know the answer from the hunt perspective, but just wanted to say all my guys thought they were bred to retrieve laundry. When I first saw Danny, he came running into the front room at the breeders dragging a towel behind him. He also had a lifelong affinity for empty water bottles because the breeder put them in with the litter for some reason.

Maybe Gabby's first toys were socks and slippers?

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-02-2011, 08:24 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Megora View Post
Maybe Gabby's first toys were socks and slippers?
No that I know they were not. I have pictures of her with all her play things. I have her first 8 weeks pretty well covered in pictures. I know she is a 'retriever', my husband is getting pretty frustrated with her. I tell him do not yell at her for retrieving. I will get frustrated when we have to go buy socks because she starts hiding them. So far that is not the problem. Silly pup.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-02-2011, 09:30 AM
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Well, socks are not bumpers and birds. If I were you I would try to prevent it from happening by where you place things and catch her as she grabs it rather than have her bring it to you. I would tell her 'no' calmly and take it--ideally be able to tell her no and stop her before she ever grabs one. Anticipate the grab
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-02-2011, 09:56 AM
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Here is my opinion.
Stopping your pup from retrieving unwanted items on her terms will not in any way hurt her retrieving ability for the field. THE MOST IMPORTANT, let me repeat that, THE MOST IMPORTANT part of being able to participate in hunting events and actually hunt with your dog is basic obedience. If your dog can not "leave", "wait", "heel", "come" "fetch", and "drop it" on command you will never get anywhere with it.
So while the pup's "retrieving" of things around the house maybe cute, keeping those items out of reach and preventing this from occurring would better serve your long range goals in my opinion.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-02-2011, 10:46 AM Thread Starter
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Oh I don't think it is cute. I would rather she did not do it. I just didn't know if correcting her she would become less interested in 'retrieving'. I really want to do things right with Gabby. Teddi doesn't 'retrieve', she goes out gets the desired object (unless it is a dead bird ) and parades around showing everyone. I don't want that either. I want a dog who comes to me quickly with the bumper or bird.

She does know 'leave it'. I will attach that to the items when I put them back. Getting things out of her reach is tricky. I keep my laundry in our half bath, it is the dogs upstairs watering hole, I can not shut the door. So I put the laundry basket on top of the sink we do not use this bathroom, she has gotten stuff out... I have NO idea how. She is not that big. She does not knock it over either. She has used chairs in our kitchen to get up on the table, but even that is not available in our half bath. Our bedroom is SMALL there is no place else to put it LITERALLY unless we put in on our bed.

I can't wait for spring, I think once I can get her out and do more (she bores easily) it will help her not be looking for adventure at home.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-02-2011, 11:06 AM
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Prevention is the key, and if she still manages to snag something just use it as an opportunity to work on your give command, get her to give up the object and then give her an appropriate chewy. I figure if I left it in range, it is my fault!! I wouldn't make a big fuss of it either way--either in making a big deal of it being bad, or in praising her for bringing you something. Just give and be mnatter of fact about it. I save the praise and fuss for real retrieve items in real retrieve circumstances.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-02-2011, 02:07 PM
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What I hear is a puppy with a developing bad habit that is potentially dangerous and an owner unwilling to change their own behavior to stop it.
When the puppy decides to eat the sock and gets an obstruction, it's not so cute anymore.
Of course discouraging the puppy from doing this is not going to disrupt her field training, unless you discourage her in a dumb way like teaching her to play chase/catch me if you can to get the object back.
Why not get a laundry hamper with a lid and be done with it, if the laundry absolutely has to be in the same room the dog has constant access to.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-02-2011, 02:41 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K9-Design View Post
Of course discouraging the puppy from doing this is not going to disrupt her field training, unless you discourage her in a dumb way like teaching her to play chase/catch me if you can to get the object back.
Of course? I did not know, that is the purpose of my question. I have NEVER trained a dog in field before. The dogs I have trained do not retrieve well so why would "I know" it wouldn't cause a problem. I also have NEVER had a dog do this before.

Like I said in my initial post, I do NOT encourage it, I call her, ask her to give, and send her on her way. I just did not know if I should attach a correction. She is bringing it and giving it.

Ann
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