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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi,
I’ve read it mentioned on the forum how retrievers love to play fetch for ages.

Well my Teddy is all golden retriever but not much of a retriever! But he loves to carry things!
I wondered if there any other forum numbers with retrievers without a strong retrieving instinct?

I’ve tried training Ted to retrieve, but his heart just isn’t in it.. you can tell it doesn’t really float his boat.
I see Labrador retrievers and springer spaniels and you can see they live to play Fetch and retrieve.

On a walk Teddy likes the ball being thrown for him half a dozen times. But when he gets the ball he loves to carry it while exploring before he drops it hapharzedly.

I have managed to train him to drop it when I tell him so I can throw it for him again. But he’s not desperate to play fetch. It’s like after the initial 2 or 3 throws you are interrupting his carrying! 🤣
He loves to walk all the way home with the ball in his mouth.

He absolutely loves swimming so is very keen to retrieve a bumper from the sea or river. I’ve taught him to drop and wait by sitting on his butt politely before I throw it again. But he’d prefer to carry it around for a few minutes before dropping it near you for it to be thrown again.

The carrying instinct is strong with Teddy! Retrieving, on land, not so much.

Just wondering if anyone else has experienced this with their GR?
Not looking to change Teddy. Love 🥰 him as he is.
 

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Penny & Twinkie's parents
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Our Penny will play fetch for a bit then just carry the item and tease us with it. She'll come up to us with it and do her friendly growl to show us what she has. And never mind when we come home... she goes crazy! She finds something to carry and prances around with it while speaking very loudly. When we try to take it, she flings her head in the opposite direction and does more friendly growling just out of our reach. I do believe it's a golden thing. Agnes
 

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My sweet Bella is a golden keepaway, not a golden retriever.

She has a strong mouthing instinct. Any time she greets you, she has to pick something up in her mouth. She will hold toys, towels, tennis balls, rocks and it seems to comfort her.

However, fetch is over after 2-3 throws. She just wants to keep her prize and trot around with it.

 

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I can't remember how old Teddy is - but if he is under a year, he may yet become an obsessed retriever. I found with Shala, until she was a year old, there were so many other exciting and interesting things to investigate in the world. Doing 3-4 fetches was all we did before she would get distracted, but I made sure to do it every day. And then one day, she just wanted to only play ball. My last girl was similar, though she became ball obsessed by 6 months. So if you want a retriever, just keep doing it. Treat when he drops the ball for you and throw it again. Always stop before he wants to so he will be excited to play again next time.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I can't remember how old Teddy is - but if he is under a year, he may yet become an obsessed retriever. I found with Shala, until she was a year old, there were so many other exciting and interesting things to investigate in the world. Doing 3-4 fetches was all we did before she would get distracted, but I made sure to do it every day. And then one day, she just wanted to only play ball. My last girl was similar, though she became ball obsessed by 6 months. So if you want a retriever, just keep doing it. Treat when he drops the ball for you and throw it again. Always stop before he wants to so he will be excited to play again next time.
Shaka sounds like a smart and fun cookie.

Thanks for the advice. Teddy is 2 years 3 months! Although we adopted him in January.
I just don’t think he has the drive. Sometimes after he gets the ball he prefer to roll over for a belly rub!

I tried recently sitting on a bench so he got the idea that I don’t budge he has to bring the ball to me. Drop it and gets a treat. After a couple false starts he got it and did it properly 2 or 3 times then lost interest and wandered off nearby to explore and roll in mud.
I don’t mind that he’s not into fetch. I just find it amusing that he’s a retriever who isn’t that bothered about retrieving 🤣
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Our Penny will play fetch for a bit then just carry the item and tease us with it. She'll come up to us with it and do her friendly growl to show us what she has. And never mind when we come home... she goes crazy! She finds something to carry and prances around with it while speaking very loudly. When we try to take it, she flings her head in the opposite direction and does more friendly growling just out of our reach. I do believe it's a golden thing. Agnes
Wow snap. In the house Ted loves to carry dance past us with a stuff toy teasing us even better if he gets his back end scratched. He does the friendly growl thing too.
Shame Penny is all the way away in the USA. They could trott around together carrying stuff 😂
 

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Discussion Starter #7
My sweet Bella is a golden keepaway, not a golden retriever.

She has a strong mouthing instinct. Any time she greets you, she has to pick something up in her mouth. She will hold toys, towels, tennis balls, rocks and it seems to comfort her.

However, fetch is over after 2-3 throws. She just wants to keep her prize and trot around with it.

Oh Golden Keepaway....brilliant. I might have to start using that saying.
Bella looks very cute and very attached to her rock.
Ted is the same with greeting people, even delivery men with a stuffed toy.

Our previous dog was a half German shepherd half Spanish mongrel. He was a fetching machine, you had to have two balls on the go to keep up with him! And he was obsessed with carrying large, larger the better, rocks on the beach. It was so comical random strangers would film him.
 

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Yep. Scott is a Golden Keepaway....
We have to take 2 balls if we want to play fetch, so he has to drop one, to get the other.
However he is so funny when he teases us with his toys, and wants to play tug and Keepaway.
We accept he's a rubbish Retriever (old joke - has never retrieved gold) but he's still the best and most intelligent dog ever... :0)
 

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It is not unusual for retrievers to not have a strong instinct to retrieve. It has to be 'trained'! Most of us do this using a 15 foot of light rope lead, tied to his collar. We throw a toy or dummy (8 to 10 feet) let him run after it then using light pressure on the robe, encourage him to bring it to us. When he does retrieve, he gets tons of love and maybe a treat.

Thinking that the dog doesn't want to retrieve or playing other mind games is not necessary. One of his primary instincts is to please you! Show him what you want, reinforce it, and in time he will always please you...

After doing this for a time, every day for a few minutes for maybe 3-4 weeks...he will start doing it on his own!
 

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And quickly transition to the best reward of all, another retrieve.
YES. The most important part. And make that throw seem like the most important and fun and exciting thing in the world. Work him up when you have the ball. You ready? Ready? Gonna get it??? Okay... GO!!! And cheer and throw a party when he comes back with it, ask for a drop and if he won't, put the treat in front of his nose and get the drop. Then start the excitement all over again.
 
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Discussion Starter #14
YES. The most important part. And make that throw seem like the most important and fun and exciting thing in the world. Work him up when you have the ball. You ready? Ready? Gonna get it??? Okay... GO!!! And cheer and throw a party when he comes back with it, ask for a drop and if he won't, put the treat in front of his nose and get the drop. Then start the excitement all over again.
I have trained him as has been described, with excited praise and treats.

Teddy gets excited and sits (big improvement took training as he was jumping at us with all 80lbs of himself) while I am getting the ball and thrower out my back pack.
He will come back with it and drop for a treat. Without a command or treat he’ll keep on carrying.

But after 10 months I’ve just realised I don’t mind if he enjoys carrying it. He just seems to really love carrying the ball while he explores. It actually makes walks quite nice. As after the initial few throws that you can do as fetch he trots along with his ball exploring the world. A very happy carrying golden.

He is much better and enthusiastic at fetch with a bumper.
He loves to swim so he loves to swim out to fetch it and he comes back to drop by me after an initial victory lap as he realises I have to throw it for him to swim and fetch. I did train him to do that with the help of treats. But I don’t need them now, I just occasional use them to reinforce his good behaviour.

He just doesn’t have the same retrieving drive on land!

I’m proud of how far he’s come. When we adopted him he would resource guard his bumpers. Barking over them in a pounce posture and he wouldn’t let you pick it up. Would jump at you to get it! He wouldn’t drop balls whereas he will now when commanded. He won’t even take it from my hand until I say ‘take’ whereas before he would have tried.

But with training he now drops on command, doesn’t jump or pounce, sits and waits nicely for person to throw a bumper or ball.

There are quite a few goldens around my way. Actually never seen one with the immense laser focus on the ball as springer spaniels and collie’s. They are so focused on the game even to the exclusion of other dogs. No treats required. Ted ignores other dogs when playing water based fetch but on land he will abandon any interest in my throwing the ball to say hello nicely to another dog that comes up to him or walks by closely.

I’m quite happy with where Ted is at fetch wise. Was just nice hearing from other people whose Goldens are more Golden Carriers or Golden Keepaways 🤣
 
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