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So I am of the idea that unlimited retrieve games with my new pup are not so good if I have plans to train him as a hunter. The idea being that if he gets "bored" and sloppy with the fun retrieves it makes the reinforcement of proper retrieving during formal training that much harder. Makes sense to me. Also avoiding tug-of-war games to avoid moth problems etc... is part of the plan.

But, what CAN I play with the little monster? WE do a little roughhousing and he chases the kids around (they are under orders to NOT chase him so he doesn't think it's fun to run from me). But he's clearly in need of some other things to occupy himself (besides eating every rock in the yard followed with wood chasers).

Anyone have any ideas? Things to burn off energy when not formally training and won't lead to bad habits a field dog needs trained out of him later.

Thanks for the help.
Steve
 

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They get it
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Teach some tricks which could include some basic obedience. I taught my boys, sit, down, walk at both sides, and twirl both directions. I even did some puppy agility stuff. Walk through a long box with both ends open (tunnel), walk and a flat board sometimes with a real low stick under it so it was like a baby teeter totter. Walk through water puddles. I would say just have a lot of fun with him and let him be a puppy. You are totally correct not to overdo the retrieving so as not to make them bored.

Oh, and welcome to the forum!
 

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2 goldens and a BMD
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What I'm currently learning is how important obedience is for filed work. So starting obedience training is a good thing.

When I read your post I immediately thought of a video I had seen on doing puppy retrieves, but now I can't find it.

For my guy, bringing things back wasn't natural, so we've had to work at it. I've been working the retrieve with him since he was 3 months old with things like paint rollers and toys and never doing more than 3 repetitions.
 

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We have a professional field trainer new to the forum. I'll send this question his way - I bet he can help you.
 

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Welcome to the forum!!! "Sound Beginnings...Retriever Training" with Jackie Mertens. Great DVD.
 

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I don't do field trial work with Bogart but we do a little Bumper work for fun since I don't really have a clue so maybe disregard on what I say.
Bogart is 4 years old now, one of his favorate games is tugging, he gets really fired up for it and puts all effort into it. I can start the game and at the same time finish it with telling him to drop it in an instant. He has a very soft mouth and picks up everything around the house that I tell him to ever so gently. He would be a great service dog since he picks up anything that accidently falls to the ground when I ask him to. He also takes food/treats very gently out of my hands.
Soooo I don't know how bad tugging is but it's an awesome motivater for obedience and agility or what ever. He does know drop it since he was a pup you need controll with the tugging game.
All the best,
 

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Grumpy Old Man
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Sound Beginnings With Jackie Mertens is a great puppy video.

The Smartwork Puppy DVD by Evan Graham is also very good.


When I start a puppy I try to make a game out of learning the basics of obedience. (Here, sit, stay and kennel up)
 
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