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Discussion Starter #1
So Hobbes hasn't quite gotten the hang of retrieving yet. I thought it was innate? I'll show him something, he'll get excited about it and chase after it, but he'll either run off with it or he'll sniff at it and lose interest. Do you have to teach retrieval?
 

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Now Caue's Dad Too!
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Don't fret. Some pups have it from an early age and some don't get the hang of it for a long time and some just never get it. Step one is to teach a rock solid recall with lots of high value treats. The rest just kind of falls into place with properly timed rewards.
 

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Both of mine are kinda sucky retrievers. They will both go off running at a stick/ball thrown...as Bailey will pick it up and run around for a few minutes before dropping it and forgetting about it. If Burg happens to get to the object first, she will run to it, wiggle SOOOOO excited and then run back to us like "I got to it!!!!" but she won't touch it...

Most of the time I'm convinced my husband is just playing fetch with himself at the park...throw the stick...Bailey goes no where near it...walk to the stick...pick it up...throw it again...at least it keeps him occupied :)
 

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I think if you use a long lead and a high value treat to get him to come back it will help. And make it really fun with them. It will come. Bama was like that and then one day it was like a light bulb went off and now he is a balloholic.
 

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My previous goldens Ginny and Holly would always do a formal retrieve - at dog club, told to wait, chuck the item and they would fetch it back and present it properly, but throw the same item when we were over the fields and they just didn't want to know as they were always too busy chasing rabbits, eating rabbit poo and following scents that were only known to them.
 

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Fiona will run after the toy, pick it up, and then drop it half-way to me, continue walking over and sit expecting a treat. I keep telling her that she needs to bring the toy all the way to me. Sometimes she gets it, and sometimes she doesn't. She's a silly pup.
 

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It's possible to teach it step by step if you need to, but often if you start encouraging the individual pieces of it, it'll just click for the dog. It's very self-reinforcing once the whole process comes together.
 

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My puppy (who will be 11 months at the end of this week) has had to be taught to retrieve.

It's taken quite a long time, but I'm finally seeing some success and enthusiasm. We've done quick sessions (no more than 3 retrieves) at least a few times a week since he was about 4 months old.

Things are finally starting to click:
 

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I have two that don't believe in retrieving. Hailey just gives you that "you expect me to what?" look, then goes to sleep. Mitchell will chase it, catch it, then lie down and chew on it like Molly. No one told him he is supposed to bring it back especially in one piece!
I think someone forgot to tell them they are RETRIEVERS!!!!!!!!!!! They are supposed to bring it back!
 

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Tessie's kind of a natural--she was fetching the third day we had her.
But one good way is to practice inside, over short distances, preferably down a hallway or any other long narrow space so she'll come straight back to you.
You may have to break it down. Reward for moving toward the object. Reward for touching it. Reward for picking it up. Reward for bringing it toward you. Reward for handing it over (Tessie stlll has a little trouble with that one...)
It's really phenomenally fun, and a great way to cram a lot of exercise into a short time span.

best
allen
 

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I have one who is on the opposite side of the spectrum, and retrieves obsessively. I kind of wish she didnt know how! If you let her take a ball on a walk, she'll drop it strategically under your feet if you ignore her. She will pester in the house hours on end, and give new meaning to delivering something to hand. She just waits until she can see someone's palm, and then sneaks her yucky ball right in there. I have to take her ball away on a daily basis, and I had to teach her the phrase "we're going to STOP now" in self defense.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Most of the time I'm convinced my husband is just playing fetch with himself at the park...throw the stick...Bailey goes no where near it...walk to the stick...pick it up...throw it again...at least it keeps him occupied :)
ROFL! This is a perfect description of what usually happens with me and Hobbes, except that he will actually go after the ball/stick, he'll just leave it there or walk away with it. Thanks for the tips though everyone, I'll try the long lead idea and the indoor idea. Both make sense!
 

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I have one who is on the opposite side of the spectrum, and retrieves obsessively. I kind of wish she didnt know how! If you let her take a ball on a walk, she'll drop it strategically under your feet if you ignore her. She will pester in the house hours on end, and give new meaning to delivering something to hand. She just waits until she can see someone's palm, and then sneaks her yucky ball right in there. I have to take her ball away on a daily basis, and I had to teach her the phrase "we're going to STOP now" in self defense.
Oh boy do I know this behavior. We had to ban tennis balls indoors. Fortunately, nothing else triggered the same level of obsession, so as long as the tennis balls were kept in their drawer, we had sanity indoors.
 

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My previous goldens Ginny and Holly would always do a formal retrieve - at dog club, told to wait, chuck the item and they would fetch it back and present it properly, but throw the same item when we were over the fields and they just didn't want to know as they were always too busy chasing rabbits, eating rabbit poo and following scents that were only known to them.
Exactly like Willow. She loves, loves, loves to retrieve the dumbell in class but in the fields rolling in smelly stuff is more fun!
 
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