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Discussion Starter #1
a thread by general v, got me thinking about this, and i didnt want to post this question there, and make that thread all about me.
so my question is, how do i get him to retrieve? he will chase a ball, and sometimes (when he feels like it) bring it back. mostly it turns into a game of you cant catch me, and i chase him around the back yard.
he is 11 weeks today, and he is such a smart puppy! he has sit, and down, in the bag, we are working on stay and come. he will come if i have treats, but i think thats pretty good for a baby.
but how do i get him to fetch?
our other dog (border collie/ golden mix) has very minor interest in retrieving, she will chase a frizbie, and bring it back a few times but she would rather heard the kids (or our cats), and keep the squirrels out of the yard ,or chase the birds away!
 

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ok couple things... dont expect to much....
to teach a retrieve first never yell or scold your puppy for bringing you something no matter what it is... this is the mistake that most folks make... if it your dirty underwear your sock whatever... you need to praise praise praise... anytime your puppy brings you something you praise...

never chase your puppy for a game of keep away.... that behavior will continue forever and for a puppy its cute and fun.. it won't be when they are an adult with something dangerous so no keep away... my dogs know that I won't play that game so its a non issue at our house.. if you think your puppy is going to do that outside... then put a long line on him/her so you can reel him in... I tend to use a long line alot and let them drag it behind them so I can step on it if necessary.....

start with your retrieve in a small enclosed area... not outside... you might want to find a toy that you only play with for the retrieve... they sell small puppy bumpers ... eventually once your dog understands the game you can move to other things... but to start find one highly motivating toy....

go into the room... often a hallway with doors closed around it work great cause its narrow and there is no place to go that is not back to you sit on the floor and get your puppy all excited about the toy and toss the toy... a couple feet .... then send puppy to go and get it which he will.... then look down or slightly away from the puppy (looking straight on will discourage pup from bringing it back) so look slightly away and get all excited and call puppy back to you.... if puppy doesn't come back get the leash do the same thing but gently pull puppy back to you telling him how wonderful he is the whole time.... you can give a small treat if you want when you take the toy and do it again.... the puppy will learn that bringing the toy back gets the game started all over again....

do this for a while... when he consistently brings it back you can lengthen the distance... or take off the leash and work from there... but that is the start....

once the pup understands the game... and is consistent... then the game continues as long as he brings it back... as soon as he doesn't bring it back the game is over .....

i hope this helps...
s
 

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it's too bad your other dog doesn't also play fetch. that was how Pumba caught on was when we would go out with a friends dog and she would watch the game of fetch and she caught on quick.
 

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Kate
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ok couple things... dont expect to much....
to teach a retrieve first never yell or scold your puppy for bringing you something no matter what it is... this is the mistake that most folks make... if it your dirty underwear your sock whatever... you need to praise praise praise... anytime your puppy brings you something you praise...

never chase your puppy for a game of keep away.... that behavior will continue forever and for a puppy its cute and fun.. it won't be when they are an adult with something dangerous so no keep away... my dogs know that I won't play that game so its a non issue at our house.. if you think your puppy is going to do that outside... then put a long line on him/her so you can reel him in... I tend to use a long line alot and let them drag it behind them so I can step on it if necessary.....

start with your retrieve in a small enclosed area... not outside... you might want to find a toy that you only play with for the retrieve... they sell small puppy bumpers ... eventually once your dog understands the game you can move to other things... but to start find one highly motivating toy....

go into the room... often a hallway with doors closed around it work great cause its narrow and there is no place to go that is not back to you sit on the floor and get your puppy all excited about the toy and toss the toy... a couple feet .... then send puppy to go and get it which he will.... then look down or slightly away from the puppy (looking straight on will discourage pup from bringing it back) so look slightly away and get all excited and call puppy back to you.... if puppy doesn't come back get the leash do the same thing but gently pull puppy back to you telling him how wonderful he is the whole time.... you can give a small treat if you want when you take the toy and do it again.... the puppy will learn that bringing the toy back gets the game started all over again....

do this for a while... when he consistently brings it back you can lengthen the distance... or take off the leash and work from there... but that is the start....

once the pup understands the game... and is consistent... then the game continues as long as he brings it back... as soon as he doesn't bring it back the game is over .....

i hope this helps...
s
The thanks button wasn't enough... I totally second this. :)

The only thing I would add is that when you are on your feet and standing tall, your puppy may be more inclined to look at you and go "AHA Come get me!!!!"

Make yourself REALLY inviting and FUN to come back to.

I started retrieve games with my guy when he was 8 weeks old.

1. I would toss a toy (cat toys were awesome for puppy mouths + puppies are obsessed with the crinkle balls and feather balls).

I would toss this toy down a hall where it was a straight path to the tossed toy and straight path back to me.

2. While I tossed the toy, Jacks was held at my side so he had to watch the toy go flying and land. Then I would send him with a "go get it".

3. As soon as he gets to the toy, I'm dropping with a loud THUD to the floor and getting down to his level. Even dropping my head down so he could eat my hair when he got back. This imitates the "play bow" behavior and at least with Jacks it had him galloping back as fast as his little puppy feet could carry him.

As soon as I was ready to take the toy, I would tell him "give" and give him a treat from my pocket in trade. The important thing is not grabbing the object right away. You want to build your dog's desire to come right back to you + make coming back to you the most awesome thing ever.

^^^ Over time, this turned into him returning to me and sitting with the toy before I asked for the give and trade the toy for a treat.

Meaning we got more formal with the retrieves over the next few months. At the beginning you are building your dog's desire to retrieve and return to hand, so you make it as fun as possible.

Ideally, you want your dog's retrieves to be SOLID and completely reliable before you start adding distractions and multiple retrieves. Or going out to other places to play.

If you are doing retrieves in class or public places before your dog is completely solid - keep the distances short and have a leash on your dog. You do not want him learning bad habits.

Never ask for a come or a retrieve if you are in doubt of your puppy coming back to you or bringing the object back. Once they pick up bad habits or learn that it's more fun to be chased by you or to go off somewhere to shred the toy, it's a pain fixing that.
 

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Nancy
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I started teaching Hank to retrieve when he was only around 8 weeks old. I'd roll a ball across the floor while he was in my lap then I'd say "go get it!!". After he picked it up I'd slap my thigh while saying "bring it!!!". When he brought it back he got a high-value treat. He caught on very quickly.
 

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Wyatt Earp
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Wyatt just got it. I didn't have to teach him at all. He is a velcro dog but loves balls so anytime I threw it he would go after it and come back to me. Praise praise and more praise.
However my Cody never would bring anything back..... some retrievers don't retrieve no matter how much training you put in it.......
 

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Discussion Starter #7
thank you thank you thank you!!!!!!!!!!
this is all awesome information. from this instant on, no more keep away! I hated the game anyways!!!
i dont scold him for not bringing anything back, the only thing we do if he is chewing socks, or laundry that i just folded, is tell him "drop" in a firm, but not loud voice. my julie is awesome at drop, she will drop anything if told, and thats how we taught her.

im going to have my husband go and get a puppy bumper so we can learn retrieve! im so happy i found this forum. you all are awesome!
thank you thank you thank you!!
 

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thank you thank you thank you!!!!!!!!!!
this is all awesome information. from this instant on, no more keep away! I hated the game anyways!!!
i dont scold him for not bringing anything back, the only thing we do if he is chewing socks, or laundry that i just folded, is tell him "drop" in a firm, but not loud voice. my julie is awesome at drop, she will drop anything if told, and thats how we taught her.

im going to have my husband go and get a puppy bumper so we can learn retrieve! im so happy i found this forum. you all are awesome!
thank you thank you thank you!!
If you go to him and he is chewing it then a firm drop it is great.... but if he brings it to you then its praise praise praise.... we always laugh cause our dogs bring us laundry all the time... and we just thank them for catching it before it escaped and what a good dog they are for catching the escaping laundry.... its a stupid joke but they are very proud of themselves... I am glad this helped.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
he usually is diving into the laundry pile and eating socks and undies, thats when he gets a firm drop! not if he is just being silly and bringing me stuff!
 

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so i started with the retrieving in a hall way, and it totally worked!! he had so much fun with go get it and come back! we must have played for 45 min!!! lots of praise and love, when ever he came back, and when julie got in the game it was even more fun!
thanks again!
 

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so i started with the retrieving in a hall way, and it totally worked!! he had so much fun with go get it and come back! we must have played for 45 min!!! lots of praise and love, when ever he came back, and when julie got in the game it was even more fun!
thanks again!
thanks for hte update... now keep it like this until he totally has it... then maybe move him to a living room or another enclosed area .... and then finally outside...

and remember once you are SURE he understands the game... then if he doesn't bring it back the game is over ... you aren't mad and he doesn't get scolded but you go and get the toy and put it away.... you can try again in a little while... he will learn quickly that if he wants to keep playing he needs to bring it back....

then by april/may you should be able to move it outside... and put a long line on him so that if he doesn't come back you can reel him in.... and thank him for the toy but the game is over....

good luck
if you need help let me know...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
what awesome advice!
i started the retreive in the only hallway i have in my house (near the front door). and it worked like a charm! we then moved to the living room going out towards the dining room, and he did it like a pro! today we played retrieve in our fenced in back yard and he was awesome! my other dog got into the game, that was cool since she never was very interested in that game before.
i seriously beleive i have a genius dog!!!
he now can add come, and retrieve to his resume!

my vet recommended a dog trainer in our area that does agility training, i know he is too young right now, but i think this might be something he could do!

he is just the best dog ive ever had, besides julie that is!
 

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my vet recommended a dog trainer in our area that does agility training, i know he is too young right now, but i think this might be something he could do!

he is just the best dog ive ever had, besides julie that is!
Great news remember to take it slow.... but it sounds like he understands the game...

as far as agility I start my puppies very young.... they are not allowed to jump or do any obstacle where they could fall a distance but I do allow them to start learning the obstacles like totter boards or the table at a low height... they go through tunnels and do the jumps set at 2 inches so they don't have to jump but rather just learn where their feet are.... they learn to touch contacts and go through the chute... as long as they aren't jumping you are fine... Talk to the agility instructor and see how she adjusts her class for young pups and then make a decision
 

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I've been working with Tucker on retrieving also. What I've found is that as he gets older, he gets more interested and wants to play for a longer time. Try to stop playing before your puppy gets bored...I used to roll the ball just about 3-4 feet in front of him when he was little. If he picked it up, I'd get all excited and he'd come back to see what was going on. As soon as he gave me the ball, I popped a treat into his mouth. The trick for Tucker was surprising him with the treat the first time he brought the ball to me. If he saw or smelled them before I rolled the ball, he'd never leave my side! LOL. :doh:

Lately I've been working with him on "give it" by grabbing what's in his mouth and waiting him out without tugging. When he starts to release it, I quickly say "give it" and "YES" when it's in my hand. He's starting to understand "give it" but it's slow. If anyone has other ideas on how to teach that, I'd like to hear them.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
we have been working on give it, but i call it drop it. just cuz thats what our other dog responds to. he seems to get it, some times, but he is a baby, so when he does it right away i act super happy, but if he doesn't thats ok i just wait till he lets go, then i am super excitet!, (he usually drops it right on command), he is so smart!
ive never had such a quick learner for a dog. i know when we were reading up on breeds, they said goldens are very easily trained. but come on! he is so good!
hey any tips on how to get him to shake? our other dog came trained (we got her when she was 4) and she knows how to do ti. so when we are working, i have her right along side of him, and she goes thrw the commands with him. but when im trying to get him to shake, julie keeps "punching" me! she is missing her front leg so her shaking is pretty forceful! and that prompts some face wrestling between the 2 dogs. i run a pretty lax doggie school! play time is always!
 

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Great news remember to take it slow.... but it sounds like he understands the game...
no worries! i am only going as long as he feels like it! once he gets distracted or bored the games over. usually its because my julie wants to wrestle with him. and that is way more fun!
 
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