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Old January 10th, 2007, 11:19 AM
shelleyb shelleyb is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 23
teaching to retrieve

How do we teach our golden retriever (6 months old next week) to retrieve? If we throw something (her favorite stuffy for example) she will run over to it and check it out, but 9/10 not bring it back or pick it up. And if she does pick it up she runs off with it. She will sometimes bring a stuffy but its to play tug of war and she does this primarily with my son (14) altho we have repeatedly told him no tug of war.
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Old January 10th, 2007, 11:37 AM
Odieandmaggiesd Odieandmaggiesd is offline
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Location: rockland
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try this: get a small PVC or ABS pipe...maybe one inch diameter with two end caps...drill holes in the tupe (very small). now you have your retreive toy...take the tube, put ur dogs fav treats in it and close the cap...have your dog smell it and open it up and feed the treats...once ur dog has that down, put the treats in and put the tube on the floor...when ur dog touches it with his nose, pick it up and feed the treats (and reward with praise and lovin)...once he has that down, wait till he picks up thetube, then take it and treats...after a while, toss it..not too far and when he brings it to you, open it up and give the treats...and start throwing further and further away...once your dog knwos what to do...use a command..like bringit or fetch or zip-zap...whatever works for you...after w while don't put treats in teh tube and just treat when he comes back....once he has it down pat...you can start with other toys or balls or whatever you like...

This was working great for me...till Odie and Maggie realised they could just crush the tube and break it to get the treats...mind you Maggie retreives very well...Odie will go get what I throw and pick it up, look at me with it, then drop it and come running...of course ur dog being a retriever it should go alot better :P
Staffies-the king of breeds-a work horse-a cuddly licking machine-found in the top ten breeds for kids by the southhampton U-so comitted to their people they are willing to do anything to please them...the only breed for me
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Old January 10th, 2007, 12:03 PM
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erykah1310 erykah1310 is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 5,595
I am working with Bailey too, trying to get him to retrieve things. He does the same thing, but we are having some good success rates with making sure the "game" is the funnest sounding, high energy for all, game!
I get "stupid" excited about the "fetch" process with him ( if i had neighbours they would prolly have me commited )
at 6 months your pup still has some what of a short attention span, and there are so many other things that are fun too... ( to them anyway) so make sure that the game of fetch is the funnest possible thing going on at the time.
Its working here, hope it helps you out too.
Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyways. ~John Wayne
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Old January 10th, 2007, 02:54 PM
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tenderfoot tenderfoot is offline
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It is also good to start with short distances and to have him on the leash to ensure success. Some dogs will grab the item and bolt to make it a game. Having him on the leash stops that poor choice from happening.
Love Them & Lead Them,
~Elizabeth & Doug
Dog Training the Way Nature Intended
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Old January 11th, 2007, 11:01 PM
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Spirit Spirit is offline
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Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 495
Originally Posted by shelleyb View Post
And if she does pick it up she runs off with it.
This game's called "Keep away". "Look what I have! Come and get it!"

Try throwing a toy, ball, whatever she's MOST likely to pick up and run with, about 5 feet away from you. As soon as she takes it in her mouth, call her name, shout "HERE PUPPY!", and run away so she chases YOU. Turn your back JUST to intice the chase, then quickly turn to face her and run backwards another few feet. Eventually, you want to turn this behavior into "fetch" (or whatever), like Odieandmaggiesd said (holy h*ll, tha'ts a complicated name lol).

This method works much better if your dog already knows to come when you call, and if you just run backwards (though some puppies are reluctant to chase you if you're still facing them).

Eventually she'll learn that if she brings the toy back to you, it will get thrown again and the "game" will continue. If she does not bring the toy to you, the game ends.

Always end "the game" on leaving your puppy wanting more. Start with maybe 3-5 throws, and work your way up as she gets the hang of it. The game is the reward so don't treat reward until your final throw.

Edit: I forgot to add that the leash idea is also a good one (use a long leash). When she runs and hits the end of it, she'll turn back to look at you and when she does, you can use it to entice her to chase you by running backwards a few steps.
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