2 1/2 yr old lab quit fetching

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KyleandCharlie
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2 1/2 yr old lab quit fetching

Post by KyleandCharlie » Mon Mar 24, 2014 10:08 pm

My 2 1/2 yr old black lab mix has recently stopped fetching. He used to be pretty good and even loved fetching out of water. A couple weeks ago we were playing fetch and I quit praising him on fetches that he didn't bring the dummy all the way back to me and then over the past week he has quit fetching all together. At the dog park two weekends ago he would go halfway to the dummy then wonder off. It's really starting to aggravate me but I'm trying to keep that from showing cause I think he started noticing how frustrated I was. Now when I throw his dummy he just leans on me or lays down. He's not sick or nothing cause he has tons of energy and runs around until I call him but doesn't want to fetch any more.

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Re: 2 1/2 yr old lab quit fetching

Post by Nutmeg247 » Tue Mar 25, 2014 1:38 pm

KyleandCharlie wrote:My 2 1/2 yr old black lab mix has recently stopped fetching. He used to be pretty good and even loved fetching out of water. A couple weeks ago we were playing fetch and I quit praising him on fetches that he didn't bring the dummy all the way back to me and then over the past week he has quit fetching all together. At the dog park two weekends ago he would go halfway to the dummy then wonder off. It's really starting to aggravate me but I'm trying to keep that from showing cause I think he started noticing how frustrated I was. Now when I throw his dummy he just leans on me or lays down. He's not sick or nothing cause he has tons of energy and runs around until I call him but doesn't want to fetch any more.
I'm not a trainer, on my first owned hunting dog myself, and there are others here with far better input. Just to talk through what you're facing, in simple terms I think you've got a frustrated and stressed dog. When you quit praising him for partial retrieves, you may have raised criteria too quickly. In essence, he's like a kid who feels he can't do right and gives up. You also say that he may have noticed your frustration. So, he's now looking for shelter and comfort when faced with the stress of the dummy and possible retrieve where he knows his owner may get upset. This should be completely fixable. There are some more formal approaches to getting a solid retrieve, but to start with simple fetch, you could simply take a few weeks to focused on making holding the dummy fun and/or rewarding, and on lowering standards for the retrieve back down. For some reason I can't link to another recent thread, but there's one within the last few days showing a trainer playing fetch with an English cocker puppy that could be helpful.

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Re: 2 1/2 yr old lab quit fetching

Post by Sharon » Tue Mar 25, 2014 2:53 pm

Welcome to the forum. :)

No expert on retrieving , but do know some about 2 1/2 year olds. This is often the time period when a dog says " Muck you. I'm doing what I want." - like a teenager. This is why many folks force fetch their dogs . That way they have something they know to do when the dog says "No.", instead of feeling helpless.

http://www.gundogsupply.com/evan-graham ... fetch.html
Last edited by Sharon on Tue Mar 25, 2014 2:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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2 1/2 yr old lab quit fetching

Post by Bluesky2012 » Tue Mar 25, 2014 2:56 pm

He's just bored and tired of it most likely. Since he's not retrieving ducks or birds, it's just a game to him and he is bored of it. If you want a hunting dog, "playing fetch" especially at a dog park is likely to make a lot more problems than fix them. You shouldn't ever do many marked retrieves, especially not to the point of boredom if it's a dog you want to hunt. If your just looking to make a dog play fetch for fun, exercise, etc, just use praise. Sometimes stepping backwards some will entice the dog to come back with a ball. If your trying to get your dog to actually retrieve what you shoot, different remedies are out there (force fetch).
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KyleandCharlie
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2 1/2 yr old lab quit fetching

Post by KyleandCharlie » Tue Mar 25, 2014 2:59 pm

That makes total sense. I tried putting the dummy in front of his face and then sneaking a treat in his mouth when he sniffs it. Even rubbed the dummy down with a pupperoni to make it smell like it and that made him a hair more interested in it but not enough for progress. Should I open his mouth and place it in there for him and then give him a treat and/or praise? He didn't like that the one time I tried and it seems too forceful. And thank you for responding.

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Re: 2 1/2 yr old lab quit fetching

Post by EvanG » Tue Mar 25, 2014 3:11 pm

Sharon wrote:Welcome to the forum. :)

No expert on retrieving , but do know some about 2 1/2 year olds. This is often the time period when a dog says " Muck you. I'm doing what I want." - like a teenager. This is why many folks force fetch their dogs . That way they have something they know to do when the dog says "No.", instead of feeling helpless.

http://www.gundogsupply.com/evan-graham ... fetch.html
Or http://www.evan-graham.net . But before you go to that phase of training, what training have you done with this dog so far? I'm not talking about taking walks and so forth. I mean the mechanical stuff; formal obedience, force fetch, basic handling, etc. Even pure bred, nuts for birds retrievers should have a foundation of Basic training. Please be specific about the training that has been done.

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2 1/2 yr old lab quit fetching

Post by Bluesky2012 » Tue Mar 25, 2014 3:33 pm

KyleandCharlie wrote:He didn't like that the one time I tried and it seems too forceful.
Just wait till force fetch and see how much he likes that...

In all seriousness though training a dog to hunt isn't the uber sensitive petsmart puppy training classes. Retrievers have to go when sent, regardless of ice on the water or a mean fighting goose waiting for them. If I was you (not knowing what training you've done at this point), I'd stop everything, grab some live pigeons and get the dog birdy, while simultaneously begin a proven retriever program starting with formal obedience. Throwing a toy at a dog park will never make a duck dog. Start with those, read some posts on this website or duckhuntingchat.com or other forums and start from scratch.

If you're trying to make a duck dog, that or working with a professional is your best bet (a petsmart trainer isn't what I'm referring to). If you want to just make a fun house dog, just keep on. Encouragement and a check cord will fix a lot.
"it shot a many shell over the top of an old bird dog"

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Post by birddog1968 » Tue Mar 25, 2014 3:47 pm

If this is the same dog with heart worm there is probably your answer.
The second kick from a mule is of very little educational value - from Wing and Shot.

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Post by AzDoggin » Tue Mar 25, 2014 4:37 pm

birddog1968 wrote:If this is the same dog with heart worm there is probably your answer.

Ah...yup. Get the dog healthy, then back up and start a formal training program. The wheel has already been invented.

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2 1/2 yr old lab quit fetching

Post by KyleandCharlie » Tue Mar 25, 2014 5:02 pm

Thank y'all very much. I was heading in the totally wrong direction. Yes he's the one with heart worms but the fetching is the only thing that has changed about him. He's still energetic and loves swimming and running around the woods nonstop when I take him out.

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Post by birddog1968 » Tue Mar 25, 2014 5:14 pm

With heart worm you really shouldn't be pushing him or letting him over do it.
The second kick from a mule is of very little educational value - from Wing and Shot.

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KyleandCharlie
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2 1/2 yr old lab quit fetching

Post by KyleandCharlie » Tue Mar 25, 2014 5:16 pm

He really doesn't have that much training. He knows sit, lay, and come. And I'll just lay off the training till the worms are gone.

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Re: 2 1/2 yr old lab quit fetching

Post by Del Lolo » Tue Mar 25, 2014 6:13 pm

KyleandCharlie wrote:He really doesn't have that much training. He knows sit, lay, and come. And I'll just lay off the training till the worms are gone.
You need to get on a Proven - Modern - Sequential training program.
You have left a lot of holes that need to be filled.
Worms are not the problem -- poor training is the problem.

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Re: 2 1/2 yr old lab quit fetching

Post by Nutmeg247 » Wed Mar 26, 2014 1:45 pm

KyleandCharlie,

I just read in a related thread that the same dog is also gunshy? At very least I'd think about whether you may have been trying to do a lot of things too quickly, at least for your specific dog. You may want to think the training process issues thus far through (how the dog ended up gunshy, as well as got turned off from retrieving) and have a plan about how to not repeat those mistakes, before taking on a new training project in terms of either the gunshyness or restoring his retrieving.

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Re: 2 1/2 yr old lab quit fetching

Post by Sharon » Wed Mar 26, 2014 1:56 pm

KyleandCharlie wrote:He really doesn't have that much training. He knows sit, lay, and come. And I'll just lay off the training till the heart worms are gone.
Yes . That's what you should do.
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Re: 2 1/2 yr old lab quit fetching

Post by Swampbilly » Thu Mar 27, 2014 7:58 am

Kyle-
Heartworms will knock the snot right out of a dog.. Keep that in mind in terms of when pup "used to be pretty good", and when pup because disinterested. Also agree w/ Sharon on those teenage years.

Secondly-
Also enjoyed Nutmegs' assessment. Here's to hoping that when you stopped the praise that the timing of when you did praise for success was accurate.
Also hope you've not been tossing tons of meaningless marks over and over again to the same ole' same ole' place everyday.

You've several different possibilities here to sort through.
If it were me I'd start with waiting for pup tp recoup from the worms and start from there...Could be you may have a different dawg afterwards and may require you to set some more reasonable expectations from pup in the end depending on how bad the condition was.

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Re: 2 1/2 yr old lab quit fetching

Post by ezzy333 » Thu Mar 27, 2014 11:17 am

Del Lolo wrote:
KyleandCharlie wrote:He really doesn't have that much training. He knows sit, lay, and come. And I'll just lay off the training till the worms are gone.
You need to get on a Proven - Modern - Sequential training program.
You have left a lot of holes that need to be filled.
Worms are not the problem -- poor training is the problem.


I find it very difficult to diagnose a health problem over the internet and I kind of assume it would be as hard for anyone else. Maybe we should not always publish our opinions as fact.

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