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OK, so last January (2012), I adopted an 8-month old lab pup named Quincy. He was a handful, and his prior owners had done little with him. He was hyperactive, liked to jump and playbite, and simply couldn't be easily controlled.

For some reason, I took him in, lol.

After a year, I have had him through positive-reinforcement-only obedience classes, which did an outstanding job of helping me learn how to teach him new commands, but he is a lab.....and he's hard-headed....so something was still lacking. He would come...when convenient. He knew all the commands we trained, he just knew he could obey them on his time schedule, lol.

I tried check cords, cable runs, all sorts of things.

He's a black lab, and he learned how to slip his collar when my wife was handling him, and two times of that happening in the dark, and we realized this simply can't continue. It was a huge pain if he did it in the daylight, but was a catastrophe during non-daylight hours.

So, I went to Cabela's and got a TriTronics e-collar.

I read their literature and did some research on training with them, and he is doing AWESOME with it. We can now just let him out the back door to do his business, and he'll come back when called. He doesn't go in the neighbor's yard, and it's RARE that we have to actually use the collar. When we do, I usually use the "buzz" feature, which is a warning and he's not receiving anything from the collar other than an audible "buzz buzz buzz".

He is good around company when people come to the house, and his behavior is HUGELY improved.

NOW....where I'm at now is a dilemma I've always had with him. He gets bored with retrieving. 3 or 4 retrieves and I can tell he's looking for something else to do. A cousin of my dad's told me (she does obedience and agility dog training with other breeds) that him doing that means he feels he's figured out what to do with the retrieve and now wants to go on to something else.

I've started teaching him to find antlers, and he ROCKS at finding them, but his lack of retrieving interest makes teaching him to bring them to me much more difficult than him actually FINDING them.

Any suggestions on the retrieving?

I have not hunted waterfowl in YEARS, and there are no upland birds to be found around here anymore. At most, I could maybe use him to hunt rabbits a little here and there....his nose is GLUED to the ground whenever we're outside. He LOVES to sniff and search, which is why I thought he'd be good at finding antlers. He IS good at finding them...it's bringing them to me where he's not the best.

Any ideas?

Thanks!
 

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I am just a beginner, but the book I'm reading suggests that the desire has to be built up in the dog. The authors suggest holding the object outside the dogs readch and getting him all excited about it, then tossing it. Do it in a narrow place where he can only bring it back near you if needed. Only do it for a few throws a couple times a day. Do this for a while to see if it builds desire.

Again, I'm no expert, but this is the way this book teaches it.
 

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Is he a pure bread Lab..??

I would try getting some live pigeons, clip there flight feathers & see if this changes his attitude towards retrieving.......
 

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There are some good books on retireving. One game to play is baseball to get him to learn which retrieve to make as well as hand signals and the whistle.
Set him at the mound with dummies on the bases and you at home. Start with one dummie but work it up. Reinforce with hands and whistle and then extend the retrieves.
It's common to have the dog get bored so plan on 15-30 minute games.
 
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