Our pup is almost 12 weeks old. I love to walk him through the woods behind the house, and we have been looking for shed deer antlers for the last week or so. He loves to chew on them for a couple seconds after we find one, but he doesn't seem to want to fetch them when thrown. So I start doing some research and try to learn all I can. Everything says that you need to get him crazy about fetching, but at what age should a retriever be absolutely crazy about playing fetch? Ours will fetch a couple times and then he's not interested in it. I"ve got tennis balls, stuffed animals, training dummies, socks, we've tried it all, and it just doesn't seem all that interested in it. I've read not to burn him out and to stop while he's still wanting to play, but he should wanna go more than once or twice right?
At that age, not necessarily.
Our 8 month old is retrieve obsessive but that didn't appear until about 5 months of age. Prior to that, a couple of retrieves were all we could get out of her.
Our 4 month old is absolutely not yet interested in retrieving…we use a ball on a long line with her to get her moving otherwise she walks the yard all curious about everything but running and saves her butt tucking for the minute we enter the house! I throw that ball near her and then pull it back to me to get her to follow it and take it in her mouth….I pull the line all the way back and teach her to "give it" and then throw it away from us again. She'll run after it and bring it back maybe three or four times and then I'm throwing it near her and pulling it along the ground again to get her to re-engage. Once she has re-engaged, I put it away so that it always ends with her "giving it" to me and then let her do her exploring for a little while longer.
Don't' force it too much. He will eventually get interested even if he never really becomes a "retriever" in that sense. Plus, each of our older three have their own favorite thing to retrieve and it takes a while to determine exactly what that thing may be …one (the 8 month old) loves to retrieve balls; our 2 year old loves sticks, our 9 year old has NEVER liked to retrieve….but she loves to run with a rope in her mouth! Your pup will show you over time just what his "fun thing" is.
Our Yellow Baby Girl "Dream A Little Dream" born December 16 2014
Our Chocolate Girl "Kona of the Storm" born August 8 2014
Our Black Boy "Angus Demetrius" born April 26 2013
Our Yellow Girl "Calliope" born January 6, 2006
Our TriPawd "King" - Shelter Rescue born late fall 2004