hello all, I recently posted my concerns about my yellow lab having no retrieve drive whatsoever. I have several friends that were saying to get rid of him because he should retrieve by instinct, IF he has any drive at all. So I had actually emailed a guy pictures of him. He is an older man who is a widower and just wants companionship. The problem is that I did understand that the dog is absolutely brilliant and really didn't want to get rid of him and find out that a year later he would retrieve an elephant, in peices if necessary. I must tell you that I started praying for God to give me wisdom to work with him and teach him because he seems to be very eager to please me, IF I can adequately convey my expectations to him.
I realized that it was likely that the former owners, Benelli is only five months now, would stop him and scold him for chewing on anything, he was loosing his puppy teeth and his mouth is sensitive, and there was no one that really spent time with him. So, it was like the Lord (don't think i'm crazy) just downloaded some stuff in me. You can call me what you want, but I believe that God answeres the simplest of prayers, and have NEVER been able to train a dog! First I cut out all affection and petting unless he does something that he is suppose to, even if it is as simple as just sitting down on command. Second, if he grabbed something that he was not suppose to chew, we would get excited with him and tell him to bring it to us. We will reward him and just put the item up (usually a nice shoe that belongs to my wife, lol).
I will save you the extensive details and just let you know the change. In less than one week he now comes out of the kennel and when he is shown no affection, he runs and grabs something for me to throw. He has been retrieving a duck wing from the freezer (uncured with meat and blood exposed) consistantly without chewing on it, he just brings it to me. This evening was what was so amazing to me. I was going to work with him just a few minutes before putting him to bed, and since I always use hand signals along with words, and will incorporate a whistle tomorrow, he would come to heel, hold, retrieve the wing, and bring it back to me by hand signal only. Understand we are in the house or the cul-da-sac in front of the house, but I thought it was an amazing change in such a short period of time.
I am glad that things are looking up. Most dogs respond better to hand signals/posture than they do "words." Remember to call the two folks whose numbers I gave you, they can help out by letting you know when training days are coming up. Also, google "NILIF" and make that a part of your dog's daily life.
HRCH Ellie Mae MH CGC
Justlabradors.com -- the best site for your Labrador needs.
Awesome story and great results!
I'm with you on using prayer for even the seemingly simplest of things...that often makes the greatest difference.