Here in the last couple of weeks I have noticed that when we play fetch, Tal will stop sometimes and look at me, seemingly waiting for me to give him the signal to come. I either give him the come command and signal, or just squat down. Either way, he comes right on. Most of the time when he retrieves, he will come without being prompted. Not sure why he started this and not particularly concerned. But wondered if you guys have ever experienced anything like this with yours?
I don't recall Bess ever doing that -- retrieving was absolutely the most important thing in her life, easily trumping food (and Bess was an absolute glutton).
But for Puff, retrieving is more in the direction of her charitably assisting me with my hobby -- an activity that occasionally interferes with her own scientific studies of exploring nature, identifying scents, reading pee-mail messages, etc. And her vocations sometimes interfere with helping me with my retrieves. Sometimes, inexplicably, she stops right at a Training Dummy I've thrown or dropped and looks at me with ears perked and a quizzical look on her face as if to say, "Tell me again -- what is it you expect me to do now with this thing, 2 legs?"
So I think the retrieving urge varies enormously in Labs.
Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]