Hi am am new here, and looking for some information. I have a ten month old lab that is very large in stature. I am been working with him for field traning and am growing frustrated with his inhability to run fast. He seems extremely uncoordinated still. Is this common at all in larger dogs? Do they tend to mature later? It seems he doesn' t have a lot of muscle tone for his frame. Please help with any suggestions. Thanks very much!!
Is this leashed running, or are you strictly referring to field training and fetching? I may not be telling you anything you don't already know, but leashed running needs to wait until 2 years of age.
As for the coordination, I don't recall Jes having that problem at that age. After about 6 months, he really never changed minus getting taller and thicker.
The muscle tone that you think is missing, is this all over, or does it just seem like he has boney hips?
No this is just in the back yard throwing a dummy. He is not boney he just isn't muscular like an older lab. However, he is really tall and gangly. ???
I have a 10 month old lab, too. She's not uncoordinated, but she can certainly do some strange manuevers when she's retrieving, including actually rolling over the ball.
Most labs don't fill out until their second year, so perhaps what you are looking for will come in the next year. The other thing is that he sounds like he's a field lab ... perhaps you are comparing him to a bench lab. They are usually shorter and stockier, and they have a blocky head.
If you'd like, post some pictures. We love to see new furbabies!
I will work on getting some pictures of Windham. Yeah he is tall and lanky. I did run him a little bit when he was younger but not much, I hope this did not cause any problems. It almost seems like he has not figured out how to really sprint yet. I have never seen him really open it up. His hips seem good and it looks like he runs normal just with no speed. Does anyone have any ideas how to coax him into running faster. He basically jogs right now. :
Get him playing/chasing a border collie or some other dog that's fast. That's how Ender "turns it on" and WAY safer than jogging/running/biking with an underage lab.
My dog, Hunter is a large field lab also. He sounds similar to your dog. He is quite goofy and seems a bit uncoordinated. My other lab can run circles around him. When I toss the ball for him it seems like it takes forever to bring it back. I find myself saying "come on Hunter, come on Hunter" a lot! He's just not in a big hurry to do anything. He is pretty lazy. Even as a puppy he was pretty lazy. He has never been hyper at all. Hunter will be 1 yr in June.
On the other hand, my sister owns Hunter's littermate, a chocolate girl.
She is much smaller than Hunter and also seems more muscular. She is definitely more athletic and coordinated.
Is your dog lazy, too?
yeah he seems to be a little lazy. i can throw the dummy a couple times and then he wants to rest. Hopefully this will change as he grows older.
I doubt he is not running fast because he "can't" (most dogs can get up to a reasonable speed when the mood takes them), it sounds like he is lacking in retrieve drive more than anything. Some dogs have that drive, some don't. It depends on the individual.Again, I doubt this is laziness just lack of enthusiasm. If he is showing signs of boredom after a couple of retrieves, reduce the number of throws to just one or two a day. If retrieving switches from being something fun to being dull, he won't want to work for you. Retrieving ALWAYS has to be fun.yeah he seems to be a little lazy.* i can throw the dummy a couple times and then he wants to rest
Here is what I would do to build that drive and enthusiasm back up.
Stop all retrieve/field work for about two weeks. You can walk him but this means no balls, no dummies, no obedience work outs, nothing. He needs a break. After the two weeks with no training or retrieving he should be itching to go do some work. Start as you would with a puppy. Basic retrieves with no cover. Get him retrieving solidly on flat ground first. I wouldn't even start with the dummies. Get some tennis balls and let him chase them and generally have some fun. When retrieving has become fun again, THEN start the dummy work. Again, once or twice a day, simple retrieves on flat ground with TONS of praise. Never push him for more than a few retrieves at this stage. End the session on a positive note and hide the dummies away.
When you have him doing several retrieves on flat ground and you can SEE that drive and enthusiasm return, you can start working the dog over light cover. Tethering the dog up or holding him back before you send him for the retrieve in will also help build drive. Lacing the dummy up with some bird scent or wings is also a good idea. Even better would be to use real birds (but deffinately DON'T do this until the dog is retrieving dummies solidly)*
Rider never cared for retrieving on land much either....retrieve a few...done. Now...put him near water and he will retrieve until he drowns....maybe try a change in venue.
Dani, Rider & Rookie
SHR Watson's Safari Rider, JH, WC, CL1-R, RA, CGC, TDI
SHR Endeavor Put Me In Coach, RN, WC, CGC
Member Since 6/2003