I've got a female chocolate lab I received as a gift when she was 8 weeks old. She's now 8 months and currently recuperating from her spaying. I'm a novice dog owner/trainer so I'd like to list what she can do and what she can't do yet and also get advice on things I should be teaching her that I'm not aware of.
Things she can do well:
Sit on command including when I'm holding food
Does not jump on people to greet them
Does not pull on leash when on walks
Does not bite or mouth people
Does not chew things she is not supposed to chew
Things that need improvement
Coming when called- This works out to about 10-20 feet if nothing more interesting is happening. Further than that forget it. It's a shame too because I keep her on a leash all the time due to this and I live in a rural area.
Playing fetch She's great at the first part, the bringing it back is the problem. She turns the game of fetch into her most favorite game which is keep away. If you ignore her with the tennis ball she'll come closer and closer to the point of touching you with the ball until you reach for it then she bolts and begins again.
Heel I have no clue how to teach this. She doesn't pull on her leash but she'll want to walk in front of me at the onset of a walk. After stopping and putting her into position beside me and making her sit and stay for a 10 count then taking a few more steps and repeating once or twice she gets into a rhythm and stays beside me. I'd love to just say heel and have it happen as I don't want to step on her little chocolate body.
This isn't a hunting dog so I don't need to get that technical unless that's something the dog really likes then I'm game. My main goal is a well behaved happy dog that is also pleasant to be around. I'd love help with the issues I mentioned and also any advice on anything I may have missed.
Sounds like you are doing an awesome job so far!
Well, our little guy does the SAME thing with fetch. He is notorious for wanting to play keep away instead of retrieve. It helps when I have treats handy, then click and reward when he 'gives' the ball. Definitely helps. I try to alternate between having treats and just using praise to teach fetch. Hopefully it's something they grow out of?????