hey i have a few questions that I wanted to ask you guys and see if you could help me.. instead of creating a new topic for each one.. i'll try putting them all here..
rusty has been having some 'dry tries' thats what i call when he squats down to go #2 but nothing happens.. he just stays there for a while just like if he were actually doing something.. and then comes in like nothing happens.. he doesnt do it ofter but it does happen from time to time.. ???
my boys seem to mess with their water bowl way to much.. i have to change it often and clean the bowl cause it keeps getting dirty.. little pieces of food and other things.. is there something i can do about it? i've seen my bro's dogs and they take care of their water.. is it just a puppy thing or what?
last question.. labradors are RETRIEVERS ha.. so when exactly does the retrieving part begin.. they are about 8 weeks old.. and still neither of them plays ball.. toby does pickup some of his toys and takes them to places..but rusty doesnt. i sincerely sometimes dont know how to play with rusty as odd as that sounds.. he sleeps a lot and it is very hard to get his attention.. toby on the other hand is what i expected of a dog.. runs around in circles.. chaces my hand.. etc etc.. is it just rusty's personality that he is THAT calm..? although when we see other dogs he really likes it and plays a lot.. :-\ i dont know..
thanks to all
the dry tries would concern me...could be constipation or it could be something else.
don't allow them to play in their water bowl.
They are 8 weeks. They will not be necessarily retrieving right away. IT TAKES TRAINING. You are going to have to train them separately so they don't completely just bond to each other and not you. They also have the attention span of a flea right now, so while they could be interested in the ball being thrown, a bee could fly by and take their focus right off of the ball.
Everyday you should be training with them. Basics. Sit, stay, come, etc. Separately and together. But I stress separately. My boy didn't really care for land retrieving at all until around 6 months and even then, he'd retrieve all day in the water but would get bored on land.
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
Not an expert...but based on my experience...
- When Rusty actually goes to the bathroom is it normal? It could be his food. My dogs bathroom habits vary according to what I give them to eat. On the days that it does happen does he go #2 at all? You might want to ask your vet.
- Depending on what my girls have been into...dirt, grass, etc. I will find it in their water bowl- that's normal, so I just keep changing the water. If they are actually dropping things into the water bowl when they are not drinking from it (just playing)- then you can teach them not to do that. You can teach "drop it" and when they drop it before it goes into the water give them a treat...if you see them drop in it- immediately take the object out of the water and give them a firm "NO!"
- As far as retrieving...some pick it up right away-others no so much. By yellow lab played ball from day one, Brigetta at 14 weeks...just stared at the ball when I threw it. I started rolling the ball across the lawn and in the house (start with a short distance)and she would go after it and of course I would go crazy praising her when she brought it back...before you knew it I was throwing the ball and she was going after it. Now, she doesn't bring it right back to me- it's more like she runs by me and I have to grab it from her (we're working on this)! Your dogs are young so I wouldn't play ball with them very long. I would also keep encouraging Rusty to play with you and Toby together and then have alone time with each one, I'm sure he'll come around. I've had dogs all my life (mixes and purebreds)...even the ones that were the same breed (labs and shelties) all had their own personalities and picked up on things differently. Good luck!
Teresa, mom to Brigetta and Prudence
as for retrieving--Mother Nature tells them to go get a moving object, and EAT it!!!! it is your trainng to bring out the genetic trait of wishing to cooperate with you that TEACHES retrieving in a reliable manner.
at this stage, they are not able to focus their eyes properly strainght ahead, anything tossed for them should be at about a 30-degree angle to the left or right, and just short tosses, 3- or 4, then stop--you always want to quit while they are wanting more!
you can also use things tied to a thin rope, so you can make it look 'alive' by tugging it. dogs, like people, have different energy levels, different intersts/skills at different ages.
the expectation that 2 pups will have the same abilities/desires at the same ages is what makes most people fail them BOTH miserably in training. you will need to work very hard on giving each one As An Individual what they need to get the most out of each stage of development, according to wherr each one is at any given time. remember, good trainers help the dog be successful at lkest 80% of the time...Great trainers aim for 90% or better! this means you may need to simplify for one, increas the challenge for the other...then, next week, things will reverse! good luck!
I almost always agree with QOTD and this is no exception.
Researchers of dog's basic instincts say that chasing, grabbing a fleeing object is in the reportoire -- none list "retrieving". So the bringing it back needs to be trained in and tacked on to the chase and grab part. (Apparently, some of the retrieving part may be due to the Lab's desire to please although with many, it seems to be an obsessive-compulsive fixation.)
Some Labs get this quickly.
My beloved Bess (BF, AKC bench line, 55 lbs., 1967-81) was slow in picking up the retrieving part -- I had to reward and train her on that -- BUT, ONCE she got that part she was insatiable. NO amount of retrieving was EVER too much for her desire.
Some do not.
My beloved Puff (YF, AKC field line, 63 lbs., dob: 8-'01) has had low drive to retrieve which scared me because I so much value what a number of retrieves can do for dissipaing a Lab's daily energy.
So before each meal we began with 3-4 retrieves. We used a toy tied to a 30 foot line. When Puff ran after it and got it (instinct), I pulled Puff attached to the toy back and exchanged a few kibbles of her meal for the toy.
Whenever she lost interest after N number of tries, I decreased the number.
Always keep it fun.
Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]
Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
I will give you an excerpt from my Foundation Games course outline that may help you...I teach this class to help puppy owners teach focus, drive and impulse control in their puppies before pursueing dog sports.
If your puppy is not very excited about retrieving, throw a toy across the room and hold on to his leash as you both run for it. Make sure to get to the toy first and tease him with “Too slow! I’ve got it!”, and dance around with the toy, enjoying your victory. After a few tries, you should see some increase in your dog’s speed and enthusiasm. When you do, race him to the toy, but let him get it. Tell him “Look at you!!!! You’ve got it!!! You’re too fast for me!” and let him strut around as you praise him admiringly.
Reward your dog with frequent tug games when he returns the toy to you…this will instill a strong hold. You can also put both your hands on the toy when it is in his mouth and praise him for pulling back with the toy and let him have it.
Low drive dogs can be taught drive. Focus on building excitement and enthusiasm. When he starts to relax, he will start to play, and when he starts to play, he will be more receptive to learning. Most puppies have a natural predatory instinct that is easily stimulated by moving objects. Try putting toys on a string and let him chase them! The key to instilling a strong chase instinct is to always, always move AWAY from your puppy. We always want to move in on our dogs…it is impossible to build chase instinct if you are moving into your dog! Play lots of chase and hide and seek games around the house. While out walking, suddenly take off running and encourage your puppy to chase you by saying his name and clapping your hands. Or try hiding behind and bush and calling him. When he finds you, praise him lavishly with “Aren’t you clever!”, “you found me, what a GOOD puppy!”. When he finds you, roll on the ground with him. Throw a toy for him and race him to it. Not only will you be building a strong prey drive, you will endear yourself to your puppy as his primary source of fun. Feed his ego with lots of praise and make him feel like a million bucks! ;D
Let your puppy win! In order to keep your puppy enthusiastic about playing and learning, it is important to let him win. No one likes to play with a bossy person who constantly monopolizes the toys and games, not even your puppy! When you throw a ball or toy, run with your dog and pretend you are trying to get it first. When he gets to it, clap your hands and tell him “Look at you! Aren’t you clever!” Let him strut around with the toy in his mouth and help build his confidence and trust. Continually taking the toy away from your puppy will cause several problems. First, it will cause him to shut down and he will learn to look for his fun elsewhere. Or he will invent the ‘Çatch me if you can game’. Furthermore, if you continue to take the toy away, he will never learn to hold on to it. This will come back to haunt you when it is time to teach retrieving as he will learn to drop it two feet in front of you.
Remember, it is his toy too! Otherwise, six months down the road, you may find yourself complaining that your dog doesn’t like to play. So let him play with it too. As he struts around the room savouring his victory, tell him how clever he is, but keep your hands off the toy for ten or fifteen seconds. If he drops the toy, kick it across the room and run after it, or snatch it up and turn your back on your puppy. Tell him “Ït’s mine, I’ve got it”. You can drag the toy on the floor and let your puppy chase and catch it and induce him to bring it back by clapping your hands and tapping your legs or your chest if you don’t mind your puppy jumping up on you. Throw the toy then hold your puppy back by the collar and rev him up before releasing him to the toy: “RRrrrrrrrrrr, do you want to get it?” and race him to the toy, sometimes taking it yourself, sometimes letting him have it.
Enjoy your puppies 8)
To err is human:To forgive, canine."
wow very interesting all your guys comments..
just to clear up some things.. they dont play in their water.. they just dirty it up while drinking.. but it really gets dirty.. i have to change the water everyday which defeats the purpose of buying a water bowl with a little tank attached to i wouldn't have to be refilling it everyday.. :
i will try all those things with the retrieving part.. i've tried some and they seem to be catching on..
on the dry tries part.. when he actually goes #2 that day it is comepletely normal.. i think it was because i was changing their food from the breeder's food to what i'm going to give them.. maybe that gave him an upset stomach this week during the 4 day transition.. but he hasn't done it again so i guess it was only constipation..
i have another question for you guys.. rusty (ha its always with him) has been getting the gooey eye thingy a lot more than toby.. i clean toby's eyes one a day like in the morning.. and they stay like this all day.. but with rusty i have to do it like 4 o 5 times a day.. is this normal? someone told me it was because he had a type of cold or something.. ???