I have a 9 month old male lab. He has automatically fetched things since we brought him home at 8 weeks. However, he always looses interest quickly - maybe after 3 or 4 fetches, maybe 7 or 8. Just doesn't love it like other dogs we see. Tried giving rewards etc etc but his attention just drifts. Would like to see him fetch more for the exercise when we can't take him for a long walk.
Be interested to hear other people's experience and advice.
Thanks in advance !
Our 2 isn't very motivated either. Couple of fetches and that's it. In our case though, we got two puppies at the same time, so they keep each other busy. I suspect that's also the reason why they're less interested.Originally Posted by unclearthur
We've started seperating them for about 10-15 minutes a day to make them less dependant on each other, and we play with them separately at that stage. That seems to be helping a lot.
My trainer once told me some dogs only have a couple of good retrieves in them so dont overdo it or force it.
Milly is 11 months old and her retrieve drive is minimal also. After about 5 she's over it and wants to do something else.
Get a soccer ball out though and kick it around and that's a whole different ball game. (no pun intended ) She is SOCCER mad and that's how she gets her exercise at the moment.
You can often build retrieve drive by limiting the amount you do for a while. Do one retrieve and then stop interacting with your pup. Repeat this a few times a day. Always leave the pup wanting more. A week or so of retrieves witha very special ball, bumper, etc.. and then removing the toy will increase desire. Gradually start doing 2 at a time then 3... Learn to read your dog and always try to stop before the very first sign of lack of interest. most pups want what they can't have.
The other option is to do a trained "force fetch" and this often increases the desire to retrieve.
Not all retrievers are wild bout retrieving, I've heard lots of people on this site post about a lack of "drive" in their dog. Which is fine, just means you have to think creatively about other exercise options.
I found that Baloo's drive built up slowly over time. He "discovered" that he could fetch around 7-8 months, but would do it sporadically. One day he'd be super into it and go go go, other days he wouldn't even do one good one. Most of the time he was like your pup, a few retrieves and then call it quits.
Now he'll go as long as I let him, and has TONS of drive. I pretty much just left it, has resigned myself to him not being a big "retriever", but he slowly became better and better and now he LOVES it.
Baloo - 5 year old black lab
Peanut - 7 year old minpin
Monster - 3-ish year old frenchie/jack, rescue
Labs differ in their drives to fetch.
Bess was a retrieving demon, 30 mph/48 kph out to get it and 30 mph/48 kph back to return it.
Puff has never been that interested -- which scared me because it's such a good way of giving her more excerise than me.
So we practiced retrieving before meals when she'd be hungriest (she's not very food motivated, either, at least not like Bess).
I kept the # of trials low, so they'd be fun and exchanged some of the kibble for her meal for the Training Dummy. Gradually we were able to build up her interest and increase the number of retrieves.
Now, at age 7, she retrieves adequately although never with the fierce dedication that Bess had.
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 have no fetching advice to add - just wanted to tell you that althought I know your screen name is uncle arthur - - - -
I read it as unclear thur. I must need a nap.
Originally Posted by BigBrownDog
Our 2yo lab can't get enough retrieving. And gives 200% when running for the toy and back.
My parent's 3yo golden....maybe 1 or 2 retreives, if at all. And won't catch it either. He waits for it to hit the ground, then picks it up and walks back.