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I agree with all the others' comments.

It also sounds to me that your Muddy needs more exercise. As for lying at or on your feet, that's somethng many dogs do and my Labs always have done -- I think foot odor is their equivalent to our Chanel #5

A leashed walk is good exercise for an owner but rarely for a Lab. The generally accepted rule of thumb for amount of vigorous daily exercise (running off-leash, swimming, retrieving, etc.) is 5 minutes per month of Lab puppy age up to 12 months. You do need to monitor that by your puppy's behavior, though, rather than just watching the clock. E.g., my Puff seemed "hyper" or "wired" so I gave her 2 daily doses of that, about 8-12 hours between each dose. She's now 8 years old and gets by fine with a 2 mile walk early every morning with multiple off-leash retrieves. Takes about 40 minutes.

For teaching retrieving, I'll copy/paste below a post I've frequently made.

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Many people assume that a Lab should retrieve automatically, without training.

While SOME Labs do, probably the majority need some training to retrieve.

Chasing after a moving object is native and instinctual for almost all dogs but the bringing it back to someone and giving it up is not, so that part of retrievi ng usually needs training.

However, for many Labs, once they learn to retrieve, it's often the thing they most enjoy in life and they often have an endurance for fetching far greater than that of the arm of the person throwing the object.

That's not bad because most Labs need a lot of daily vigorous exercise to be docile and civil. "Fetch" is a wonderful way of meeting most of those needs.

However, a few Labs become too obsessed with retrieving and need to have limits imposed.

And a very few get EIC (Exercise Induced Collapse) and become weak and shaky; this is a genetic fault of a few Labs and was investigated by a consortium of US & Canadian Vet colleges. The Labrador Retriever Club's website has a section on this (behavior, symptoms, recommended treatment) if you're interested.

Teaching to retrieve --

For a puppy, if you have a blind hallway, you can start by rolling a ball or toy down the hall toward the blind end. The pup will run after it and has no choice but to come back to you. At that time, praise, and exchange a treat or a bit of kibble for the ball/toy along with more praise. (It's helpful to pre-measure your pup's next meal and use some of that kibble for treats. That's a help in not over-feeding.)

Repeat 2-3 times. ALWAYS QUIT WHILE IT'S STILL FUN AND INTERESTING TO YOUR PUP/DOG.

I didn't have a blind hallway and we used a 25 foot/8 m. kite string tied to a rubber toy dumbbell.

We went out in the front yard and I'd throw it in first one direction, holding on to the bitter end (i.e., the non-toy end) of the line. Puff went after it and when she picked up the toy, I reeled back both Puff and the toy she was holding, praised her, and gave a treat in exchange for the toy. You might also say, "__(name)__, Give!" at the time you're offering the treat and getting the toy delivered to your hand. Then you'll be teaching another VERY useful command: ("Give!").

I threw it in a different direction next time. Repeated as above.

You do need to vary the directions you throw it and the locations you use because young dogs can easily (too easily) become site-specific in their learning.

E.g., a woman 5-6 years ago on JL complained that her Lab would retrieve when she sat in a particular chair in her living room and threw a toy from there but would not retrieve any place else. When you vary the locations and directions it helps them easily learn to generalize.

ALWAYS KEEP THE RETRIEVING FUN, NEVER WORK.

If your pup's enthusiasm starts lagging after 5 trials, drop to 3 or 4 the next time you try it. If it lags after 3 trials, drop to one for awhile until the interest and enthusiasm builds up.

If you train just before normal feeding time, your pup's motivation for food will be higher and pieces of kibble exchanged for the toy will have greater reward effect.

As your pup learns to retrieve and enjoys it, you can gradually increase the # of trials.

When you switch from fetching a toy to a training dummy, I prefer the 2" x 12" Lucky Dog (brand) vinyl training dummies. I've found them cheapest at gundogsupply.com's website -- a little less than $4 @.


 
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