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Training a dog

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Nwcid, May 2, 2014.

  1. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    Most of the training I have been doing has been going well with our new dog. She is about 11 months old now and is half lab half pointer. There is never a calm moment around here.

    She loves her toys, especially balls (tennis). Around the house she can "find" her ball, even if it has been a while since she has played with it. The problem I have been running into lately and not sure how to fix is when we play ball outside. I have one of the ball throwers so I can get it all the way down the driveway or out into the field. If she sees the ball bounce or land she can easily find it. If it lands and she does not see it she can not seem to find it.

    First thing she does is just runs crazy "looking" for it. Obviously she goes to the places it normally lands which is good. The problem is she will run right next to the ball, or sometimes even over it trying to find it. This morning she ran within 1 foot of it twice and stepped on it once. I thought it might have been a color issue (I know dogs are color blind) but I have a bright orange one and a green one and it does not make a difference.

    She generally does well with me giving her "no" commands as she is going away and "good girl" as she gets closer.

    Any thoughts?

    Of course had to add a pic from last weekend,

    DSC_0029.jpg
     
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  2. Swedish K

    Swedish K SW Washington Moderator Staff Member

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    Are you going to do duck or pheasant with her? If so you might try hitting sportsman's, cabella's or similar and picking up some duck or pheasant scent spray. If she has a half way decent nose she will find it much quicker and the bonus is if you train her for hunting it will help train her what she is trying to find when the bird drops.
    My lab had trouble finding tennis balls thrown unless he was looking the right direction at the time - he does great with a frisbee though. My old rottie (RIP) would watch the ball and while the lab was running all over trying to find the ball she would slowly walk over and grab the ball and keep it - sorry you weren't quick enough you loose.
     
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  3. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    Nope, no plans on hunting her.

    Basically it reminds me of a kid that can't find his toy, but is complaining about his foot hurting. The reason his foot hurt is he is standing on the toy........... I do realize that labs stay "puppies" for a long time.
     
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  4. DieselScout

    DieselScout S Clackamas County Well-Known Member

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    If you hide it in the house can/does she "find" it? Personally I would start a new hide and seek game with her ball, trainer her on a different command, like "find it". I'd start in door with short distances, then make the distances longer. Once she had it down I'd move her outside, again increasing the distance.
     
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  5. Swedish K

    Swedish K SW Washington Moderator Staff Member

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    When the wife asked how much longer we could expect our now 5 year old lunkhead lab to continue to be a pup the vet said - oh not much longer - anywhere between 1 and 8 more years.
     
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  6. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    I haven't tried that exactly. But just a bit ago we were outside. I threw the ball a few times and went back to working on my project. About 10 min later I told her to "find her ball" and she ran right back to where it was and got it. She has been doing that pretty much all along, she fetched before she learned how to sit.....
     
  7. the4thshake

    the4thshake Portland Active Member

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    Your dog is doing too much thinking and not enough sniffing. She remembers where the ball was left and where it normally lands.

    Start playing some hide and seek with her ball. Relocate it from where she last left it and tell her to find it. Place it somewhere out of plain sight but fairly close. As she gets better at the game continue to hide it in more challenging locations. Drag it along and leave a "trail" to the hiding location. Playing this game in the dark also encourages them to use their nose.

    If she seems totally confused and has lost focus call her back. Have her sit at your side for a moment and send her back after the ball when she has regained her focus.

    Dogs will pick up on your energy and enthusiasm. Be positive and give copious amounts of praise when she does things correctly.
     
  8. BaggerRyder

    BaggerRyder The Couv Active Member

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    Play hide and seek in the house with treats, I use Beggin Strips. I make my lab sit and stay, hide pieces of treats around the house where she can see them, and also where she cannot, and then I tell her to find them. As she's running around I'll give her voice commands and hand signals. "Good girl", "no" "yep" and so on. I make her sit and and when she looks at me I'll point at where the treat is. She typically finds them no probelm. This has conditioned her to do the same thing with her ball. She used to run around like a mad man looking for that ball if she lost the bounce, but now she listens and will look at my hand signals and very methodically will find it. I wish I would have trained her to be a bird dog cuz she would have been a very good retriever.
     
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  9. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    At the dog park we went to years ago,there would be 5 dogs running over the ball,none finding it. It seemed that there was too much scent of the ball to find the actual ball.
    Cute part was,my rot mix wouldn't compete with the dogs for the first run but when the ball was 'lost' like this,she would walk into the midst of the dogs and grab the ball.
    The dogs seemed too excited to slow down and get the latest scent,so I don't see this as a different problem with your pooch.
    BTW that dog looks exactly like my lab/GSP mix but uhh,she don't have time for nonliving objects.
    Give it a heartbeat and some fast legs and she's on.Half her diet was warm bunny for breakfast when we went to Steilicoom Park every morning.
     
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  10. Caveman Jim

    Caveman Jim West of Oly Springer Slayer 2016 Volunteer

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    Most labs have a built in sense to look toward their master when not able to locate said thrown object. Mine does it & follows hand directions & has no formal training other than me.
    When we play fetch out side I have her sit & stay (holding her collar & pinch the ear lightly) throw object and she "marks" where it lands (even multiple items) & finds them. Much excited praise for when she does it right & more work when she don't.

    We must keep repetition to keep them keenly tuned.
     
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  11. teflon97239

    teflon97239 Portland, OR Well-Known Member

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    My son at Ft. Lewis has a year-old black lab (mix of some sort) who's doing well in obedience classes but needs more work. He's slowly getting there, but remains an 85-pound spaz when the puppy energy spins up. Loves to fetch the ball and they're working on getting him ready to hunt. Hasn't yet figured out how to go to a fragile RC airplane and leave it alone. Ideas?
     
  12. Caveman Jim

    Caveman Jim West of Oly Springer Slayer 2016 Volunteer

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    Teflon it should take only one bad experience for him to figure it out or one really bad one (which I hope doesn't happen).
    Mine too is 85#s of 2 year old puppy & spoiled rotten to boot.
     
  13. cmassey

    cmassey Camas, WA New Member

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    the same thing happened with my GSP. it took him almost two years of flinging that ball around for him to get really good at spotting it. It just takes time, practice, repetition and they eventually get the hang of it. It was very frustrating though for those first two years of walking out to show him where the ball was located after he took his eye off the ball when I threw it.
     
  14. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Have not tried it, but I've heard of rubbing anise on the object to help his sniffer. Apparently dogs like the smell of it.
     
  15. the4thshake

    the4thshake Portland Active Member

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    Dogs sure enjoy sniffing each others anise. :D
     
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