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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This one has now been turning our lives upside down for nearly 6 months now :)
Plant Dog Sky Cloud Carnivore


I've been reading a while but thought I'd finally join as this one is now an adolescent and I'm not sure she's going to be an easy teenager so might need all the help I can get!
 

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Welcome!

Very nice! Looks as if she has some working lines in her, so occupying her mind is the way to go. :)
 

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Hi and welcome.

What a gorgeous photo!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
We're doing gundog training with her, although we have no plans to work her. She's also being trained to find arrows that have missed their target in field archery. She's successfully located 5 arrows to date. Still amazes me that she can sniff out arrows buried under inches of pine needles, leaf litter etc.
 

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As somebody who has trained and worked both competitive obedience and gundog work I have long held the view that gundog training is the better option for a pet dog. Competitive obedience is too precise, too regimented. Even at the highest level a dog only has to maintain the precision for 10 minutes or so. The fact is no dog or person could maintain that amount of discipline for an hour or so's walk! It's just too much concentration. Gundog work is so much more relaxed. We train our dogs to walk to heel, but not wrapped around our legs staring up at us. We want them to walk reasonably close, but not so close that we are in danger of falling over them when traversing a muddy bank. We also want them paying attention to whats going on around them. The only problem with gundog work is that some trainers can be rather heavy handed when training. You need to find the right person.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yes, the gundog training will hopefully translate to good manners generally when out and about. She was described as 'spirited' though so may not be straight forward!
Dog Plant Plant community Sky Cloud

I'm hoping a lot of it is just youthful exuberance.

At the moment she's a little bit too interested in what's going on around us, I think we did too much sitting and watching whilst little as now that's what she defaults to even if in the middle of training. It could be worse, after all sitting and watching horses go by isn't the worst behaviour in the world, it's just sometimes she needs to learn to focus on me.
 

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now that's what she defaults to even if in the middle of training.
This is usually an uncertainty of the correct response, Mum has told me to do something, but I'm not quite sure what she wants." An indication that you are progressing too fast and need to take a step back. Working Labradors so want to please, and would rather do nothing than get it wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
She only sits to watch things go by - horses, tractors, helicopters etc., not as a response to being asked to do something. She'll stop what she's successfully done 3 or 4 repetitions of if she perceives there's something interesting to look at.

She's not all bad though just for balance. Toilet training was a breeze, only two accidents in the first few days, she's fairly chilled in the house, settles nicely in the pub/in a cafe after a walk, travels great in the car, well behaved enough that we've taken her camping and on two holidays.

It's just in my naïvety, I thought that a labrador would focus on me if I had food in my hand :)
 

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It's just in my naïvety, I thought that a labrador would focus on me if I had food in my hand
Thats what people will tell you, but not all Labradors fixate on food. My Chloe for example, given a straight choice between my dinner or the oven glove will take the oven glove every time. I will sometimes leave it out, knowing she will pinch it. She takes it into the living room on her bean bag and wait for me. If I ignore her she will come out into the kitchen wagging her tail, watching me. And if I look at her she will run back to her bean bag and pick it up again. It's a game we play together, just like her Bitey Fingers game she invented. I really only use treats for initial training, after that the praise is voice and hands. It's too easy when they start retrieving to chuck the retrieve article down to get to the treat. Her treats are every evening at 9pm, not for doing anything, just for being with me.

Dog Dog breed Carnivore Jaw Whiskers
 

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My girl is really foody, but show her a tennis ball or dummy and no amount of treats will take her attention off it. So we use that in training as her reward, ie if she gets it right, she gets the retrieve. They certainly aren't always the same when it comes to treats, although some will do anything for food, some are more driven by their natural desire to retrieve xx
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Dog Sky Plant Dog breed Carnivore


She's been a little star lately, not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but the easiest she's ever been I think.

Just wanted to say thanks to JohnW too. You may not be aware, but you gave us some info regarding a litter we ended up on the waiting list for via a friend. That litter didn't work out numbers wise for us in the end, but all the info was helpful.
 
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