English Labrador Retriever | How To Improve Your Retrieve

By | November 1, 2022

Today Uncle Stonnie is out with Coal, an awesome English Labrador Retriever. In this video Stonnie demonstrates some super simple and effective strategies for building retrieving drive and reliability in your retriever.

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Welcome back to Bluegrass this beautiful October morning we're going to do a Little inductive retrieve work with Cole Uh my favorite English lab of the month Right his mom is standing over behind The camera so of course I had to say He's my favorite this month come on cool All right so basically what's going to Happen here is I have three retrieving Items In my vest Out of these Retreat three retrieving Items let me come here and show you Out of these three retrieving items okay Obviously one of them is Cole's favorite Okay now the key when you're doing Retrieving is to always work towards Your dog's favorite thing okay so I have Three things now to get to retrieve his Favorite thing he has to retrieve the Things that aren't his favorite things And there's going to be a little Something in it for him when he Retrieves the things that aren't his Favorite things I'm going to click and Treat and give him a little reward now The reward it's not really uh terms of Calories per unit of Labor invested in Retrieving it's not really a fair trade But what it is is the treat is a Physical manifestation of my pleasure And he knows if he makes me happy that We're going to stair step our way Towards retrieving the things he likes

The most and we're going to continue on Our walk okay so we're back up here come On Cole very nice now you notice when I'm working with these English Labs that Have kind of marginal drive that I don't Put a lot of rules on the retrieving Okay I was going to save which one was His favorite for the very end and he Stole it okay all right but anyway so You'll notice when I'm working with These uh English Labs especially if they Didn't have a lot of you know really Good early formative training that I'm Not tying our obedience and our Retrieving together until my retrieving Drive is at a sufficient level to make Me kind of happy right so I'm working on His obedience Separately from his retrieving we come Out here my head's up my eyes are out Because I'm trying to mimic a situation Where I'd be out doing something I enjoy And he's you know he's enjoying himself And all of a sudden something this is His least favorite falls out of the sky And ends up over in the brush if he'll Go get that And bring it to me then we're going to Move on to his second favorite thing oh My gosh what a good dog now since he Doesn't really love retrieving this Dumbbell okay then I'm going to pay him A little bit for it and when he brought It back you'll notice he kind of dropped

It there and that's okay because I'm on The ground if I was standing up that Means I have to bend down and I'm not About walking around bending down all Day so I'm going to throw it for him Again he's going to have to go get it And we're going to continue this until He brings it back to my hand okay Oh that's a good boy very nice dog he's A very nice dog Now one of the reasons I like using the Dumbbell Is because the dumbbell will encourage Dogs to learn to pick things up at their Natural Balance point in the middle and You'll see there when coal came out of The grass with this dumbbell he had it On the end and it was uncomfortable for Him so he dropped it and then he picked It up from the middle well after enough Repetitions of that he'll just get to Where he picks his retrieving item up in The middle each time so I'm gonna do This one one more time Oh that's a good boy very nice dog and You'll notice he picked the retrieving Item up in the middle and brought it to Me and handed to me okay so that means That we're going to move on to our Second retrieving item but here's the Thing if you watch the other video with Cole you'll notice that I said I have to Keep my repetition Uh volume low I can have a lot of

Sessions per day but I have to keep my Repetitions low because he doesn't have Just a tremendous amount of drive and so You know for people that are used to Seeing field bread lash where you can Sit here and throw it as many times as You want right and just get repetition After repetition with his English style Or show bread or bench bread which is More after description Labrador Retrievers you want to keep your reps Low your session's high right and you Want to take the retrieving activity Away while the dog's still wanting more And see you can see how he's looking at Me like hey Stoney come on let's do that Again and I'm just completely ignoring Him I'm fixing to take off walking and We're not going to do another session For a little while now since we're Making a video of course I'm going to try to speed this up so We're just going to walk down here a Little ways I'm going to change Directions on the path And then we'll do a couple more Retrieves okay but on your if you were Out actually doing this this next aspect Of our retrieving session it might be uh You know 15 or 20 minutes later okay now An alternative way to do this is just do Single retrieves and space them out uh Somewhere between say five and ten Minutes per given unit of distance okay

And that's pretty cool so let's see uh I Think cameraman if you want to go that Way I'll come down here Now you remember from the other video You see the Shady spot it was hot the Other day and coal stopped in the shade He's like hey Stone if you want this Thing back you know come over here into The shade when it's cold I can move back Away from the shade and the shade Doesn't it doesn't affect my retrieving This time we're going to go with Something cold likes a little bit more Which is this winged dummy I'm still going to pay them oh my gosh Very nice dog He's a good dog get another retrieve Now one of the things you'll notice with Coal is that When we're retrieving in my retrieving Lanes my mold Lanes you see how nice and Fast he goes okay back up there Cameraman I'm gonna throw it off in the Weeds a little bit and you'll watch that Coal is a little bit hesitant when it Comes to retrieving in the weeds part of That is because of the type of dog that Is and part of it is because like he did Not have the proper environmental Socialization when he was young so he Doesn't really it's not really good at Like looking at brush and picking a nice Line through the brush where he doesn't Run into tree limbs and stickers and

Stuff like that let me see cameraman if I throw it over there can you see it So we just do a really short throw so You guys can see it so I'm going to Throw it off in that brush Good it got tangled up in the tree so He's gonna have to work a little bit for It very nice you're a good boy you're Very good brings all the way back Delivers it to my hand right and I'm Gonna do this again Very nice Oh what a good boy okay now that's Awesome all right now that's a second Favorite thing now his actual favorite Thing to retrieve Is this uh wool sock So I know a lot of you I mean you don't Have access to actual dead birds a lot But you can buy Wings you can get wings From friends of yours that hunt the Problem with just using the wings is That when you first start doing this With the dog they go get the wing then They munch it on the way back and the Wing falls apart and it's you know it Just is really problematic so like a Really good trick is to get a wool sock Has to be a wool sock and you put your Wing in there and the wool sock Basically Becomes a sleeve for the wing and in the Beginning stages you know like you just Got a little bit of wings sticking out

And so the whole sock absorbs the the The scent and the dog gets a chance to Put his mouth on the sock he feels the Basic structure of the wing and gets Used to it and then After a while you start to You know peel your sock down and just Keep peeling it down peeling down until One day you just take the wing out of The sock but by then the dog already has A very gentle mouth he's used to Carrying the wing and he doesn't mess up Your wings every time he retrieves all Right so we'll do the same thing let's Go back this way cameraman you can Follow me from behind and maybe it'll be A little easier for them to see what I'm Doing Once we get to his favorite thing I have A little bit more latitude in like how I Can do you know what we call a walking Fetch so I'm going to walk and as I walk I can toss my thing and just continue to Walk now what the continuing to walk Does is it opens up space which makes The dog naturally want to close down the Space which encourages encourages The Retreat so I throw my retrieving items Just off the path I let him go get it And I just keep walking A very good dog you can see Cole's Already down here looking at me like He's wanting to you know do another rep

Big mistake you make with these this Kind of dog okay is they get it and They're coming out of there and you Reach over them okay you move towards Them or you become too vocal a lot of Times you don't understand like how your Dog the size differential between you And your dog like I'm a very small Person but look how big I am compared to This dog so imagine you're just Somewhere doing something in Shack she Walks over to you with his hand out Reaching towards your face of course it Would be a little intimidating so a lot Of guys accidentally intimidate their Dogs into dropping uh they're retrieving Items well in front of them well then What happens is you as the dog trainer You start getting frustrated when the Dog's coming back and then you start Fussing at them bring out here fetch it Up here right yeah and then the dog like Is like okay am I in trouble do I need To let this go because I don't if this Is Dad's I don't want to like keep it From him right because it's you know He's the boss And that's a really prominent thing with English Labrador Retrievers now for you Guys who've trained a lot of field dogs You say Stony that's that's bunk I Always do okay different kind of dog Right okay when you're training a dog That has you know six seven generations

Of high-level Retrievers in its uh Pedigree you can get away with a lot of Bad training okay you don't have to be That good a trainer I mean like I've got A seven week old dog if I never trained It at all like it's going to be a good Retriever just because it comes from a Long line of good retrievers but like For dogs that were bred a little bit More for their looks and personality not So much for just retrieving drive you Got to be on point with what you're Doing okay so I'll walk watch I'll walk Backwards so let me see Cameron can you See that spot right there all right so I'm going to throw my retrieving item Off in that spot now watch I'm gonna run Backwards open up some space Oh my gosh What a good dog oh my gosh look I'll Even turn and walk this way oh my gosh Look See how that sucked that dog right to me All right now so Here's the real key I'd kind of like to Do that one more time because if I did It one more time I would look even more Awesome as a dog trainer you have to Resist that one more time urge okay and I don't always do a good job of it but I Try I'm not getting better than that Today okay this dog's mom is here hasn't Seen his mom in a couple of weeks uh Like he's excited to see her and I'm Really like blessed to have had him pay

Attention to me as well as he had so far I walked away he came right up to me the Only mistake he made was I would have Rather him come up to my left side Rather than my right side but that's Okay I'm not doing better than that Right now okay so I'm just gonna end the Session right there leave him wanting More okay so that like the next time I Say hey Cole let's go out back he's Going to be like jumping right to me and He's saying hey Stoney please please Take me back and do more fetching than Last time and if you could ever get your Dog where they're super fired up about Going to the retrieving field and they Want you to do more than last time then You know that your drive is headed in The right direction okay and once your Drive is headed in the right direction You've got an overall positive Understanding of the experience from the Dog's perspective then then you can Throw your obedience in there because The dog starts to look at obedience is What leads to the fun stuff and you are Off to the Races all right guys I'll see You next week