English Labrador Retriever | Purchasing & Training Considerations

By | October 25, 2022

Join Uncle Stonnie for a hiking and retrieving session as he talks about training, living with, and purchasing an English (Show) Labrador Retriever. As a bonus, our new Field Labrador puppy, Annie, tags along for a little comparing and contrasting.

00:00 Intoduction Coal and Annie, our new puppy
01:08 Walking and Retrieving
05:22 Retrieving Differences Between Field & Show Lines
12:07 Brush Pile Challenge
16:26 Final Thought On Training Schedules and Expecatations

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Welcome back to bluegrass's beautiful October afternoon I'm out with Cole a 16 Month old English labrador retriever or You know for those of you in the know You know he's not actually an English Labrador retriever he was bred in Ohio Right that's just how people in the States referred to Labrador Retrievers That are bench or show bread or in other Words just really good looking Okay but we're just kind of taking a Walk And doing some fun middle of the day Activities So basically what I'm going to do with This dog is I'm just going to walk Around His owner like uh retired Air Force guy And he got this dog mainly to be a house Dog but he wants to go hunting sometimes Right well the problem that we run into With the English style dogs is that they Don't have a tremendous amount of Drive Okay and what I mean by that is like With the field bread dogs you just go Out any time of the day uh back up there Camera man let me show them what I'm Talking about Look who just came into the picture so This this dog is Annie she's seven Weeks old and she's a field bred dog and Her endurance level is about the same as Kohl's Kohl's 16 months it's pretty Funny but anyway we're just going to

Walk around go ahead and go down this Path here cameraman But we're just going to walk around and We're going to kind of gradually over The time that Cole's with us encourage Him to get out and hunt a little bit and Fetch and make him look at going out and Looking for things and bringing them Back to us as a as a fun experience okay We can't push him very hard we can't Expect a lot of Repetitions per session so what we do is We just do a lot of sessions per day so I've got him he's pretty excited here That's about as excited as he gets look I'm gonna take my little sock with a Wing in it and I'm going to throw it off In the woods Ah and then I'm gonna wait for him to Come back now I don't think the Cameraman could see you there so uh What's going to happen is I'm going to Have the cameraman back up and I'll show You what I'm doing oh come on Cole you a Good boy you're a very good dog oh he's A very good dog all right so basically What's happening is I come out here and Since I know I can't just station Cole Up and just do retrieve after retrieve After retrieve I just walk around and as I'm walking around just every so often I Throw my retrieving item off into the Brush a little bit so back up there a Little bit cameraman

Now one of the things you'll see we're Like like in the sun right we'll move Over here to the shade and he's going to Do probably a little better in the shade Because the black dogs just kind of soak Up the heat but as I'm walking well let Me just Walk This Way camera man you can See from behind so I'll just turn this Way so as I'm walking I just take my Thing I'm getting a little bit excited And then I'm tossing it off the trail a Little bit Now it's very important that you keep Walking here Oh my gosh come on you can do it oh he's A very good dog you can back up you can Call and do anything you bend down okay But you got to kind of create some space So that the dog wants to shut that space Down naturally if you don't do that with This style lab If you move towards them or if you reach Over them what they'll do is they'll Just spit their retrieving item out and Look at you like hey are you going to Get this retrieving item and throw it For me again okay happens all the time All right so go ahead and walk back that Way cameraman So we're walking I'll get cold and I'm looking for really Like easy places for them to fetch here Because if I put too much adversity on Them he's just not going to fetch

Okay I just throw it over there a little Ways now watch I'm gonna keep moving I'm gonna move up here there you go and By creating this distance I make it much More likely that he's going to try to Close down that distance and he's going To forget about like uh dropping the Retrieving item because if I move Towards this dog he just spits it out And looks at me like okay I've got it And I throw it for me again and I know a Lot of you guys go this way cameraman I Know a lot of you guys with this style Lab have that same trouble in the Fetching okay now right here I've got a Little shady spot in this area so what I'm going to do is I'm going to walk up To the Shady spot and I'm going to throw My retrieving item out into the Sunny Spot right so I'm going to be in the Cool spot and throw my retrieve item Into the Sunny Spot which is going to Increase his desire to come back to me To get to where it's comfortable because These dogs are all about being Comfortable so I get to the nice cool Shady spot Throw my retrieving item Oh my gosh what a good dog coal is come On you can do it Now look so I'm losing them so I'm going To move backwards come on Cole oh my Gosh now look by opening up that space Oh my gosh come on now look he's wanting

To stop in that shade come on Cole you Can Listen and that's the English lab for You right there and what he's saying Basically is come on peasants come get This entertain me it's very funny Oh my gosh he's funny though he's a Funny dog all right now I can't handle On that uh you know on that note so what I'm going to do is I'm going to try to Have the cameraman back up and uh we're Gonna get another retrieve and then We'll go back to walking them and we'll Bring this back out in a few minutes So I throw it not very far this time Oh my gosh that's a good boy Now maybe get one more rep Oh my gosh what a good dog he is so That's two successful reps that kind of Made up for my not so successful rep and We'll just go back to walking All right come on Cole One of the things that will happen to You with these English style Labrador Retrievers is that you'll get very Frustrated that they don't retrieve Dummies or balls or or whatever it is That you might like to throw you know Very well that doesn't mean they're not Going to be a pretty decent hunting dog Right it just means that like this kind Of stuff they don't find it necessarily Super interesting okay and then when you See Annie come back into the frame here

In a second that's a dog whose parents And grandparents and great-grandparents Were all selectively bred To retrieve anything and everything that They can possibly get in their mouth and Uh come here Eddie come on So this little dog here Okay when she's 16 months old I can Throw a rock or a stick or Whatever I want and she's going to go Get it and fetch it and that's what my Standard is for this kind of dog okay Now but here's the truth she's probably Not going to be quite as good looking as This guy right here right okay and so Like there's a price to be paid if you Want them to be too awful good looking Well then maybe they're not going to Work so hard right and if you want them To work super super hard maybe they're Not going to be so good looking right Okay and you get a which whichever thing That you Which everything that you choose to like To emphasize right like in your Purchasing decision you've got to live With it okay you have to live with it We'll go over here and do some more fun Stuff I always have to with these English Labs Try to keep my training super varied Because they get they get a little bored You know one of the come on Cole you can Do it one of the most important aspects

Of raising the field bread dogs is that Like they're extremely pattern cognizant And like adherence to patterns right Okay is what we call self-reinforcing so They don't even really need much in the Way of treat work when they're young Especially as it relates to fetching Okay they kind of just need to tag along With you I call it bomb training you Know I just bum around and let the Little dogs follow me where they will Okay and you can see I mean seven weeks Old versus 16 months old right okay you Can kind of see the difference with this Little dog he just saw us getting up Here on the woodpile and said well I Guess I'm supposed to do that with Cole He stopped down there and looked at me And he said hey what's in it for me like I'll get up there if there's something Obvious in it for me and for this little Dog Well it's obviously in it for her is Just to be a part of the activities Right okay this is very important guys When you go to picking dogs like the dog That you pick right that's the standards That you have to think about if you get One that's bred like this then don't be Mad at it when it's 16 months old and Doesn't want to do the same thing over And over and over again right okay now If you get one like this when it's 16 Months old and like you've been out

Fetching with it and it goes in and it Takes a nap for 10 minutes don't be Surprised that it says okay I rested Let's go back outside and do some more Fetching okay I get that all the time I'm doing online course for a lady that Bought a Weimaraner and uh you know it's Been doing pretty well but now it's six Months old and like you know what's the Weimaraner bread do run away from this Handler and Chase birds and it's pulling On the leash and the lady's very Frustrated and I try to explain to her Look that's what you bought you know I Mean you can't escape genetics guys into Dog business genetics is Destiny look at That now I could claim to be some kind Of expert dog trainer that dog's seven Weeks old I'm not an expert dog trainer I'm an expert dog buyer all right now so We're going to walk over here I'm going To get hey uh cameraman why don't you go Over that way and I'm going to throw I'm Gonna come over to shade a little bit And try to get one or two more Repetitions with coal I'm gonna get nice Short repetitions in the shade here While he's fooling around in the fire Pit So I get my retrieving item out and I'm Going to sit down a little bit You can go and kind of go on back that Way Now I know Coal's a little bit tired

Doesn't have the most Drive in the world So my retrieving is going to be a little Bit a little bit of teasing here right And then a short distance fetch And then I like to pair it with the food Because these English labs they really Love the food come on buddy And people often ask me they're like Sean if you do the inductive retrieve You know with the food work you always Have to use food work no what I have to Do is stack successful repetitions and So that means that I'm going to have to Do some number of hundred repetitions Where I also tie like the food work into Bringing that back and hand it to me but Then uh we'll reach what's called a Habituation threshold and dogs just be In the habit of bringing it to me and When that happens We're Off to the Races You're a very good dog come on come on Now you see how he kind of gets it and He wants to stop right there I'm going To open the space up come on come on you Can do it and when I open that space up He'll move to close it down okay it's Really really important with these you Know showbread Labs not to stand over Them not to repeat yourself like fetch Fetch fetch retrieve give it to me not To reach out at them because what They'll do is they'll just spit that Retrieving item out and look at you okay And I mean I see it all the time in my

Journals back on up there can't remember We'll get one more rep 67 T's in just a little bit Oh my gosh very nice dog if he brings it All the way that's going to be great now We'll do one where like we just pretend That he was hesitating a little bit and I'll open up space so I throw it Then I go this way oh my gosh come on You can do it Oh my gosh he's a very good dog oh my Gosh now move backwards backwards Backwards backwards backwards bend down Let him bring it to me click treat go About my walk head up eyes out okay Notice that I'm not like Not focusing on them I'm not fussing at Him I'm just like trying to put him in a Position where I can build on his Natural tendencies to move towards me if They're space created right and I'm also Trying to like take advantage of the Fact that all these showbread Labs love To eat okay so we'll go back uh walking Now you might be able to see this right Here Now guys basically how this little dog Is going to get trained is she's just Going to follow us around while we train Other dogs and make videos and pretty Much train herself right so if you want To make it easy on yourself as a dog Trainer Don't pay any attention to how a dog

Looks just buy them based on how they Act and if you buy a dog based on how Its parents and grandparents and great Grandparents acted uh you're gonna be Pretty happy unless you change the Definition of what makes you happy but It does happen some okay we'll walk now You can get behind the cameraman I'll Try to get one more little brush pile Challenge in with this dog and one more Retrieve and then we'll go back to the Kennel Very nice Now For those of you been watching my Channel for a while you know that I'm Really big in environmental Socialization this is what we call the Brush paw challenge I like to climb up On the brush pile And encourage the dog to figure out how To come up here and get me right this Right here is a good General That gives me a good general idea of a Dog's uh attachment to me and their Proprioception their physical and mental Resilience because it's hard to get up Here you know and so with some of the Dogs like when I come up here they just Naturally they'll do anything they can To get to me these English Labs a lot of Times when I come out they look at me Like hey dude what are you doing up There on the brush pile and so what I

Have to do is I have to add a little Extra incentive here come on Cole you Can do it and tell him that like hey if You come up here something really good Is going to happen now he doesn't know Exactly what he's doing so I'm going to Break this down into little bite-sized Pieces and I'm going to come over here And kind of lead them Right Come on dude you can do it and look at Him see how he's kind of that kind of Pussy-footing around here he doesn't Know where to put his feet okay he just Doesn't really know what he's doing That's a combination of things part of That is because like um you know he Didn't get this type of early Environmental socialization and part of It is just because these kind of dogs You know they're not uh they're not bred To do this kind of stuff And then when you're doing your Retrieving with dogs that have these Environmental sensitivities that's where They a lot of times don't want to come Back in a straight line or if there's Some kind of a physical problem between Them and the thing that they're Retrieving they'll give up a little bit Just because they think it's hard you Know now if I feel like where I'm at on The brush pile uh like the dog just Can't find a good line then I'll just

Move down And I'll find an easier spot The leg down on this side you can see How we kind of build it where it slopes Up Come on you can do it And he's really working I really appreciate that so when he gets Up here I'm going to tell him I Appreciate it people a lot of times will Say you know hey Stoney like uh why Don't you just pet them and praise them Well okay at the end of the work week There's two lines one's an attaboy line The pat on the back and the other line Is 100 bonus line which one are you Going to get in first right okay well This dog here this type of dog they Really really like food so it's kind of Like a thousand dollar bonus line Oh come on Cole you can do it Come on cool you can do it Very nice now I'm gonna back up a little Farther again this is the same concept As before where I'm opening up space the Mistake I would make here is going back And getting closer to the dog as I close Down the space he has less incentive or Less motivation okay to try to get to Where I am so I have to come this way And then move away and open up space Very nice Good dog Come on you can do it

Come on you can do it find a way dude Very nice Very nice oh my gosh he's the smartest Boy I've ever seen oh that's a very good Dog That's a very good dog Oh my gosh Cole's a big boy Very nice Oh you were smarty very nice good boy Now we'll go back we'll get back on our Path Now he went under this on the way down Here but I'm going to clear him a little Bit of a path to make it a little bit Easier great thing about brush piles is They are infinitely Reconfigurable Oh Come on Cole you can do it Look at that Labra goat Very nice You're a very smart boy okay all right Cameraman I'm gonna go on down this way Now what we'll try to do is we'll try to Get maybe one or two more little short Fetches in And then we will head back to the kennel Now you know around here what's uh Something that you'll notice when you Watch my videos a lot is our trainees Interspersed throughout the day we do a Little here a little there a whole bunch Sometimes not very much sometimes okay

Because that's how real life goes you Know some days with your dog you get to Get out and spend all day out doing fun Stuff with them and some days you just Got a few minutes here there okay and so We try to make sure they understand that You know as soon as they start getting Here is we're going to go out we're Going to do some work the work is going To lead to the fun stuff but sometimes Like in you know my own life the fun Stuff gets interrupted by more work and Some days there's more work than others Same thing with the dog All right so even though Coal is a little bit tired here I feel like we can probably end With one or two good retrieves If I can drag him away from that deer Poop So I'm gonna stay up here in the shade Throw the retrieving item down that way Go come on Very nice Very good and we'll get one more Hello Now look he's a little distracted What a good boy what a good boy you are Very nice okay now so there's your few Tips for if you want to do some Adventuring and retrieving with uh An English style Labrador Retriever okay You know but again Like if it's super important to you the

Retrieving and the adventuring okay then Get a dog that's bred to be very Patterned cognizant and very athletic And have an extreme amount of Drive okay So I I get that question all the time Stoney what kind of lab should I get Look seven weeks old 16 months old right And I think that use this video does a Really good job of kind of showing you How these two different two dogs you Know just approach life okay this one Right here wants to be a part of Everything you do and even at seven Weeks old she's just full of pee and Vinegar you know she wants to be Everywhere doing everything the big dogs Do okay Cole he's awesome but he's a Little bit better for laying around the Kennel and having people come in and pet Him and love on him and maybe kick a Ball for him or something because what He really likes to do is he likes to Have you kick the ball or throw the ball And then he goes and gets it like he'll Run and get it And he'll bring it back a little ways And he'll just drop it and look at you And I swear they look at you like Peasants I mean I really think they come here and They're like peasant to entertain me you Know maybe that's not true maybe that's Just my projection but that's how I feel Sometimes very nice but they're pretty

Easy to manipulate oh my gosh if you Understand the type specific Characteristics okay and you start early And you design your training regimen Properly and you tie your retrieving Into the inductive retrieve because they Have such tremendous food drive all Right guys I'll see y'all next week come On dogs You're a good boy Cole come on we got to Get back to the kennel come on Andy come On very nice dog