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Learn Easy and Fun Strategies to Teach Your Retriever Puppy

Mar 18, 2008
Before beginning obedience training develop the desire to retrieve. To test if your pup has inherited natural retrieving tendencies toss a toy, ball, or a puppy-size canvas dummy a few feet in front of the pup. You are testing if he will go after it and bring it back to you. If he is not interested in retrieving or does not give up the object means you will need to spend time teaching this skill. Many dogs become just as eager and competent retrievers even though they may not start out with natural abilities.

The retrieving experience should be playful and fun for the pup. Take your dog to a field or park where you can throw a dummy for him to fetch, keeping him on a long lunge line. When throwing the dummy, enthusiastically tell him to fetch. As soon as he reaches the dummy and picks it up vigorously encourage him to return to you. The secret is to run away from your dog so that he has to chase you carrying the dummy. Do not get discouraged if your dog will not pick up the dummy. He can learn that skill when you teach him basic obedience. The training strategy is to teach your pup to come back to you when playing fetch even if it is without the dummy. Using a dog whistle for the return signal is recommended because the sound is more commanding than voice.

Before serious obedience training, it is important to allow your puppy time to adjust to the house rules, boundaries, and be introduced to the leash. Even though the brain of a pup is completely developed, the focus is scattered, and he will bounce from one activity to another. Your puppy will often drop off to sleep since physical growth takes so much of the energy.

The word no will be the most used word for the first few months. Remember, when reprimanding your dog you need to catch him in the act for him to understand the correction. Set up times when you actually let your dog do the misdeed so you can correct and teach him. Eventually just a firm no when he is tempted will be enough to stop any wrong moves.

The sit command is the second command I teach after teaching the dog to come back. If you teach your dog to sit every time he comes to you, it will stop problems of jumping on people. This can be taught in a soft manner as early as eleven weeks.

The first weeks and months is the time to instill a winning attitude in your dog. The result will be a puppy that wants to come back to you, who will listen to you, and who will be broken to the leash. Your retriever will be ready for formal training lessons at four months.
About the Author
Jean Smith is a dog trainer specializing in training retrievers. She has condensed years of
experience into two DVDs. Lessons
http://www.teachmeplease.com
from basic obedience through
advanced. Jean has helped hundreds of people
train their own dogs.
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