How to Train Your Bracco: The Retrieve an Introduction
‘The retrieve an introduction’
You will hear of all types of retrieves – memory, seen, blind/unseen, split, double and various other descriptions you will also hear of lots of different commands – Mark, Fetch Hi-lost. And as with all training there is no right or wrong way, its what works for you. (so long as you are consistent, remember one command, not three if the first does not work)
For now we wont worry too much about structure.
Like all our training we like to start from day 1 and make it fun. We always use dummies and start baby puppies on those small keyring dummies and gradually use bigger and bigger ones as the puppy grows in size and confidence. Like the recall we sit on the kitchen floor, playing with the dummy letting the puppy/dog smell and gently nudge/mouth it, when puppy/dog is really interested we throw the dummy a sort distance and let the puppy run in and just as with the recall we call puppy back into our arms (tapping your chest etc). Now this is where people slip up and cause themselves a big headache moving forward, NEVER take the dummy from the puppy straight away. Make a big fuss of the dog, make it about him not the dummy, lots of praise and cuddles then say ‘give’ or ’dead’ and gently take the dummy from puppy and then repeat the exercise. Do this 3 or 4 times then call it a day.
You can repeat this exercise a couple of times a day, but don’t let the puppy, or dog get bored. If you take the dummy as soon as the puppy, or dog returns, you run the risk of the puppy/dog either spitting the dummy at you or running around and not returning with it – think about it from the dogs prospective, he goes and gets dummy and you snatch it away when he returns, so he might as well just dump it on you or at your feet or not bother bringing it back at all because you are going to take it away from him anyway.
As the dogs confidence grows you can throw the dummy further and if all is going well you can start introducing some structure. (you are already teaching the sit and stay commands?). Tell puppy/dog to sit/stay and gently hold his collar, as you throw the dummy, once the dummy hits the floor wait a second or two before sending using the command fetch.
Again when the dog returns give lots of praise before removing the dummy. And that is the basis of a seen retrieve, of course there is more to this retrieving lark and we will cover that in the next lesson. But for now lets just get the dog retrieving.
Good luck and happy training.