What age did your dog fetch a ball

Discussion in 'Labrador Puppies' started by 4theloveoflabs, Mar 29, 2017.

  1. 4theloveoflabs

    4theloveoflabs Registered Users

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    at what age did everyone's lab start really getting into fetch? I am looking forward to the days when I can go to the park with his ball and that is all he cares about! Abner with fetch once or twice if there are no distractions but other than that his mind is all over the place!
     
  2. kateincornwall

    kateincornwall Registered Users

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    Sam fetched a ball at around 9 weeks old, when we first had him , bringing it back too , then it all went a bit pear shaped around 6 months of age when he discovered the delights of playing away ! Some fun training brought this back on track x
     
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  3. JenBainbridge

    JenBainbridge Registered Users

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    Stanleys nearly a year and has never really showed much interest. He'll do it a few times but then he just prefers to carry the ball in his mouth and show it to everyone like a prize. Everyone who we pass gets shown the ball and they tell him what a good boy he is :D
     
  4. QuinnM15

    QuinnM15 Registered Users

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    Quinn was chasing a ball and bringing it back to us the day we brought her home...her retrieving instinct is high! We only had train her to drop the ball. She has always ignored any distraction if playing fetch or even if I have a ball in my hand. The downside is that we have had to work very very hard at recalling her from other people throwing balls.
     
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  5. Beanwood

    Beanwood Registered Users

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    hmmm.....I would be a bit careful here. Retrieving balls are fun, but there are LOTS of other things that you can do with your lab which are also fun :) Notwithstanding the risk on a dogs joints by the jarring of the stop/start of running to and fro to the ball, especially in young, or adolescent dogs.

    I do get it though, retrieving is what labs do, and it is wonderful to see your dog racing happily after a toy/ball. All I would say though try to limit the retrieving in the early days, especially if you have a very keen dog from the get go. Benson wasn't really into retrieving until he was about 8 months or so , this drive though has increased and he now loves to retrieve! Bramble also wasn't really bothered, she likes to carry things around though. Her main problem is if it flaps...or has fur..then it is hugely exciting!

    If Abner is getting quite distracted by their environment, then I would focus on engaging more on walks, reward for looking at you (checking in). Use walks as opportunities to play games to strengthen recall such as hide and seek, tuggy games, work on ignoring other dogs etc..:)
     
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  6. FinnOfSoCal

    FinnOfSoCal Registered Users

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    Finn is almost 6 months and will really only fetch from the water. It's so strange. He could care less about toys on land. He might run after it once or twice but that's it. Then it's off to sniff things. However he is crazy about water retrieves. I'm hoping it will transfer to the land once he matures. I know what you mean! It's hard to play with him because he likes his toys but all he really wants to do is bring them to his bed and chew them. He also plays with them by himself pretty well. So I'm at a loss!

    I bought him a special bumper to do water retrieves only, so it's going to be a "special" toy. And hopefully I can use that to build his retrieving desire. I'm only doing a max of 5 or 6 water retrieves per session so he stays motivated.
     
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  7. Saba's Boss

    Saba's Boss Registered Users

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    Saba was exactly the same!
     
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  8. Hollysdad

    Hollysdad Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Holly became interested in fetching at about the age she started to swim, which must be about 12 months. Cocoa never cared for fetch - it took her away from her first love: sniffing things.
     
  9. 20180815

    20180815 Guest

    This is interesting that it developed later in some dogs...my. boy is sort of interested, he enjoys playing with a ball on occasion, but isn't all that interested in retrieving. He's 8 months old so maybe this will change. If I get a chance to go to some water, I'll see how my dog feels about water retrieves :) Although if he doesn't retrieve it, I guess it'll be lost to the water :rolleyes:
     
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  10. snowbunny

    snowbunny Registered Users

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    As Kate says, you have to be careful to limit impact on growing joints, so encouraging incessant retrieving with young puppies isn't necessarily the best idea. I have two working-lines dogs that needed training to retrieve and one show-lines puppy who does it naturally. I believe you can teach any dog to retrieve - it may not make them passionate retrievers, but if it's something you want to do and it's not a natural thing for your dog to do, it doesn't matter, it's just a question of training, just like walking to heel. Not being interested in it doesn't mean they won't do it, given the right incentive.

    Don't wish for this. It's horrible. It means you dog is more interested in the ball than engaging with you. I hate seeing owners who do nothing but throw the ball for their dogs - it's soul-destroying, and joint-destroying.
     
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  11. kateincornwall

    kateincornwall Registered Users

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    @snowbunny I so agree ! Its up to us when they play ball , not them which is why I get to chose and limit ball games . I quite enjoy walks where no retrieving comes into play at all , just me and my lad, bumbling along !
     
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  12. Naya

    Naya Registered Users

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    Harley didn't become interested in a ball until she was about 6/7 months old. When she was younger I would get her to sit whilst I threw the ball, when the ball landed I sent her to go and find the ball. We still do this quite a bit. On our walks Harley isn't interested in treats, just her ball or me. I do throw the ball on walks, usually when she's playing with some of her other doggy friends. On walks with just me and her, I throw the ball maybe 5/6 times over a period of an hour. I do use 2 balls as well - when she's going to retrieve the first ball, I hide the second ball without her seeing me so when she comes back I send her to search for the 2nd ball. Because of this game, and playing hide and seek, Harley constantly checks in with me even if her friends are around as she never knows what I will do.
     
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  13. charlie

    charlie Registered Users

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    I don't believe this to be the case as I know with Charlie, after 5 1/2 years he still is not interested in retrieving. I completed Pippa's clicker retrieve, spent months slowly building up his desire for a specific toy/ball starting indoors going room to room etc. so as not to rush him, spent a lot of money on balls, dummies, dog trainers you name it I've tried it yet still NOTHING. I think this puts a lot of pressure on owners to say this because it can't be possible that ALL dogs like to retrieve, can it? I guess Charlie must be a one off then :D
     
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  14. charlie

    charlie Registered Users

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    Just to add, Charlie loves to retrieve from water even though he has never been trained to, so at least that's something as weird as it is :rolleyes::)x
     
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  15. edzbird

    edzbird Registered Users

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    Belle never, ever cared to fetch a ball/toy. We tried and tried for 10 years, off and on. It just didn't float her boat. She was a passionate sniffer and I wish we'd engaged her with it properly. I know more now. Coco LOVES to chase & fetch his ball. He gets 10 fetches at the end of a lead walk. When we are on an off lead walk in the plantation, I have, in the past 3 months, introduced various spots along the walk where we do 5 or 10 ball fetches - this had really helped him stay engaged with me, though he doesn't pester for a fetch.
     
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  16. snowbunny

    snowbunny Registered Users

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    I do think any dog can be trained to do it, yes. But, I didn't say every dog likes it. You have to decide whether or not it's important to you to train a dog to do something he doesn't want to do. A dog that has a certain amount of interest in retrieving will be a lot easier to train than a dog that has none.

    Look at it like training walking to heel. There are not many dogs that would choose to walk to heel, given no training - it's just not natural to them. Yet, we persist with this aspect of their training, because it is so important to us. The dog may never enjoy it, but it's an integral part of their living with us, so we work at it until we have something that works for us.

    Retrieving is different, in that we believe it should be fun for the dog. Well, you know what? A dog that doesn't enjoy it may never find it fun. It doesn't mean we can't train it. But, we give up, because we don't have that same need to train it, as we do with walking to heel. The dog doesn't enjoy it, so what's the point of continuing? And that's a very valid point - for behaviours that aren't something that we need to live a harmonious life with our dogs, and they don't enjoy, there's no point continuing trying to force the issue. It doesn't mean it can't be done, it simply means there's no value in the struggle.
     
  17. charlie

    charlie Registered Users

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    It's not a deal breaker for us, I used to feel it was but now if Charlie does the odd retrieve that's great. Why then will he retrieve from water non stop until we call time? Granted he hasn't had the chance since our trip to Scotland last year and he will next week as we are going back. :)
     
  18. snowbunny

    snowbunny Registered Users

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    Because swimming is fun?

    My two adults have good retrieves on land, and it all falls to pot when water is introduced, because I've not spent enough time training the intricacies of a water retrieve. So, they'll throw themselves into water without abandon, grab the object, come back to land whatever way they choose and immediately drop the object to have a shake. Because I've not trained it, it doesn't bother me (other than, every time they do it I think "damn, must put some training into this", but the sheer fact there is water involved makes it so much more exciting.
     
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  19. Saba's Boss

    Saba's Boss Registered Users

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    Saba will play fetch until he remembers that he really really prefers to do sniffing. Nose down, tail up, and off he goes!
     
  20. charlie

    charlie Registered Users

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    I was so very happy to see Charlie retrieving from water, the sheer grace, power, enthusiasm and the fun he had which is what it's about was just amazing, a joy for me to see. I love it. I need to live by water :) x
     
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