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Marking and Retrieving

Hi, I'm a hunter from Lima, Peru (South America) and I have a 6 month old labrador who is very enthusiastic in playing specially when I throw him the dove "dummie" I made for him, but he does not bring it back, he gets about a meter from me with the dummie and decides to go the other way and I have to chase him to retrieve the dummie. I have already taken him hunting twice and for his age he has accustomed pretty well to the gun noise, but when I draw my beretta to shoot he does not pay attention and therefore does not know where to look for the bird and if he does it takes way to long to find the bird and decides to pluck it instead of retrieving it un like he does with his dummie. It would be really thankful if you could send some information and tips on how to train him better in retrieving and obeying.
He spents half the day sleeping, I wonder if there is anything wrong with him or is it that he is just a pup?
Thank you for your time. Rodrigo


Your dog is still very young. He needs time to develop. It will take years for any dog to mature into an accomplished hunting retriever even with lots of training.

There are things you can do to help your pup along but remember, he is just a baby.

Throw the dummy for the dog, then run away from him. Never ever chase the puppy when he has the dummy. This will only teach him to always run away. Carry a second dummy with you and play with it if he won't come back with the first one. The one you are playing with will seem more interesting. When he does come back tell him what a good dog he is and don't be in a hurry to get the dummy away from him. Let him get pet first then gently take the dummy and throw it a gain.

The problems you describe with taking the pup hunting are typical for a dog this age. Retrieving a bird is very different from retrieving a dummy. Take your time and be patient. When he finds a bird call him and then walk away from the dog. If you keep walking he will want to come join you. He will also want to have the bird. The only way he can do both is to pick up the bird and come with you. When he does tell him what a good dog he is and again don't be in a big hurry to make him give up the bird.

I would strongly recommend that you find a retriever trainer or hunting dog club in your area and spend some time with them to help you and your dog.

If you can get a copy of the book Game Dog by Richard A. Wolters, it will help you to develop a reliable hunting retriever.

Best of Luck,

Bill Corcoran
Highland Retriever Kennel
Highland Retriever Kennel

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