Contact Us    Help    Site Map    About Us   

Too much whining and not enough retrieving

Dear trainer,

I have a black lab pup that is just over 4 months old. He's coming along well, but he doesn't always progress like I think he could. I am following the Waterdog training book and video.

My problems are:

whining, especially when he's bored. I try to keep him entertained but that is not always possible. How can I keep him from being annoying?

loss of interest in retrieving. Sometimes he will go gangbusters after his dummy, and some times he looks at it with what I can only describe as total disinterest. Teasing doesn't fire him up, he just walks away.

Your advice would be appreciated



Regarding the whining:

I think you answered your own question when you told us that you try to keep pup "entertained". It sounds like he may have you trained to pay attention when he whines. It is not up to us to entertain our dogs.

My pups spend a little time every day being "bored" in a crate. They learn that some down time is part of the game and they quickly learn to accept it.

Try this-

Take your pup on a short walk, then crate him for fifteen minutes. Pay him no attention no matter how much whining, barking, screaming or acting out he does. As soon as he is quiet, let him out for a while the repeat the process. In time he will learn to get what he wants by being quiet.

Regarding the retrieving:

Take a step back and think about this dog's maturity. You are dealing with a baby, don't rush things. Your pup will have it's whole life to chase bumpers.

With puppies, we can't make them do the work or we risk damaging their fragile enthusiasm. Take advantage of his motivation when he shows it.

Try this-

Crate the puppy for a while, then take him to the training ground (bring the crate). Get him out and start to play with the bumper. If he shows no interest, simply put him back in the crate and leave. in time he will learn that anything other than playing with you ends the session right then.

If he is excited, tease him then throw one or two simple throws and end the session. I you throw until he is tires, you are simply training him to lose interest. He should always leave the field wanting more.

Most importantly, don't rush it. Some dogs take longer to develop their instincts than others.

Good luck,

Bill Corcoran
Highland Retriever Kennel
Highland Retriever Kennel

<< Back to Q&A

follow us on: