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Do retrievers need to retrieve?

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

  
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Finn

1230563
 
 
Barked: Tue Apr 10, '12 11:14am PST 
If I have a retriever and I provide adequate exercise and mental stimulation for him does he need to retrieve to be happy? We fetch in the yard and around the house and we've made friends that we go to the river with and fetch there, but does he need to hunt feel satisfied? I'm not sure how to word it but what I want to know is if I'm denying something he needs by not training him and entering in field trials or even hunting with him?
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y

dog-sitter in- charge.
 
 
Barked: Tue Apr 10, '12 11:18am PST 
If you CAN enter him in field trials and so on, why not? It could be fun for both of you.
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Savannah- Blue Belle

A Heart of Gold!
 
 
Barked: Tue Apr 10, '12 11:23am PST 
I have a Labrador, and I keep her quite active with walking and swimming. She also loves to chase her little furmates and gets a lot of exercise trying to catch the little Cocker Spaniel.

She plays football, but that is the only thing like retrieving or fetching that we do.

And I do think she is happy and fulfilled. Actually, she is my second Lab and the other one never "retrieved" either. And neither does Samoa who is probably part retriever. His big sport is chasing (but never catching) birds.
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Zephyr

1213425
 
 
Barked: Tue Apr 10, '12 11:27am PST 
I think many can be fulfilled but if you have the means and time and if you have purchased a field line it's a little unfair not to give them a job. Tracking, retrieving, dock diving, agility something that engages their minds and their bodies. It's especially important with Chessies since they're pretty much unbearable without something they can make their "duty". They don't have the typical "Okay, whatever you say boss" acceptance of a lab so working them harder is necessary.

Field trials are really interesting and fun to train for. You should get more info and see if it's something you could enjoy.

Edited by author Tue Apr 10, '12 11:30am PST

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Savannah- Blue Belle

A Heart of Gold!
 
 
Barked: Tue Apr 10, '12 11:31am PST 
Oh, he is a Chessie! And a very handsome one too. Yes to the above...by the way.

Not to say it isn't a good idea...just not an essential thing.
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Trigger

*Blackdog*
 
 
Barked: Tue Apr 10, '12 11:35am PST 
"what I want to know is if I'm denying something he needs by not training him and entering in field trials or even hunting with him?"


Do I think a retriever should hunt? Yes. All of them should have the opportunity and I think any that are decently bred are missing out on something in life if they don't ever get the chance to. It's not something that will need to be trained in, it'll simply be there and ready, WAITING to wow you. Chances are he shows you that is what he was born to do regularly.

All of the above would apply to pointers and flushers in my book as well.



Field trials and hunt tests are a whole different ball of wax. All that does is add rules to the game. Can be a ton of fun for the right dog, but it's certainly not necessary. Sort of like one can love and be great at gymnastics, but they don't necessarily need to go to the Olympics to get their fill.


eta - no Chessie breeder worth a hill of beans I've ever met would sell one of their pups to a home that wasn't going to get them on birds. They'd never want to deny what is inherently who that dog is and what he lives for. Would be considered some sort of travesty.

Edited by author Tue Apr 10, '12 11:39am PST

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Missy

Miss- Pig!
 
 
Barked: Tue Apr 10, '12 11:36am PST 
I think if you have the opportunity to train for field trials and/or hunt with him, then it's a great idea. I believe most breeds can live happy and fulfilled lives these days without doing the job they was originally bred for though.

Edited by author Tue Apr 10, '12 11:37am PST

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Trigger

*Blackdog*
 
 
Barked: Tue Apr 10, '12 11:43am PST 
Just saw you're in Orlando...

This club sounds AWESOME:
http://www.cfftc.com/home.html

What a huge plus that you could camp there. I'd definitely check it out.

If bird hunting isn't something you're terribly familiar with a place like that would be the best to jump start your learnin' and get your Finn going smile

Edited by author Tue Apr 10, '12 11:47am PST

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Savannah- Blue Belle

A Heart of Gold!
 
 
Barked: Tue Apr 10, '12 12:46pm PST 
Trigger, I continue to feel that a retriever does not require as essential sports training.

But we differ. I just want to say again...it won't hurt and your dog may love it. But I don't think it is an absolute must.
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Trigger

*Blackdog*
 
 
Barked: Tue Apr 10, '12 1:24pm PST 
Doesn't have to be any kind of training Savvy. Just an opportunity to get on birds and retrieve regularly. Any retriever will know exactly what they're supposed to do with both not needing any kind of direction from handler.

Sure it's not essential in the sense that the dog will die without it, but true we hold differing opinions on what will keep these particular breeds at their happiest and that's ok smile
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