Beau September 12th, 2007
The young pup is a rambunctious fool! Well, sometimes so am I… but we won’t go there right now :) The Yellow Labrador Retriever is growing up so fast, and he’s just bursting with unbridled energy and enthusiasm. Admittedly, he’s getting a little harder to control, but we work on obedience training regularly. He listens very well, but tests the limits at every turn… I hold him accountable every time and he seems to respond very well. We are still struggling with “heel” however. He does heel, but gets ahead and becomes distracted at times. I probably don’t work on that skill enough, so we’ll have to fix that, and any tips or insight would be appreciated. He seems to like pictures though!
His retrieving work is coming along very well. He’s a total nut some times… The other day I had him sit/stay while I walked closer to the pond, then called “come” and he came running like a bulldozer, leaped off a small stump and went sailing about ten feet through the air like SuperDog! “Whump!” as he landed and crumpled to the ground… I was concerned that he would hurt himself, but he jumped up ready for more as I shook my head. And this dog loves water like there’s no tomorrow. Here he shows off his style running up the hill from the pond.
We have also been working on hand signals for marked and unmarked retrieves. Put him sitting half way between a pile of bumpers, and give the “back” or “over” signal to the pile. Off he runs and brings it back… not too bad, but he doesn’t like giving up the bumper. We’re working on that aspect too… But I placed one about 75-100 yards out, then gave him the “back” to retrieve… he started searching, nose-to-the-ground, about half way there, and ran the wrong direction left. I whistled and gave him an “over” and he took off the other way… as he got close to the line of the mark/bumper, I gave him a “back” and he turned and went out like a pro! He found it and brought it back, and I was amazed… sheer luck at this point, but he is a really smart dog. As usual, he simply lacks a good trainer! But we’re both learning as that goes, and it’s pretty neat.
The other morning we were surprised by a large flock of Canada Geese passing through. They honked and honked while landing, and as I walked towards them to get a picture they flew off, scolding me for interrupting their choice parking spot! They’ll be moving around a lot more in the months ahead.