Train­ing a young Labrador to jump with a re­trieve

Shooting Times & Country Magazine - - CONTENTS -

How do you train a dog to jump with a re­trieve? My Labrador is nine months old and will climb or even leap over a fence, but if he has a dummy in his mouth he will not even at­tempt to get over no mat­ter how much I try to en­cour­age him.

Your dog needs to be trained to jump on com­mand, and be con­fi­dent when jump­ing over ob­jects, be­fore you at­tempt to in­tro­duce re­trieves over ob­sta­cles. This train­ing should be car­ried out very cau­tiously and in stages so that the dog’s con­fi­dence grows with his abil­ity to tackle higher and higher jumps.

Be­gin with a very low ob­sta­cle, such as a piece of scaf­fold board fixed firmly across a door or gate­way, and make go­ing over it part of his daily life. He will then have to jump it to go out into

56 • SHOOT­ING TIMES & COUN­TRY MAG­A­ZINE the gar­den and jump back over to come in for meals. Re­peat a com­mand as he jumps over so he also learns a cue for jump­ing. When this is no prob­lem to him, grad­u­ally add more boards over sev­eral days or weeks.

Keep slowly in­creas­ing the ob­sta­cle un­til it is 3ft-4ft high and of no con­cern to the dog. The same method can be used with a wire mesh fence, but to build con­fi­dence a good solid top rail is es­sen­tial. Once the dog’s con­fi­dence is re­ally high, in­tro­duce a re­trieve but lower the ob­sta­cle. Just as when he did not have any­thing in his mouth, start low and grad­u­ally in­crease the height over time.

Use a fairly small re­trieve ar­ti­cle such as a puppy dummy at first, and when his con­fi­dence is ob­vi­ous grad­u­ally in­crease the height of the jump and the size of the ar­ti­cle. In this way, he will soon learn to jump and re­trieve with­out any con­cerns. PR

Make sure your dog is con­fi­dent when jump­ing over ob­sta­cles be­fore in­tro­duc­ing a re­trieve

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