Golden "Retrieves" but would not "Release"??

Posted by Rodrigo
Aug 26, 2010

Dimitri is 14 weeks now! He is simply great and learns quickly! We need to work on a couple of things but I don't want him to be that obedient yet!

He is learning not to pull on the leash; this has improved A LOT with the Halti collar but he can't stop trying to get rid of it while walking! I suppose it will take some more time? We have been using this collar for 10 days now.

We are also working on his nipping and jumping...

He loves to run and play of course... but would not release the toy even when we offer treats! He looks at us suspiciously... Sometimes he lays down beside us and play with it, sometimes he would fetch the toy and lay down somewhere else... Is he trying to play? I read I don't have to chase him and give him control of game times, but I would like him to fetch and release and not fetch and go somewhere else or fight with me over the toy!

Thank you all for your help!
Posted by kjd
Aug 26, 2010
Hi, Rodrigo,

When Dimitri goes off with his toy, does he keep an eye on you? I had a dog who would take the ball off like that. Then she would drop it. She was sitting on a small hump in the yard, so the ball usually rolled towards me. If it didn't, she'd pounce on it and take it back to the little rise and try again. When it came towards me, I'd pick it up and throw it again. She rarely came directly back, but usually stopped on that rise. You could see the gleam in her eye when she took the ball off. So it is possible Dimitri is just playing with you.

The toy he chases -- do you have another one like it? If so, when he comes close to you, throw the other toy. He should drop the first to get the second. If he doesn't drop it until after he has chased the second, don't throw it. Instead, when he gets near, take out the second toy and make a big fuss over it. Get him interested in it, but don't let him have it. Keep teasing him with it until he drops the first toy, then throw the new one. If you make sure he is close enough before bringing out the second toy, you can practically stand (or sit) in one place and play with him. Whichever you do, don't show any interest in the toy he has in his mouth!

See if that will help,
Posted by KOPCaroline
Aug 27, 2010
Hey Rodrigo,

I love hearing about how Dimitri is going! What a bundle of puppy goodness, haha

I think he'll get used to the halti, it has only been a week and a half, and always making it part of your walking routine will help. He'll stop bothering with it after a bit.

As far as learning to drop, when he picks up his toys, get down on his level and call him over very sweetly, give him lots of praise when he returns with the toy. Don't try to take it from his mouth, but pat him lots while he's there with it in his mouth. Work up to putting you hand on the toy and playing tug of war with him. Eventually, when he's ok with you grabbing the toy in his mouth, incorporate a "let go" or "enough" command, and work it out of his mouth. You can help this along by catching him dropping things out of his mouth on his own, and giving a "let go" or "drop it" command as he does it. When he hears this as he's dropping something, he'll associate the two and learn it as a command. But you need to try and give the command everytime he drops something, the more repetitious you are about it, the better and quicker he'll learn.

My own dog used to not quite get the gist of giving a toy up. When he didnt respond I eventually used my serious voice, saying sternly to "drop it" and sometimes popping him on the nose, not painful at all, just something else to focus on which usually made him open his mouth to lick his muzzle or just reacting with "hey!" You could try something like this too.

kjd's idea of a dual toy system is also great, just be sure the second toy is just as desireable to Dimitri!

Have fun!
Posted by Rodrigo
Sep 10, 2010
Great, thanks a lot.

Things have improved a bit. He is just playing I think. He comes close with the frisbee/ball and tries to start a chasing game. I do not chase him so then he comes again closer and releases the toy after I ask him too.

He is going to be 4 months soon and we noticed he is like challenging us by barking and biting really hard. We leave him alone for some minutes and he usually calms down... Maybe it's normal at this stage?

I really hope his new teeth are not as sharp as these ones... Really hurts! And we have to replace some pants and shirts...

BTW, he behaves 95% well with the halti and 70% of the times without the halti.

What's really bothering us is the biting more than the jumping on people (next thing we will work on).

Thanks a lot for your support and ideas guys!

Posted by kjd
Sep 10, 2010
Hi, Rodrigo,

Those little baby teeth always seem sharper! Make sure he has lots of things to chew on right now; this is a stage he will pass through. But you don't want him to think you or your things are acceptable chew toys! If he starts on you, tell him "No" firmly, then offer him something he CAN chew. At this point, you may want to carry something on you or have them scattered (out of his reach) about the house, so you can always present him with the proper items.