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Thread: dog wont stop looking at me

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2007

    Default dog wont stop looking at me

    I have come across a problem with my dog. Almost all of the training I do with my dog is with just her and I. I hand throw 99.9 percent of the bumpers she retrieves. Lately she has been taking her eye off the bumper I have just thrown before it hits the ground and looking back at me almost like she is waiting for permission to retrieve it. It is really effecting her marking ability. I tried to correct it today by making her sit on one side of my truck while I walked around the other side (out of her view) and threw bumpers for her. It seemed to work but I am wondering if there is a better way to correct this behavior. She has been doing it a lot lately. Any suggestions?
    "A dog has no use for fancy cars or big homes or designer clothes. Status symbol means nothing to him. A waterlogged stick will do just fine." Marley and Me

  2. #2


    I'm assuming that you are having her sit away from you. I might be wrong.
    Several things come to mind.
    1. If your dog is having difficulty marking then simplify the task. Use white bumpers in low cover. Teach marking ability gradually. Don't worry about distance. It's teaching the factors that matter the most. Factors such as cover, wind, terrain and even water( water entries). These are what affect a dogs ability to mark the falls. Always make it to where your dog is successful. Now I'm not saying don't challenge your dog. Introducing them to something new is how they learn. But start short and then move back. Maybe even go back to where the bumpers are visible until she stops looking at you. Just for a while.
    2. If you are having your dog sit remotely away from you. Then have her sit at heel beside you. She may be more likely to look directly at the mark. Plus this way she doesn't have to look at the mark then look back to you for "permission"
    3. Now if you have done the above.......and she still looks at you or up at you when she is sitting at your side.
    *When she is at your side and she looks up at you don't make eye contact. Look straight out towards the mark. Be patient you may have to wait a while, but the second she looks away from you and back at the mark ....send her.
    *Do the same if she is sitting away from you. Other than you will have to look at her. There again ... be patient...send her when she looks back out.
    4. Try to have someone else to throw for you. It makes it whole different experience for the dog. Plus it's more exciting for them once properly introduced to "gunners in the field".

    My training groups will be getting together again once hunting season is over. You are welcome to come out. I myself will be busting birds with my own dogs or with client dogs that are still here.
    Let me know how things go.

  3. #3
    New member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Default changes?

    What are you normally doing during and after the throw? Hands? Feet? Movement? What is your timing to release her? Are you waiting a long time? Sending her quick? Did you change any of it?
    I see people working on making a dog staunch before they are ready. Sometimes a dog just needs to roll instead of being made to sit for a long time.
    As always, assess the dog and yourself. Is the dog steady? Does she break? Did you change the length of time between the bumper hitting the ground and the command to retrieve? Did you get on her for breaking?
    My guess is that something may have happened. Might even be something subtle.
    Depending on her level of steadiness, you might change up the release timing. Occasionally send her while the bumper is in the air.
    If you use another person to throw the birds, and she still looks at you, you can signal the thrower to "hup hup" or throw another bumper, or move toward the bumper. All things that get a dog to focus on the field, not your face.
    When working on something like this, as WL said, keep it simple. Don't hide the marks. Focus on your goal, not whether or not the dog can mark a throw.

  4. #4
    Member AK Ray's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    South Central


    It looks like we will have to get together this fall and winter. My pup came into heat back in July and we staid at the house so I never contacted you about hooking up for a training evening. Due to child commitments this summer I ended up with less time to work the dog than I thought I would. We ended up taking the "10-minute retriever" concept a little to seriously some days.

    When I get back from the Brooks and pick the pup up from boarding at Wetlands kennel we will have to get together and toss bumbers for each other.

    I will work on getting a recreation pass for base so I am not having to deal with the bartlet football team.


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