Teaching Bear to Retrieve


Bear is our mutt, he is 1/2 Golden Retriever and 1/2 monster, he looks nothing like a Golden Retriever, he’s all black and very shaggy. We got him almost 2 years ago as an outdoor dog to help keep predators away. He really has little regard for obedience. Our daughter has spent a lot of time going through obedience training with him and he does really well if he knows you have TREATS! No treats no obedience.

Anyway, he loves to play but he likes to play his way and not yours. When he has something such as the thing he just stole out of your hand when you weren’t paying attention, he runs off, comes back, stops in front of you, does the doggy let’s play bow and when you step forward he darts off again to do it all over again. One of his favorite things to do is run as fast as he can by you just out of reach.


For a while now I have been reading many training books in hopes to improve Bears personality which is very difficult since he is an outdoor dog and gets the freedom of the outdoors. Today we had a very successful retrieving session. I had him on a tie-off while I threw a stick. He would go get the stick and bring it back but when he comes back he tries to dodge me but I grab ahold of him and just give him praise while he is still holding the stick then I put my hand around the stick and blow in his ear and he gently drops it as I say drop. Then I continue to pet him and give praise as if he is the greatest dog in the world. Earlier comments aside we really do love him even the faults.

He does not like to let go of things, his favorite game, if he lets you get ahold of the item in his mouth, is tug-of-war. So, this was a very successful day in training and hope it continues. I have a strong desire to start bird hunting with our English Labrador Retriever, Sugar, and I would like to also include Bear. Even though we are getting a very late start in his retriever training, I think he will do fine as a hunting dog in the future.