Preparing Ridge for better delivery and increasing difficulty of marks

I have been working with Ridge for a few days now and although he is still  only 9 weeks old he is going out about 20 yards on our font lawn and bringing the dummy back.

I continue to tease him with it, just as you have seen in the video, and then when he is looking at at I throw it across the lawn. He is getting better about marking and I don’t have to skim or throw it low to keep it in his field of vision.

I have also begun throwing it into the edge of taller grass and across some “obstacles” such as the small concrete edging by our house. I have also thrown it across the dirt road on the side of the house.

As you may have seen, some dogs pick up the retrieving dummy on the end and “cigar” it. This encourages the dog to drop the dummy or continue to mouth it even though they may be able to still hold. To help solve this problem with Ridge I added some wire to each end of his retrieving dummy. He doesn’t like it quite as much but he is picking it up and holding it more evenly. If we continue to use dummies with wire on the ends throughout his puppy stage he should pick up the dummy in the middle by habit for the rest of his life. As my brother Bryan suggested, you may also use hose clamps on each end or some other form of metal – anything that the pup will not like in his mouth as much as the dummy itself. If you have tried other things, let me know.

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