If Training isn't Fun for your Dog Your Efforts will be in Vane

Before you begin the endeveour of training your dog to become the greatest retriever in the world, you MUST remember this above everything else.


Your dog will never perform like a champion if the desire does not come within. For example, most child prodigies will study and practice incesentialy not because their parents push them to do so, but because they love it. Your dog is no different. The trick is getting your dog to do what you want while making it something that gives him pure joy.

If you forget this during your training your dog will fail to reach his potential and you will most certianly be dissapointed and frustrated.

When forget everything else about training, remember this on thing.


If you never forget this your results will be amazing, guaranteed.


The word desire is used frequently in the sport of retriever training and you will hear many interputaitons of what it means. In my opinion it simply means this, "The dog is having fun". Once you remove the fun from the game your dog will not perform as desired. Now keep in mind, your inturpuration of desire and your dogs may never be the same and this is due to genetics. Some dogs simply don't have the right genes to make them a good retriever from our perspective.

For example, when bringing up your child you played games with math. You made math a joyous time for you and your child. Whether he did well or not, you had fun together. Well your child now loves math, but.... both you and your spouse are artists and although your child loves math, he is horrible at it. You made it fun, but it doesn't mean that you now have a genius. Most retrievers will have the needed genetic desire to retrieve, but some will not. For those that do, the rest is up to you to MAKE IT FUN and bring out your dogs genius.

What does a dog with Desire act like?

  • During a retrieve the dog can barely sit. His adrenline is flowing and a hurricane could not keep him from getting that bird or bumper
  • During a hunt the dog is feverishly looking for that bird and doesn't give up easily
  • The dog runs at full speed all the way to the fall area
  • The dog runs back for the next retrieve
  • The dog is wagging its tail all the time
  • After a whistle sit the dog flies back to continue the retrieve
  • The dog always wants more
  • At the sound of a gunshot, the dogs body is at attention looking for the bird
  • training time is fun time, not a dredgery of corrections and overbearing control.

How to Keep it Fun and bring out your dogs desire.

  • Never train too long. Typically 20 minutes it the absolute maximum time
  • Don't train too much. Twice a day is ideal, once in morning and once at night
  • Always end training on a positive note.
  • End training with a few fun retrieves, a roll on the ground, a kiss on the face, etc. What every makes him crazy with happieness.
  • Don't hit your dog
  • Don't scream at your dog
  • Don't apply corrections more than a few times during a training session. This includes heeling stick, collar corrections, and leash tugs.
  • Keep your retrieves challinging. You don't want to bore your him with too many simple retrieves
  • Don't loose your temper (I know this one is hard)
  • Stop your training session when your dogs entheusaism weans
  • Hide all bumpers out of sight unless your training. Make the sight of bumpers mean "It's time to play" Don't leave them laying around the house or garage