My 18 week old springer is not interested in retrieving a ball.

by Peter

I have my 1st English Springer Spaniel, Finley who is now 18 weeks old and I have had him since he was 11 weeks old. I have always had dogs and they have been ball mad but Finley isn't and I am struggling on how to get him interested. Everything I am doing at present is all fun based. He will recall to the whistle every time, sit both by verbal, whistle and hand commands. When I'm out with him his nose is down and he's already showing signs of quartering and not scared to explore the woods and undergrowth and positively loves it. When I throw the ball or his dummy into the undergrowth and he sees it he will run to it but is indifferent as to whether he picks it up or not or whether he brings it back or carries it further into the undergrowth. He will also identify the ball/dummy when I throw it behind him and he quarters back towards where its thrown. The only time he will retrieve the ball on a fairly consistent basis is in the house or if he's playing with another dog and he will make me look stupid and retrieve their ball every time. Can anyone give me any tips on how I can get Finley more ball obsessive, especially when we are out in the fields?

Many Thanks in advance,

Pete & Finley

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Comments for My 18 week old springer is not interested in retrieving a ball.

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Jul 03, 2013
Give it time NEW
by: Conrad

At 18 weeks pups can be fickle when being asked to retrieve, as suggested by the previous comment, at this stage it's all about fun, the puppy should be trained for no more than 5 minutes and no more than 3 times a day at this stage. Start with the really important commands, stay and come, I personally favour the whistle for this. For the retrieve, use 100% reward when he does it correctly and only very short retrieves preferably in somewhere where distractions are at the minimum, normally your garden. Gradually reduce the rewards in the garden but outside start again with 100% and short retrieves, I don't start serious retrieve/ presentation training until the pup is at least 9 months, far more important to get the stay and come slick. If you require any further advice feel free to contact me,

Good luck

Nov 13, 2012
springer NEW
by: Estie

Our Cassy likes the frisbee. Sammy only wants to sniff!! He comes back for the treat only!!

Nov 13, 2012
Same NEW
by: sally

I can`t really offer any help but my Springer JJ is 3 years old and has never been interested in balls except in the house or if he`s playing with another dog. His sole interest in life is (unfortunately) sticks! He will retrieve sticks and bring them back all day long and if he can`t find a stick he will actually go up to bushes and low trees and break twigs off! He will only play with a ball if he knows our walk is coming to an end and wants to extend it!
Good luck with it all, sorry Ive been of no help at all but your not alone.

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