Parker’s first fetch-session was when she was just 8 weeks old. That was when she was still with her breeder, Kyle Warren of Paint River Llewellins. Kyle recorded that session as he did for all of the dogs in that litter. Parker is the third puppy in his video. As usual, I’m trying to learn from the experts so I’ve pretty much just copied Kyle’s approach here.
I also copied an idea from my old friend Ron Vanderheiden of VanSporting.com. A year or so ago he brought up a idea for a series of one minute dog training videos and we’re finally getting around to trying a few.
Every hunter and dog handler has an idea of how they want their dogs to handle and retrieve game. Setters can be natural retrievers but not all of them are. Force-fetch is an option but that’s a lot of pressure for a dog and especially for setters that some describe as a little soft.
Based on reading Kyle’s social media posts, I’d say that he, like many setter owners and breeders, believes in developing the natural retrieve as much as possible. Early sessions like these can serve as evaluation tools and as the first blocks in building a retrieving setter.
For now, we’re not really worried about that. We’re just playing once or twice a day and for just a few minutes each time.
I found a few toys that Parker really likes and is willing to chase. Then I just make myself as interesting as possible. (I know, right?) That’s where all the clapping, kissing sounds and happy talking comes in. If she comes back with the toy, great! If not, no worries. It’s just supposed to be fun for now.
Enjoy the video!