1. Are you reducing your training because of the lack of daylight?
Look at it another way:
- Use the dark mornings and nights to your advantage
- Working in the dark will encourage your dog to use its nose
- Learning to mark retrieves by sound can be a useful tool in woods etc
2. Does your dog run around you, having fun, rather than bringing back the retrieve straight to your hand?
- Use a heavy retrieve (6lb Hare Dummy works well – you can borrow the Club one if you want but it is worth buying one if you expect to continue having dogs)
- Because it is heavy, they are less inclined to run off as they concentrate on holding the dummy and bringing it to you. This also encourages the dog to hold the dummy in the middle as it is
better balanced in its mouth.
- Your aim is to take away any concerns in your dogs mind about giving it to you so that he thinks delivering the retrieve to you is the most rewarding option so:
- You don’t step forward for it – he could think it is the start of a game or you are ‘pressuring’ him for it
- Turn to one side and squat down for it or actually walk away, taking it from your dog 'on the move'.