Help Your Retriever Retrieve (with video of Callie)

If you want to have a good relationship with your dog, one of the best things you can do is to help it be true to its breeding and nature. For example, Golden Retrievers are bred to retrieve. So why not give your Golden Retriever lots of chances to retrieve different things? If you've read "My Doggie Says... Messages from Jamie," you know that Jamie would often interrupt our morning jog by freezing in place and looking back at us to make eye contact. The message was, "Could I please pick up this pine cone and carry it for a while?" We encouraged her to retrieve things (usually pine cones or sticks) whenever she could. Of course, her favorite thing to retrieve was her "floppy." Callie, now almost eleven months old, is building her retrieving muscles. It's fun to watch her, because she doesn't always know what works and what doesn't work. For example, Jamie learned that it works best to carry a big stick by holding it near the middle, so it balances evenly. You'll see in the video that Callie hasn't quite figured this out yet. She often "bites off more than she can chew," trying to retrieve sticks that are too big and then holding them at one end, instead of in the middle. But she's learning. And it's really fun to watch her work at being a better retriever.