“Working on Retrieve with Milo Sounds Great”

Dog Training Move on

Milo the German Shorthaired Pointer (and his owner, James) would like to work on their retrieves and this is their story.



10 April 2021

James got in touch via Facebook Messenger saying he'd like to get back into training with Milo. He's a student in our Advanced Class but he'd taken a break from training when new baby arrived, and probably due to Covid as well!

12 April

I replied saying: Excellent!

Then went on to suggested working online first then following up with classes (when we open up again) or home visit.

James sorted his Web Course booking the same day.

22 April

I messaged: It's on my list of things to do: Give James & Milo some homework.

I got him access to all the Web Courses including the Advanced one which doesn't "auto-book" the way the new-starter courses do.

And I suggested where we might go from here:

I was thinking Milo might like to work on his retrieve. Does that sound good to you?

If so, we need to:

a) Assess his current retrieve

b) Get a programme of fixes and improvements in place.


The 5 retrieve lessons are on the Move on Course.

You'll need to login to your Web Course and if you have any trouble with that, please let me know. And anything else you'd like to ask/say, again, let me know. Especially if retrieve isn't what you'd like to work on!

James replied:

Working on retrieve with Milo sounds great as it is not something we have worked on much at all. Also I'd like to try and get him a bit more retrieve orientated on walks, as I think he has quite a high hunting drive (even for a GSP), so it would be good to see if retrieving can provide some distraction from that. I'll get onto the web course.

23 April

>I'd like to try and get him a bit more retrieve orientated on walks,


That's what I do. It was virtually 100% with the Collies because they run really fast and don't always look where they're going. And Beetle because she behaves like a Spaniel and goes sniffing off (for bunnies and cats) in the bushes where I can't see her and I don't like them out of sight. Actually, at the moment with Covid and all, the only time they're getting off-leash is when we're working and working is usually retrieving.

This is what a Beetle gundog type retrieve walk looks like:


This, I believe, was my very first youtube!

26 April

I messaged James:

I’ve had a good long think about how to move forward and I’ve written out a lesson in the Q&A section of your Move-on Web Course that has full details so please go visit that.

I’m planning for all the most interesting of student questions to get a lesson on their Web Course so next time somebody wants a similar thing, or when a student just wants to learn a bit more!, the answers will be available.

I’ve changed names, confidentiality and all that. So dog’s name is Milo and your name is James, but I’ve kept the breed the same because I think we need to know what type of dog we’re working with. But if you’re not happy about that or you have questions about what’s shared and where, let me know.

Summary of Goals:

Give article to hand

Wait until released to go get it

“Mark” where it’s gone

Working with more than one article

Directed retrieve

Recall away from retrieve

Heel away from retrieve

We can discuss how to teach all of these things, bit by bit, but I’m goaling to get us some really interesting and challenging retrieve exercises in place when we’re done.

We need to..

a) Assess his current retrieve

b) Get a programme of fixes and improvements in place.

We now need to work on putting his retrieve together step by step and I think I need your feedback in order to b) Get a programme of fixes and improvements in place

So, let’s start with a) Assess his current retrieve

I’m going to make a list of what I’d like to know so I can get an idea where he is with his retrieve right now. But not compulsory! Once I feel I have enough to work on, I can start suggesting exercises for you to have a go at.


Could you send me a photo of the pile of articles you have available to use as retrieving articles please?


You can write one out report if you like, just short messages on the FB Messenger will do nicely, but if you want to make a file and attach it, that’s grand too. Or send me video(s). Or both!

What’s his retrieve like right now? Any questions you have about Beetle’s video and the retrieve lessons on the Move-on Web Course.

Video doesn’t have to be anything massively difficult, you don’t have to make anything as extensive as the Beetle one.

b) Report could include what you like about his current retrieve, what would you like to fix? What have you tried to fix stuff to now? And if the answer to these questions is: I have nothing! Just tell me that. What do you like about his current retrieve? What would you like to fix? What have you tried to fix stuff to now? And if the answer to these questions is: I have nothing! Just tell me that.

c) Yes, I forgot about c). If you’d like a 121 visit or video/audio chat at any time in the process, just let me know. I’d prefer at least a couple of weeks for you to absorb all of this info and get some practise done with Milo so you can have some holes filled and fixes identified first, but I really wouldn’t mind at all if you decided you’d like a visit or a chat pretty much immediately.


© Jenny Adams April 2021

Names have all been changed but dog's breed hasn't. 

STUDENT VERSION. Student versions are blocked from public view. You can share with anyone who’s involved in training your dog, but please don’t share protected content publicly without checking with us first. We need people to come to class so we can feed our dogs.

All comments welcome!


PUBLIC VERSION. Public versions of student questions are summmarised, mostly for confidentiality reasons.

All comments welcome!

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