Training a High Energy Yellow Lab Puppy to Use an Automatic Ball Throwing Machine

By: David Codr

Published Date: September 25, 2018

For this Glenwood Iowa puppy training session we show 5 month-old Ripley’s guardian how to train a Yellow Lab puppy to use an automatic ball tossing machine to drain his endless supply of energy.

This was a fun session for me as the guardian is an old childhood friend I haven’t seen in decades! I had spoken to her about Ripley when we set the appointment offering a few tips to get started with as her dog is clearly VERY HIGH ENERGY.

Ripley was almost literally bouncing off the walls and the guardian lamented that she couldn’t seem to wear this high energy puppy out. I suggested a few alternate forms of exercise like tossing treats down stairs repeatedly, chasing a laser and some scent games.

I also suggested the guardian start an exercise journal. Annotating when, how long and how much she exercises Ripley will help her determine how much exercise her dogs needs and how often. Im betting it will take a week or so of regular exercise spread throughout the day to determine exactly how much exercise the dog needs to calm down.

One of my favorite ways to burn off excess energy is the use of an automatic ball throwing machine. I have tried a few of these with my own dogs and have found the Go Dog Go model is my preference. I had suggested this to Ripley’s guardian and she had picked one up before the session.

We headed outside so I could show the guardian how to train a dog to use a Go Dog Go ball throwing machine.

Ripley wasn’t as cooperative as I would have liked in the above video, but when I discovered the human was physically taking balls away instead of having the dog drop them, it made sense. Of course, Ripley decided to cooperate and drop the ball into the machine as soon as we stopped filming!

I showed the guardian how to teach Ripley to drop and made sure to mention the importance of practicing this often with low value items. If she really works at it for a week, she will be able to teach the dog to use the automatic ball throwing machine in no time.

Once Ripley knows how to use the Go Dog Go, the guardian will need to consistently promote its use. At first she will need to go out with Ripley and use treats the reward drops in the bucket. But after a while, Ripley should start to let himself out the dog door to play fetch with himself when he has too much pent up energy.

It took quite a bit of short exercises sprinkled throughout the session, but eventually Ripley did settle down and listen better. To make sure the guardian remembers all the dog behavior secrets to helping a high energy dog calm down in this in home dog training session, we shot a roadmap to success video.

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This post was written by: David Codr

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