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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a slightly new problem that i have noticed with my 2.5 year old lab this season. For some reason she hesitates to retrieve ducks when they are on land or shallow water (where she doesnt have to swim). On opening day we dropped a woody on land and she would pick it up but then spit it out. Had a similar problem with a teal in shallow water (pick it up but spit it out). Then i shot a woody and it landed a ways out from land, sent her and she swam out and grabed it a brought it all the way back to me on land (it was a great retrieve). Then we dropped 4 mallarads in shallow water, and she went up to each of them and nosed them then brought 3/4 back just to the shoreline but it took a lot of coaxing her...
I am sure most reponses on here are going to be that i we need to work on FF... and that may be true but right now i am trying to figure out why she is doing this...
is it the blood? the warm body? does she just need more experience? I have been working with her with dead birds in the yard and she does just fine. Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated:)
Thanks!
 

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Yep FF. I'm curious though. Was she hunted last year? Any problems then? Have you worked her with dead ducks anywhere else other than the back yard? As in a training field of some sorts? Is she coming into or out of heat? I've heard that sometimes females get kind of weird in training while in heat. Have you used gunfire/poppers when working on retrieving dead ducks in the yard or in the training field (if you used one)? Just some thoughts that popped into my head; nothing more, nothing less.

Joe
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yep FF. I'm curious though. Was she hunted last year? Any problems then? Have you worked her with dead ducks anywhere else other than the back yard? As in a training field of some sorts? Is she coming into or out of heat? I've heard that sometimes females get kind of weird in training while in heat. Have you used gunfire/poppers when working on retrieving dead ducks in the yard or in the training field (if you used one)? Just some thoughts that popped into my head; nothing more, nothing less.

Joe
I hunted her last year and the year before.. but she only has about 5 ducks and one goose under her before this year... last year she did retreive in the water (where she had to swim) and the same day would not pick up a bird on land. Only worked her around the property with dead ducks (20 acres or so at home). She is coming out of heat. She is fine with gun fire and infact gets really excited when the gun is fired bc she knows there is a bird - all kinds of ambition in that area...
 

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I'm having the same problem so I'm curious to the answer. My dog however will not touch a goose, water or land. Just swims circles around them until I call him back, lol. It's pretty comical until I have to wade out in the muck to get it. He is 14 months old and does great with boat manners and training. He also loves gunfire, he just won't touch a goose or pick up a duck on land.
 

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I'm having the same problem so I'm curious to the answer. My dog however will not touch a goose, water or land. Just swims circles around them until I call him back, lol. It's pretty comical until I have to wade out in the muck to get it. He is 14 months old and does great with boat manners and training. He also loves gunfire, he just won't touch a goose or pick up a duck on land.
He is pretty young for Geese. I had the same problem when my pup was that age. He would go to the Goose and bark at it. He grew out of it and has no problems with them now. It would be great for him to keep a dead Goose to train with. I'm sure with some simple retrieves of a dead goose in the yard he'll gain a lot of confidence handling those big birds.
 

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I'm having the same issues and going FF after season! I have been working with her with a frozen duck and she's been doing good. Hopefully I can get a duck shot this weekend to see what she does. I handle the dog in the boat while others shoot but the problem is the others can't shoot too good! Lol. She just needs more experience. She's learns very easily and quickly so I'm not worried.


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I was having the same issue as long as she had to swim she would hold the brid. Once she could touch she would drop it. Had the same issue on dry land.

She needed to be force fetched, today she has no issues she is a retrieving fool.

When people hear FF they think able all the talk about dogs being placed on blance table with string tied to there toe nail. Metal pop bottle caps. And the list goes on.

Mine was done by folding the ear and rubbing it on there collar with just eoungh pressure to get the response that is needed.

Tim Doone fron Kingseed kennels trained mine.
There is also very good DVDs out there.
 

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I sorry if I offend anyone but this has been coming up a lot lately . It not your dog that is the problem its the handlers that are the problem .the dog is bread with the instinct to retrieve not to deliver to hand . This comes from the handlers training program and making sure that all links are complete before advancing . And what mean by that don't skip any steps in your training process . You want to link chain 1 to chain 2 chain 3 to chain 4 . If start to skip links then you are going to end up with a short chain and the short chain won't work for the need you need it to do . But if all the are chain in the correct order you will have a finished product at the end . And even though your chains are linked together correctly .this doesn't mean you never go back and refreshing . Like I said at the beginning 90 percent of the issues with dog is not the dog its the handler.there are a lot of tools out there that you can use DVD's books or even your local HRC clubs . The hrc clubs train just about year round and were created for the hunter by the hunter to keep their dogs n peak conditions year round .that way coming hunting season we are not having these conversations and enjoying hunting .

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I found that all ducks do not smell nor taste the same. Mine had a issue with a wood duck so I played with him with it until he fetched and held then commanded him to get in the boat after that wood ducks no problem. Any duck that is odd I use in training so it will become a duck is a duck. He had been ff before this issue. Keep working on it and have fun.
 

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"Like I said at the beginning 90 percent of the issues with dog is not the dog its the handler."

I presume you meant "trainer/handler". The thing is all dogs are different, some dogs will need more time on one step and less time on other parts of a program. Having the videos is like having . tools for a construction job. The trick is knowing how and when to use each tool. The way you know is by "reading" the dogs behavior. it can be as simple as noticing head position, change in attitude, posture etc. Reading comes with experience. Sometimes you have to improvise and create your own drill for the dog. You have to figure out what really motivates the dog and if there is anything that is creating an adverse reaction. Sometimes it can be something from past "play" that caused an unwanted behavior. I have found answers by studying the pedigree and knowing tendencies of other dogs in the bloodline.

Then there is "pressure" when and how much. There are some dogs that are soft and some that are tough. So tough they can handle a full e-collar. Tough and stubborn is long hard road. Attrition is some times the the best route, repetition.

The point is answers on the internet can only be suggestions you have to see the dog to give definitive solutions. I am reading several posts about dogs that won't finish retrieves. it appears the dogs do not know (a) what is expected, (b) the handler will not settle for less than what is expected and will enforce the command. You need the tools(past training) to enforce the command.
 

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Like Tim Done said this issue is a FF. The expectation of the handler whether it is delivery to hand or a bird dropped at you feet. How much time you put into your dog is how your return will be measured. If you want to solve this problem seek the help of a pro. Tim Done is on the west side of the state, Daren Morrman is near Midland as are others. FYI the entire FF process is usually a 6 wk one. Best of luck and may the duck Gods shine well on you.
 

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I remembered I had written something on force fetch before and saved it so I thought i would copy it to this thread.

As far as FF goes it is not just about properly holding a bird and bringing it back it sets the work rules for the dog. The rule being "You are now a working animal, you work for me and you can not get out of it." This foundation will carry over to simple things like when you tell the dog to get in a strange boat or blind. He doesn't want to do it sometimes for a lot of different reasons, but he has figured out over time that you have a standard and he has no choice. Later he comes to accept it and trust you.

Later if the dog thinks things have changed as to what is expected it is an easy reminder. And last I once had a friend I was hunting with throw some dekes in what appeared to be a shallow creek along a marsh, turned out we couldn't walk in it, no hard bottom. I grabbed a decoy, a little visit to FF and he retrieved the dekes for us. (This was not a problem latter as he was a finished dog). So don't poo-poo FF, It's a powerful tool to training. FF may be not for everyone but definitely for the serious dog trainer, competitor/ hunt tester.
 

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I have one question about FF. Can I ff my dog during hunting season as she would still be going hunting with me or would you wait until after season.


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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I started last year with the ear pinch method. I was able to get my dog to retrieve the bumper, heal, and hold until i commanded her to give it to me. I then just kept tossing birds around the yard and she brings them back just fine. so i guess i am not sure how to transfer this FF method to the bird or hunting situations... this dog is a bit of a softy and if even get the E-collar out, she hides under the table and loses everything she knows right down to heal because she is scared of the collar.. so i am not really sure how to enforce this FF without the collar.... i was just kinda hoping that with getting used to birds around the yard, that i would not have to do much more with FF.... i have emailed farpoint retrieves to see about getting some help... do you guys have any suggestions about transfering FF to the ground without a collar?
Thanks
 

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Brooke11 it's very hard to respond to your question without knowing EXACTLY how you taught FF in the first place. It sounds like your dog does not feel responsible to pick up and retrieve to hand. A dog that is willing to chase is a good place to start. It sounds like your dog is doing that. Many dog will chase even if it means swimming and bring a bird to land and leave it there. Again they need to feel responsible to deliver, that is taught.
As far as the collar goes, what you described sounds like a dog that has had collar pressure applied and did not understand it. That is a very easy assumption to make and may not be the case but that's the first thing that's gonna come to a pro's mind when they hear a comment like yours.
Getting help from a professional trainer is a good idea. I hope it all works out for you. If it makes you feel any better this is a VERY common problem when a dog is trained by someone who lacks experience. Only one way to gain experience.
 

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I started last year with the ear pinch method. I was able to get my dog to retrieve the bumper, heal, and hold until i commanded her to give it to me. I then just kept tossing birds around the yard and she brings them back just fine. so i guess i am not sure how to transfer this FF method to the bird or hunting situations... this dog is a bit of a softy and if even get the E-collar out, she hides under the table and loses everything she knows right down to heal because she is scared of the collar.. so i am not really sure how to enforce this FF without the collar.... i was just kinda hoping that with getting used to birds around the yard, that i would not have to do much more with FF.... i have emailed farpoint retrieves to see about getting some help... do you guys have any suggestions about transfering FF to the ground without a collar?
Thanks
Have you tried the DVD water dog?It doesn't use a e-collar.


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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Have you tried the DVD water dog?It doesn't use a e-collar.


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no i have not tried the DVD water dog... will look into it.. I have trained one other dog, and she is a retrieving machine... but that one was stubborn and hardly flinched at the E-collar.. so now i am at the other end of the specturm...
 

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The water dog book was written by Richard Walters in the 1950's The DVD was done by Charlie Jurney and if I remember right he states that Richard who did not train his last few dogs himself came to realize the E collar was a very valuable tool for dog training.
I recommend to all my pup buyers and training clients the Fowl Dawg training DVD's They are current and speak very well to the novice trainer. If you follow them from start to end you can train up a real nice dog. Problem is when people try to skip parts and mix and match more than one program. That NEVER works.

Check out www.finelineretrievers.com for the dvd's
 

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Yes Jim your right on that didn't word it wright. Also guys if all you do is train in the same spot.this will also cause problems . dog makes a mental picture of the area where you train and they do everything perfect for you there . but once you go to a new location it may change the dog picture and he may not handle as good as he did in your old train spot . This gets a lot of newer handlers confused why the dog won't do it in one spot and then can do it in other spot no problem.


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I do know of a dog who is running OPEN & AMATEUR FT's who was not fully FF. His owner will not admit it to anyone. Exceptional dog. I also know of competative people in obedience who have not FF their dog and all of a sudden the dog starts to spit out the dumbell or won't pick it up. The result is 6 weeks backwards. The only Walters I knew was D.L. and he was a no bull trainer with extremely high standards.
Get on a program and stick with it. Don't be afraid to help from a pro it will only help.
 
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