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Discussion Starter #1
I leave for SD in a little under two months. My pup is a little less than a year old and does pretty well with basic obedience commands (sit, down, heel, here, stay). Last weekend I was working with him on retrieving a dead pheasant that a buddy brought me a while ago that I've had in the freezer for training purposes. These circumstances have brought on a couple of questions...

1) How do I teach my dog to "drop it" once he's brought the bird back? He growled at me and we fought about it more than we should. I tried pinching his bottom lip between my hand and his teeth, but that didn't do the trick (that's what started the growling, and I really don't want to get bit). It could be that I wasn't pushing hard enough against his lip to get my point across...any other opinions on what to do there?

2) Is it possible for a first time dog trainer (and potential idiot) to train a 1 year old dog in time for him to run snow geese in 50 days?

HOW?
 

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yes I think you can over come and both have a good time, you migh try swapping something for the bird, say a kibble. Andy Johnson is in 3 rivers area I am sure he could get you going also. but try making it fun more than punishiment
 

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I leave for SD in a little under two months. My pup is a little less than a year old and does pretty well with basic obedience commands (sit, down, heel, here, stay). Last weekend I was working with him on retrieving a dead pheasant that a buddy brought me a while ago that I've had in the freezer for training purposes. These circumstances have brought on a couple of questions...

1) How do I teach my dog to "drop it" once he's brought the bird back? He growled at me and we fought about it more than we should. I tried pinching his bottom lip between my hand and his teeth, but that didn't do the trick (that's what started the growling, and I really don't want to get bit). It could be that I wasn't pushing hard enough against his lip to get my point across...any other opinions on what to do there?

2) Is it possible for a first time dog trainer (and potential idiot) to train a 1 year old dog in time for him to run snow geese in 50 days?

HOW?
Contact Gundogguy from this forum, he has a retriever class and he can give you a good evaluation. Sounds like a force fetch program is needed.
 

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A force fetch is needed but a small trick to get the dog to drop the bird without all that hassel in the short term without FF when he comes back to you blow in his ear and he will drop what he has in his mouth
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Discussion Starter #6
I'm all about making training more fun than work, but I've tried treats as positive reward instead of just redirecting the unwanted behavior and he gets one sniff of whatever I'm using for treats and goes nuts; after that he won't listen worth a hill of beans, much less do what I want him to.

Looking for any suggestions...I'd like to be able to run him once or twice while I'm out of town hunting snows...
 

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Contact Gundogguy from this forum, he has a retriever class and he can give you a good evaluation. Sounds like a force fetch program is needed.
It is nearly impossible to diagnose the growling on release without knowing much more and probably observing the dog. It could be a dominace thing, could be someone playing tug-o-war and he is playing, could be a family structure thing. Force fetch will make him a better retriever and know his spot in family. There are a lot of things you can try to get him to release but it won't solve the problem and the more he gets away with it the more dominate he could become over you and the family. I wouldn't be worried about a hunt in 50 days, I'd be worried about the rest of his life.
 

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I won't really answer the question, but I will give you some advice. :)

1st: Decide what level you want to train your dog up to. Go to a local HRC training day or find someone with a high trained retriever that's willing to show what some of these dogs are capable of doing.

2nd: Find a training program like Smartwork, or Total Retriever Training by Mike Lardy(very high end stuff), or Fowl Dawgs. Don't mix the programs and follow them and don't skip steps.

3rd: Forget taking your dog snow hunting in 50days. You've got a young dog and it'd pay greater dividends spending more time training and waiting for fall season. It's easy for bad habits to develop when hunting because YOU want to get a bird. It's easier to not to allow a bad habit than to correct it. Now this would be different if you're willing to go out by yourself or even better with a friend and you don't shoot and just work the dog. You enforce your standards and just take one bird or two if the dog is doing good.

My $0.02 nothing more.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I think what I'm going to end up doing is going by a training program (my friend has trained a dog that was a champion of one sort or another) and training hard (but fair) up to that time. The dog is going with me one way or another to SD (it'll be a good experience for the both of us, just to have that time to spend together at the lodge). I'll train him hard AS IF I were going to hunt him in SD, but I probably won't give him the chance.

Thanks for all of the advice guys, I appreciate it!
 

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I tried that blowing in the ear thing with an old girl friend and it had the exact opposite affect....
I like this guy!

I agree with Socks tho, snow goose hunting with an untrained dog is going to cause you a lot of headaches. Put him through a summer of training and then take him out in the fall. It's a lot more fun having your buddies tell you how good the dog is doing vs asking you to put him in the truck bc he's flaring birds.


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I think what I'm going to end up doing is going by a training program (my friend has trained a dog that was a champion of one sort or another) and training hard (but fair) up to that time. The dog is going with me one way or another to SD (it'll be a good experience for the both of us, just to have that time to spend together at the lodge). I'll train him hard AS IF I were going to hunt him in SD, but I probably won't give him the chance.

Thanks for all of the advice guys, I appreciate it!
good luck, keep training, but try this. let him carry the bird for a minute, give command like heel and walk around with him, if he drops the bird , give it back to him, walk him around, let it be his ,then when he drops it , give it back to him. then try to give a release comand. if he gives it, praise him, give it back, repeat as needed. then toss it and send him . but find a trainer to keep working, socks is right on
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I'll try it Jimmie...sounds like it'll work.meanwhile I've got to talk to my buddy. What about having two birds and throwing him one while he's got the other? Also thought about treats upon retrieval to get him to drop it AND as a reward...?

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I'll try it Jimmie...sounds like it'll work.meanwhile I've got to talk to my buddy. What about having two birds and throwing him one while he's got the other? Also thought about treats upon retrieval to get him to drop it AND as a reward...?

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There ya go!! now you are getting some really good advice:dizzy:
 

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I'll try it Jimmie...sounds like it'll work.meanwhile I've got to talk to my buddy. What about having two birds and throwing him one while he's got the other? Also thought about treats upon retrieval to get him to drop it AND as a reward...?

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the dog having a bird while one is thrown is called "Bird in Mouth" and is typically used to work on memory for multiple marks. This is advanced work and your pup isn't there just yet. Break things down, step by step and keep it simple.

The treat might work, but you need to only use it very little. Your dog should get to the point where getting the bird is the reward. Besides it might not be a good idea to get the dog thinking about eating something when it has a fresh killed yummy bird in its mouth. You see where that could lead right? I've heard of dogs failing hunt tests because it decideded to have a duck snack.
 

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Sorry Gundog guy , dont mean to step on your toes, . but here is the truth. he is taking the dog and will hunt him, so give him a chance to get closer to where he needs to be. there are more than 1 direct route, weather it is ideal or not.
no I do not think the 2 birds is a good route. working on the possesive bird or bumper is, does the dog only do this with birds or bumpers also?
imo if the dog thinks it will never get one of these again then it wants to keep it, if you let him hold it he is not so challenged to keep it, when he thinks he can have it back he is more likely to give it up, bird ,bumper, ball, what ever. the younger the better, so make it a game but you control the game. now gdg will not agree, thats fine. but if this works out for you great if not for $$$$$$$$$$$$$$ gdg can fix it, maybe. :gaga:
 

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the dog having a bird while one is thrown is called "Bird in Mouth" and is typically used to work on memory for multiple marks. This is advanced work and your pup isn't there just yet. Break things down, step by step and keep it simple.

The treat might work, but you need to only use it very little. Your dog should get to the point where getting the bird is the reward. Besides it might not be a good idea to get the dog thinking about eating something when it has a fresh killed yummy bird in its mouth. You see where that could lead right? I've heard of dogs failing hunt tests because it decideded to have a duck snack.

+1 Socks is spot on.
Also watch out with giving treats to release the bird....it will only take a few times and that release will be a toss of the bird at 30 yards to get it's mouth open for the treat. There are no short cuts in training, unless you start at the bottom step and build your way up.
 
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