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Discussion Starter #1
My springer is just shy of two years old. I have been trying to break him of this problem for almost a year and have not found anything that seems to work.

In the house, if he has something in his mouth (usually one of the kids stuffed animals) I can call him, make him sit, and he gladly gives me what ever he has.

This is not the case outside. Once we step outside and I throw anything (and this extends to birds he retrieves in the field) he will bring what ever it is back to me then run right past me. He then will circle me as long as I am paying attention. If I step towards him when he is coming at me I can (70% of the time) get him to stop in front of me. Once I get him to the point where he is in front of me every time I reach for what ever is in his mouth he turns his head so I cannot get it. If I use two hands then he gives it up.

So, in the all too often event that I decide that I am not playing his games and go about my business I find that he has laid down and set what ever was in his mouth in front of him waiting for it to be thrown again. If I make any sort of move to pick the item up, he grabs it and starts his circling pattern again. If it is a bird, he will lay down and start to lick it.

This is INSANELY FRUSTRATING!!! I know getting upset with him does not help but it is very hard not to. My defense is to mumble a profanity and turn my back on him with the intent of ignoring the behavior. This is usually met with some form of repeated barking for me to throw what ever the object of the day is... but then HE WILL NOT GIVE IT BACK!!!!

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
 

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You can try the force fetching route. But be aware that once you go that route though, there is no turning back.

You could also try doing the old toy swap game. The dog comes back with the object and you have another for it to retrieve when it arrives with what you threw.

I have a similar issue with my 14 month old Pointer but I've chosen not to deal with it, mostly because I want to focus on his Pointing more than anything. That, and I think I can eventually over come it with time.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The toy swap works fine, I have done that a lot. Maybe I will have to do it more.

I started to look into force fetching at one point... maybe I should consider it again. Would you recommend having someone else do that or is it easy enough to "do it yourself"
 

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Go back to training the "here" or "come" command and enforce it, at all times. This could be with a check cord, e-collar, fence coridor.



Or you can try and ignore him, turn your back and walk away, then get down to his level with your back to him.

It is very important that you dont take the object from him right away, that you get ahold of him and love him up before taking it.
 

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I've never done it. So I couldn't tell you. Though if I were going to do it, I would do it myself. But that's just a personal preference. I'd learn something in trying and I figure if the critter is going to go through the ordeal, it may as well be by someone it trusts.

But like I said, once you start, there is no going back. That much I've been told and read over and over.
 

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Direwolf, If you decide to do the force fetch (conditioned retrieve), I found the info in this article for training my springer very helpful. I've heard some horror stories about the process but my springer went through it without so much as a yip. Now he's a retrieving machine. There are 3 parts to this method. The link is to Part 1 - Hold.

http://www.spanieljournal.com/8pkadlec.html

I've only trained one springer (we have 2 - the older dog is a rough shooting dog - not trained) so don't have a lot of advice to offer other than the article. I'm interested in your progress and what works.

Good luck!
 

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Basic obedience issue from what i can tell. Keep working the basics. I would say he needs to be on a check-cord too.

FF is a good tool to have; if you have the time i would FF your dog.
 

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Like Steelheadfred said, I'd ignore him when he doesn't want to give the object to you. Turn your back and walk away, only throw the object for him when he willingly gives it to you.
Fox
 

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I am a supporter of force fetching. I recommend the toe hitch method. If you haven't done FF before do not try it by yourself.
That said I do not believe that FF will correct the problem with the dog returning with the item.
I FF my dog with the help of a pro trainer and I still had this same problem. Even going back to the FF table for a refresher did not take care of it.
I would not recommend the swapping of one item for another. Your springer may get a new habit of dropping what it has in anticipation of the swap. Then you will have a dropping issue. I had a similar problem with my springer which did not really start happening until into her second year of hunt test. My springer only does this behavior when there are other people to show her bird too. When we hunt she does not do it.
I would recommend two things that have worked for me. Go back to using a check cord during your training sessions. Tell the dog to heal and pull the check cord until the dog is at heal. Give little to no praise for the retrieve. Only give praise once the dog is at your side with the object in mouth. Tell the dog to release the object. Give a lot of praise at this time. Do not give the object back to the dog as a reward. If the dog tries to show the object off to other people have them turn their backs to him/her.

One other thing to add. Do not throw fun bumpers for your dog. Everything you allow the dog to retrieve must end with the dog returning to you for delivery.
Doug
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Does the dog have a pick up problem? Is the dog hard mouthed? Sloppy Mouthed?

Or does the dog just have a delivery to hand problem?
This is just a delivery to hand problem. The dog retrieves anything thrown for it unless it is told not to. He is neither hard mouthed or sloppy.

I refuse to chase him down with what ever item he has, if he doesn't give it back after the retrieve then I go about my business and ignore him but that seems to have very little affect.

I'm with Brandy, I will be trying the check cord idea you gave over the weekend. I think you hit the problem I am having. It isn't that he won't retrieve, and it isn't that he drops it too soon. When I have tried the replacement method he drops what ever he has from the first retrieve in anticipation of me throwing the second item... OR he takes the item from the first retrieve with him to get the second item. If at all possible he will then attempt to then retrieve both the item he had from the first throw AND the item from the second throw.

I hadn't thought about him possibly "showing off"... that makes sense to me... that does seem to be what he is doing. He almost prances around me in circles.
 

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I hadn't thought about him possibly "showing off"... that makes sense to me... that does seem to be what he is doing. He almost prances around me in circles.
My mom's cousin used to own setters and one of them did just that. It would eventually deliver to hand, but not before it had run around him in circles a few times before handing off the bird.
 

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I hadn't thought about him possibly "showing off"... that makes sense to me... that does seem to be what he is doing. He almost prances around me in circles.

Be consistent, try ignore or walk away, really go back to the "here" command or the "come" command.

He will grow out of it with enough birds in his mouth.

I dont have any problem with fun bumpers for what ever it is worth, the key is using them to your advantage and in how you use it to reward the dog. IMO
 

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This is just a delivery to hand problem. The dog retrieves anything thrown for it unless it is told not to. He is neither hard mouthed or sloppy.

I refuse to chase him down with what ever item he has, if he doesn't give it back after the retrieve then I go about my business and ignore him but that seems to have very little affect.

I'm with Brandy, I will be trying the check cord idea you gave over the weekend. I think you hit the problem I am having. It isn't that he won't retrieve, and it isn't that he drops it too soon. When I have tried the replacement method he drops what ever he has from the first retrieve in anticipation of me throwing the second item... OR he takes the item from the first retrieve with him to get the second item. If at all possible he will then attempt to then retrieve both the item he had from the first throw AND the item from the second throw.

I hadn't thought about him possibly "showing off"... that makes sense to me... that does seem to be what he is doing. He almost prances around me in circles.
It would not surprise me that he is just showing off his prize. And if you look close I bet he even has the English Springer smile going on. He is looking for your praise and he will do what it takes to get it. Just don't give it until he is at heal.
Let me know how you prgress with this and I can PM you some things to work on.
How steady is he? Does he chase after the bumpers when you toss them? Or does he wait to be released?
Also if you can avoid it stop tossing bumpers for him have someone else toss them for you.

Doug
 
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