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I have a 1 yr old yellow lab. She does great on Retrieving bumpers but will not pick up a Duck of Pheasant? I work her in the yard with bumpers and then threw her a Duck I had shot that day. She ran to it sniffed it and then refused to pick it up. I can call her back and throw a bumper, she brings it right back??
This past week we hunted Ducks. She did great in the field, stayed steady, marked a Greenhead that I dropped. She ran out to it and grabbed it by the wing. It twitched and she dropped it. Then wouldn't pick it up again. Later from the levee I would throw a bird into the water. She would mark it and go to it. If it was in deep water where she had to swim she would retrieve it and bring it to hand. If I tossed the Duck onto land or shallow water she would go to it and leave it alone???
Couple days later I took her to a club and we shot Pheasants. It was a tough day for scent but she still found them, flushed them, and would not retrieve them? Some of the birds would not fly. When she bumped them they would run. She was all over them until they stopped running. She would not pick them up???
Is it time for force fetching or some other drills to get her to retrieve feathers???
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- Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 3:09 pm
- Location: Ione, CA
Jeff - I am not a pro at training and there is good advice that will come from a number of people on this site. My experience in training 4 dogs is that some dogs have a higher prey instinct and more readily pick up birds. As well some dogs do not like the taste / feel of feathers in their mouth. I would approach this problem 2 ways - re-enforce the hold command and then FF.
For the hold command I would go from the dowel to a dummy to a frozen bird to a thawed bird. The dog should be able to hold a frozen bird and walk around with it before working with a thawed bird. Lots of praise and reward for walking with the frozen and thawed birds. The dog should be able to walk, heel, sit and walk again without dropping the bird on a hold command. This part of training is not FF.
Once this is done then FF is an important tool to have.
For on-going training I scent all training bumpers and have several bumpers with wings. I keep a couple of frozen ducks to work with through the off season.
On FF this process can take a week or longer to do and if you have a soft dog may set back the trust level between you and your partner for a couple of weeks. - ie why should I work for you when you just hurt me. If you are hunting now I am not sure if timing for FF is right - others can comment on this. I got FF out of the way in June and started hunting in Sept.
Hope this helps
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My first question is how many birds has the dog picked up. Do you train with real birds? Young dogs need lots and lots of birds. We train with birds all year. Bumpers only on water unless we are shooting live flyers. Start her out on live pigeons with their wings tied. then progress to ducks and the pheasents. some young dogs don't like the taste of pheasents. Make sure she is bird crazy before shooting live pheasents a wounded pheasent can lay a hurting on a young dog. just my 2cents worth.
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- Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2005 8:07 pm
Agreed live birds, Pheasant s well, a young inexperienced dog; only train with hens. A wild rooster with spurs can ruin a young dog.
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- Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2005 11:12 am
- Location: St.Paul, MN
I don't know if it would work but I would tie some wings to a bumper and work her like that until she gets use to it. Eventually I would get some ducks and use them to train. If possible I wouldn't used frozen ducks for a while. The cold duck and and pin feathers may turn her off. Good luck. I am sure with increase exposure she will start picking them up.
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