my lab wont touch a dead bird

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my lab wont touch a dead bird

Postby DuckKillinD » Tue Oct 19, 2004 5:39 am

:pissed: i have a 1 1/2 yr old lab that listens great, follows commands like a champ, he will retrieve a dummy with wings taped to it, but he will not retrieve a dead bird. he goes up and shows interest and even tackles cripples but he will not pick it up. does anyone have any suggestions???
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Postby 98ramtough » Tue Oct 19, 2004 7:09 am

If he is already 1 1/2 years old and won't touch a dead bird I am guessing he has never been hunted?
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Postby 98ramtough » Tue Oct 19, 2004 8:42 am

Does your dog LOVE water like most labs do? You might buy a dokkens dead fowl trainer and start using that. Then freeze a couple ducks or birds and get him to retrieve those. I always started my puppies on live birds when they were like 10 weeks, so they go CRAZY over birds. You might get a pigeon and start him on that.

Do everything you can to make your dog absolutely crazy over birds. Freeze a dead bird, and take it out and let him smell it, taste it. Then grab it and start running around so he chases you, tie a string to it and make him sit and stay and pull the bird all around in front of him. Throw it 10 ft or so and I bet he will go after it.

There are many ways to introduce a dog to birds, none are really bad as long as it doesn't force anything.

There are some great dog guys on here who I am sure will chime in with some suggestions, let us know how it goes.

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Postby SteveInTN » Tue Oct 19, 2004 2:24 pm

What Mike said is one way of doing it. Lots of people, including myself, often fail to incorporate live birds in the early training. Basically, if you wait until later on, they don't know what it is.

Another option, and I hate to sound like a broken record, is the Force Fetch. One of the last steps of the Force Fetch is to do the walking fetch on dead ducks.

I'm trying to get my lab to the point that he will fetch my wife's 'lap dog'. Once I get that done, his training is complete!

:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
"I'll start spending less time with my dog and more with my wife when she starts fetching ducks for me"
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Postby DuckKillinD » Tue Oct 19, 2004 6:30 pm

Thanks 4 the reply mike. I have a traing buffer with a set of mallard wing taper 2 it, he'll fetch that up all day long listening to all my commands(sit, stay, follows a wistle and will go directional), but the little booger wont bring me a dead bird. I even tried like u said an ran around with it, drug it all over, then I throw it 10 or 15 feet(showing interest the whole way). He races over like hes gonna get it then he almost smells the feathers right off the bird. I praise him up an down but he wont pick the bird up. Even out in the lake, if u take a bird hes right out there to get it but wont grab it an bring it back. And get this we had a cripple the other day, he raced over tackled it, then let it go as soon as i walked up. Is my dog a factory reject?

edited my 98ramtough--language
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Postby donell67 » Tue Oct 19, 2004 6:35 pm

my dog wouldnt pick up a dead bird.had my older lab fetch them in front of him and he started fetching them.
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Postby SteveInTN » Tue Oct 19, 2004 7:41 pm

Force Fetch

Get a pro to do it, or do it yourself. It WILL fix the problem.
"I'll start spending less time with my dog and more with my wife when she starts fetching ducks for me"
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Postby Hawk » Tue Oct 19, 2004 11:31 pm

Hard to say, I read this question early and thought about it all day and I can honestly say I haven't run into this problem. My cousin did when he got his lab from somebody else @ 1yr old, the funniest thing the dog didn't want to fetch live birds either. you could put a clipped bird in front of her and she would chase it, get bored and sit down. He got the problem fixed, took her a trainer in Tenn. Force fetch was all the the dog needed. now the dog is a hunting machine. My suggestion is to look for a professional trainer in your area. One question , have you trained or have had your dog retrieve anything in the watrer yet? usually the splash from the water will excite the dog so much it doesn't matter what they retrieve. Good luck keep us posted on the progress....Hawk.
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Postby DuckKillinD » Wed Oct 20, 2004 8:47 am

oh yeah i take him out hunting with us all the time.he does everything good just wont pick up the dead bird
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Postby Voda » Wed Oct 20, 2004 1:49 pm

FORCE FETCH FORCE FETCH FORCE FETCH. This will not only solve your duck problem but will build a solid foundation for all game you hunt.
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Postby 98ramtough » Thu Oct 21, 2004 8:50 am

DuckKillaD-- Like the others have said, take him to someone and have him force fetched. This WILL fix it and make a much more enjoyable hunting dog. Worth its money 10x over.

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Postby tstrong » Thu Oct 21, 2004 10:17 pm

If your thinking you can't afford a professional trainer and If you plan on hunting and don't have a lot of time, you can't afford not to. I just got my Lab back 3 weeks ago, been gone for 4 months. This training facility had classes on Saturdays and would work with you and your dog. In the field, ponds and basic obedience. Worth every penny! I still try and work with him everyday but sometimes my schedule won't allow me. If you have the time great if not invest in your #1 hunting partner. You won't regret it.
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Postby DuckKillinD » Fri Oct 22, 2004 5:19 pm

thanks guys 4 all ur posts i have went got a book on traing for the forced fetch. i have been working with my lab for the last 3 days now and have seen a huge improvment with him. he still dont like gettin a bird of the ground on his own, but will hold perfectly when u place the bird in his mouth. what does every1 think about hunting him while he still dont have it right. GOOD OR BAD.
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Postby Hawk » Sat Oct 23, 2004 6:55 pm

Hey there's nothing wrong with hunting him right now, and that's good that your going to train him yourself. One way of force fetch or getting the dog to HOLD is place him/her on a table away from everything with no distractions around. I hate to say this... force the dummy into the mouth, better yet place the dummy into the mouth, clamp your hand around the dogs upper and lower jaw and hold it while commanding HOLD, stroke the lower jaw, in no time you'll e able to hold the dummy in front of your dog and command hold and they'll latch on to it, awesome sight. five minutes of this a day should get you on the right track. Allot of praises also. this is one way that worked for me in the past. Back to your hunting w/ your dog DONT GET DISCOURAGED IF THE DOG DROPS THE BIRD. Remember your in training. Good Luck and have fun..Hawk
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Postby aaron » Sun Oct 24, 2004 6:21 pm

FORCE FETCH !!!!
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Postby 98ramtough » Mon Oct 25, 2004 8:49 am

Hawk--- IMO you should not use a dumby or anything else you want the dog to retrieve later to force fetch. Start him off with a dowell. My boss gave me a dowell with lead weights that go on the ends, and as the dog gets stronger you add more weights. It is similar to how people train dogs in europe to retrieve foxes etc. It is pretty cool seeing a small dog carry a goose 100 yards to you like it is a nerf ball.

some say to start them off with a fetching bumper/dumby. I have always been taught to use a dowell. I agree with everything else in your post though! There are many different ways to do it. I always use bumpers/dumbys as fun toys. Birds/dowells=work.



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Postby SteveInTN » Mon Oct 25, 2004 10:06 pm

DuckKillinD wrote:what does every1 think about hunting him while he still dont have it right. GOOD OR BAD.


He won't retrieve a dead bird at this time, right? Unless you just want to work on his manners, I'd think twice about it. One crucial thing in dog training is helping the dog to succeed. Through your training and knowledge of the capabilities of the dog, you need to make sure that you don't knowingly put him into a situation where he will fail. If you do, make sure that you recognize that situation BEFORE you put him into it. So... don't send the dog to retrieve a bird unless you know he will do it. If you insist on sending him knowing that he probably won't retrieve it, don't get pissed at him if he doesn't.

It is the same philosophy I use with my wife!!! :eek:

Scenario...

You go ahead and take the dog hunting this weekend and he has yet to take to retrieving a duck. Your buddies are with you. A greenhead hovers over the dekes 15 yards out and your buddy drops him. You send your dog on the retrieve and he swims out, then refuses to retrieve the duck. You cannot help but get angry with the dog as you walk out to get the duck. Next, a drake Canvasback buzzes the dekes and your other buddy manages to wound him. The can starts swimming off and you send your dog after him. He swims the can down 150 yards later in deep water, but doesn't bring him back. Now your buddy is pissed because he was wanting to have that dude mounted and your dog didn't bring him back.

Don't take him until you KNOW he can succeed, unless of course your willing to not send him on retrieves. At least he'll learn how to behave in the blind. Same holds true on through the training process, don't send a dog on a blind retrieve that hasn't been taught how to take a cast. If you adopt this philosophy and adhere to it, both you are your dog will be happy and you both will progress and advance together.

Just my opinion...

And as for the advice on using HOLD to get the dog to take the item he should be holding, I don't agree. If you are going to FORCE Fetch (notice the emphasis) then you need to follow the program. The end result of the force fetch is not just to get the dog to take something into his mouth, it is actually the crossroads between basic retriever training and advanced retriever training. The Force Fetch, if done right and by the numbers, gives you the tools that you can then utilize to teach blind retrieves. This is the reason some (most?) pro trainers force fetch every dog they train. It isn't just reserved for the ones that refuse to pickup birds.

Study that book or video LONG AND HARD before you start. Then do it. Don't 'lighten up' because you think the dog is getting it as this will cause you more grief when you have to repeat the process. Be firm but fair with the dog. Move at a snails pace. Don't go to the next step until you are sure the one at hand is complete. If you do it fairly and thoroughly, you will be VERY happy with the results.

Again, just my opinion...

By the way, HOLD means hold. FETCH means go get it and take it in your mouth, GIVE means they can quit holding it and release it to whomever is taking it.
"I'll start spending less time with my dog and more with my wife when she starts fetching ducks for me"
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Postby 98ramtough » Tue Oct 26, 2004 12:50 pm

Great post as usual steve.

I have always heard it is best to not hunt a dog during force fetching. Nothing else should really take place during this time. You do not want to play fetch or anything, no playing. It should be teaching the dog to work.

JMO.
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my dog wont touch a dead bird

Postby petie » Sun Oct 31, 2004 12:30 am

youre not alone, I have the exact problem to a T. My pup is a 9 and a half month old female lab, shell fetch anything but a dead bird, shell play with a wounded one until it dies, but then wont touch it, its almost like she feels bad for it or something, shell sit down by it or come back like she doesnt want to even play anymore, I have never beat her, and I have had her since she was 6 weeks old, so I know that isnt the problem. however that is exactly how she acts as though youre going to beat her if she puts it in her mouth. I have tried everything you have, but not the force fetch, I dont want to mess her up any worse.
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Postby chase83 » Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:22 pm

You have to keep taunting him with the bird then throw it and command if he picks at it do it over tease him with it get him excited and throw again he should pick it up eventually, dont get too fraustrated!

Good luck

Best way would be to Force Fetch the dog and then he has no choice but to pick up the bird.
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Postby petie » Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:31 pm

I got to tell ya I went and bought some live pheasants and chuckers and hid them alive and let her hunt them up, she actually caught a couple and she actually picked them up, and brought them to me, praise praise praise, those flapping wings got her way excited, she never hurt them, she is really soft mouthed, We then shot a few and she actually picked em right up dead and brought them to me, praise, praise, praise. after a few she even wanted to keep them, but still gave them up like she was trained w/ the dummy, just a thought for you to try, I hope this turns my dog around and she keeps it up, I also hope she will fetch a duck now, time will tell. good luck!!
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Postby 98ramtough » Thu Nov 04, 2004 10:03 am

congrats petie!

Keep your dog CRAZY over birds, keep it up, she will love ya forever. (and bring back all your birds)
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Postby petie » Fri Nov 05, 2004 11:50 am

so how do I go about introducing her to geese? is it too early? I knocked down a couple last night in a big pond, I probably shouldnt have sent her out but I couldnt help it, she swam out to it and then came back after she reached it (the closest one), I had to drive back into town and get my buddies dog. I just kept her on the bank and let her watch the other dog fetch them. Is she too young for something that big, (9 and 1/2 months). Do I need to get a bigger heavier dummy than my standard? by the way I tried her on more chuckers when I got home, she did excellent, so I dont think I lost any ground,(I hope). She actually broght a chucker back to me from about 200 yards, after running it down and looking for it for about 5 minutes in a CRP field. SHE HAS A GOOD NOSE AND LOTS OF POTENTIAL. I dont want to hurt her progress.
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Postby 98ramtough » Fri Nov 05, 2004 11:55 am

Just curious, how big of dog is she pete?

My lab is only like 55-60lbs. She is pretty small but can handle geese. These are the two things that I have seen work.

#1- bring a dead goose out to a training pond with another guys dog (who already retrieves geese solidly).
- Sit your pup on the bank and have her watch the other dog make a few retrieves. Then throw one for her and see if she goes and gets it.

#2 for around $50 you can get a canadian dokkens dumby, put a bunch of scent on it and play with it in the yard. She will be trotting it around in no time.

Steve and some others might have some suggestions and hopefully will chime in.

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Postby petie » Fri Nov 05, 2004 3:03 pm

she is around 45-50 I GUESS, I havent tried anything yet, theres no doubt in my mind thet shes big enough shell be a fairly big dog, I just wonder if a pup might be intimidated by such a big bird, the dokkens dummy is a good idea. I threw a wing off one of those geese last night when I got home and she did the same old sniff and come back routine so I held it in front of her and told her hold, she took it in her mouth, so I praised her and took her back in. Tonight I will try again if noone suggests that Im an idiot if I do. Then on my days off I'll try the thing with the other dog, IF I am lucky enough to get more geese, (its a big IF) they are not very plentiful around here but I try. Then get the dummy if that dont work. Im not even 100% sure shell even retrieve a duck yet. but Ill work on that while I am trying to get some geese, Im not all that picky, Ill shoot mud ducks if I think it will help train my dog.
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