My chocolate lab no longer wants to retreive. What to do?

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My chocolate lab no longer wants to retreive. What to do?

Postby gdyoung » Fri Jan 07, 2005 2:03 pm

I need help. I have a self trained 5 year old chocolate lab that has hunted since a yearling. Now he doesn't want to retreive. In fact he refuses to retreive. It is one thing to not reteive a dummie, but he also will not retreive duck wings. He has never been abused in any way. When I set up a retreive for him he either lays down or turns and runs off to his kennel. Took him duck hunting and he retrived one bird for me that was only about 10 yards away, but wouldn't hunt for two other birds that we couldn't see. What can I do? Does anyone think he can be broken of this habit or should I get a new dog. Please note that in prior seasons he has loved the hunt and the retreive. Now he just doesn't want to be there. He is in perfect health.

Jerry Young
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Postby SteveInTN » Fri Jan 07, 2005 2:44 pm

What has changed between now and when the dog used to hunt? Is he an inside dog? To what degree was he trained before? Was he force fetched or was an e-collar used? Exactly how much hunting has the dog done in the past.

While this sounds like a psychological problem (i.e. motivation) it could be a physical problem. Has the dog suffered an injury? You're in Georgia so I don't think the weather has been too cold. Perhaps a visit to the vet should precede any re-training of the dog.
"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 aaron » Fri Jan 07, 2005 2:48 pm

Not knowing the circumstances that may have turned him off, I can't be real sure about what may have caused this in a seasoned dog.

I think you have two choices here; go through the force fetch system with him and hope for the best or get a new dog.

I gotta admit this strange behavior; he wasn't spurred by a cock pheasant or maybe flogged soundly by a crippled goose was he ?
A dog views his master as a God, it is our job to not prove otherwise.
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Postby brucemacp » Fri Jan 07, 2005 11:12 pm

I agree with the other two posts in that there has to be someting more to the story. A dog that has hunted willingly for that long dosen't usually just sull up and quit unless something traumatic has taken place. First I wouldn't force the dog to do anything for awhile. Do the Vet check thing make sure nothings hurting him but just lay off him for awhile. Then if you have other buddies with retrievers ask them if they wouldn't mind having their dogs handel some retrieves while you keep your dog at heel or on his lead but where he can see the other dog retreiving. If he starts showing interest you can proceed from there but keep it very light more in the play than work mode. Beleive it or not the only work my dog gets in the off season is when he can con me into throwing this old ratty tennis ball he carries around constantly. Good luck, I hope you work it out
Kobie the wonder dog says" Hunting seasons over? Wake me up around noon"
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Postby duckbum13 » Sat Jan 08, 2005 2:57 pm

thats a tough one i would do as said above though
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