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I need some help from you long time dog owners. I have a lab that is a little over a year old. I took him out duck hunting in December and we had a bad day with no ducks flying or getting shot. When we went to pick up the decoys, I turned around and there he was picking one up and carrying it to the shore. I tried breaking him of it but he just loves them. I took him out a few weeks later and I knocked down a beautiful widgeon about 20 yards out, jager took off into the water and swam right to the dead bird sniffed it and headed to a decoy and brought the decoy back to me! I got on to him a little and later he finally brought me back a teal after a lot of coaxing and talking to him. The thing is every time those dekes come out his little butt starts to shakin and that tail is 90 to nothing. He loves to retrieve whatever he can get. I have been training him on land by placing several dekes out and throwing a dummy out amongst them. He eyes the dekes on the way by but always brings the dummy back. What can i do to make sure that he will bring the dead ducks back during season? :help:
 

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You need to simulate your hunt while training. Throw out decoys and use dead duck or a skinned out duck/bumper and make your dog retrieve through the decoys. Keep practicing and pretty soon your dog will pay no attention to the decoys. If he does, if you use an ecolar you can break him of this super easy. If your dog is not picking up the dead bird he really doesn't belong in the hunting situation quite yet. Go back to the basics, work him on some dead or live birds, maybe look into force fetching him.... Most importantly keep your patience and keep working with the dog. The decoy scenario happens to everyone the first few times your dog is exposed to them.

Mike
 

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:withstupid:

i was fortunate enough that my dog got out hunting ALOT when he first started out. and while the first few times he would fetch every decoy between us and the duck (he made some marvelous quadruple retrieves...lol) he eventually figured out that there was something better than the plastic ducks out there if he just took the time to go find it.
 

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My female lab licked 24 of the 48 decoys on the pond the first time she got a duck hunting. The second time she licked the other 24 of the 48 decoys. I am not joking either. She sat on the bank as I put the decoys out and was going crazy wanting to touch them. When I sent her into the water for the ducks she licked them. You just got to have a laugh sometimes and keep your patience! (This is why the first few hunts are important to be by yourself and not put too much pressure on them)

Mike
 

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heh..now that IS funny.

i used to toss an empty shotgun shell out to help him "mark" the birds when he first got started.

even after he figured it out, he would blast out of the blind..stop, pick up an empty hull laying on the ground, THEN swim out while carrying the hull, drop the hull, grab the bird, and come back.

crazy dog...
 

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Thats awesome, my dog loves to pickup feathers on the water. If it is slow I try to let the dog play every couple hours. I think they get bored on slow days and need a break, just like we need a break.

Swampy- we need to get a hunt together next season.

Mike
 

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for sure. does WA have a reasonable priced non-res hunting license? like a 3-day or something like that? OR started one last year. i think it was 27 bucks for the license and another 11 for the state bird validation.
 

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nice. we should hit a couple of days up in your neck of the woods..then do a couple down here on the lower river.

we could share tips on keeping our dogs from picking up decoys.
(lame attempt to make this post sort of "on-topic".....lol)
 
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