Do not chase him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Never make it a game of catch-me-if-you-can. If you chase him down he will always do this. You need to do some more training off season. I do not use a e-collar, but will use treats for a beginner or for a new exercise and wean her off of them quickly in favor of alot of praise.
Whatever you do don't use an e-collar, it will ruin a good dog. After the season is over with, work with your dog using a 30 or 40 foot, small rope. When you throw a bumper or frozen duck, send your dog out and pull him or her back gently to you with the rope. I'm not a expert trainer but it worked for me.
get an e collar, or you can take him to a pro trainer and he'll probably use one, there a very vaulable tool, any good dog or any dog at all, can use one without ruining the dog, it's the user that will ruin the dog, just as long as you condition him to it first, he'll be fine, you can use a check cord also, whenever one of my dogs doesn't come straight back, or doesn't come back fast enough, I use just a light nic and they know what it means, but if I were to light em up and make there eyes glow, they'd probably never pick up another duck, I'd look into one and get a book. there a invaulable training tool.
I hate it when guys tell you with authority not to use an e-collar, when they can be an extremely valuable training tool. These collars are best used to re-enforce what your dog already knows. It sounds to me like it would help to take your dog to a professional trainer, and have the dog 'force fetched' after he has had time to brush up the pups general basic obedience skills.
Force fetch is necessary to make the dog understand the difference between doing what 'it' wants to do, and the job 'you' want it to do. Once the dog has learned this difference, you will be amazed what a retreiving machine they will be for you. It is something that you can do yourself if you have infinate patience and the time to work with the dog, otherwise, a pro trainer is probably your best bet. Good luck with your dog. Hunting with a trained retriever is an absolute pleasure in my opinion.
get any other book besides richard wolters books, I know I have it too, but ask a pro what he thinks about him, almost garanteed he'll laugh, the best book I've seen is the one by jim dobs, the tritronics book.
If you don't want to us ean e-collar, OK. But, by no means will one of them ruin your dog--IF YOU USE IT RIGHT!
Start off by telling us how old your dog is. If it is a puppy, then go to the water and do some retrieves there. He will have to come back to you to get back out of the water. I use a 100 foot check cord when I start a young dog. If you do this, you have to make sure that the rope is free of any type of hendrance when the pup takes off after the retrieve that you just sent him on. You don't want him to run out after the dummy and all of a sudden get stopped by the lead catching on something.
If this does not work, you can, in fact, use one of Wolters' sollutions. When the pup heads the other way, turn and run away from him, he will then follow you.
If you want a good all around training book, look for "Training the Hunting Retriever" by Jerome Robinson. In this book he explores the methods of several different pro trainers.
A couple years ago a dog with a deteriorated duck in it's alligator teeth went by in front of my picture window and right behind it was a skinny dude in camo that looked like a POW and he was yelling and cussing the dog. Maybe it was him!!
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