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boy, if i could lay all that out i should probably write a book and publish it.

how old is your dog?

does it already have an instinct to retrieve? (if you throw something will he/she chase it?)

has it ever been hunting before? if so, how did it do?

what type of dog performance do you want? a field trial champion or just a good retriever to get your birds?

give me an idea of what you're working with and teh good folks here can help you out a little better.

also, there are some good books out there. i'll get the info on them for you a little later.
 

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damnit_deke said:
14 months old if i throw something she will retrieve it and bring it to me but i took twice this last season and she go to retreive the bird and half ways back with it she would drop it and leave it she is a akc registered choc lab does well in feild but terrible in water what can i do
sounds like you don't have to big of an issue here.

first, she is still a "puppy" at 14 months and has a lot of learning and growing to do. patience on your part will be a big help. my dog started at 11 months and had (and at 16 months still has) similiar problems. he will retrieve training dummys like champion, but sometimes drops birds well short. here is why.

he associated the training dummys with "play" (remember...still a puppy). when he brought the dummy to me i would throw it again for him. great fun in his book. after retrieving a duck, i would take it from him and then it was "hands off". play time was over. i made great progress early on with him by taking a few moments after each kill to step out and play fetch with him and the bird. he started bringing them back to me because he knew i would throw it again for him.

maybe not a a championship way to train, but it worked for me.

the biggest thing for you and your dog now is patience and re-enforcing good habits. people will recommend FORCE FETCHING to correct this problem.....and yes, that will work. i highly recommend that you DO NOT force train a dog under 2 years old. you run the risk of totally ruining an otherwise competent hunting dog.

books to look into:

'10 Minute Retriever' by authors John and Amy Dahl

'Hunting Dog' / 'Water Dog' / 'Bird Dog' all by Wolters
 

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Follow 10 minute retriever, sounds like the dog will fetch but does not understand that what she picks up she has to bring back to you. In this case force fetch is probably going to be the way to go. Wolters is a great field dog guy but I think their are better retriever trainers. Smartwork is another good program.
 

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'Force Fetch' - Just do it, theres all this you should or you shouldnt id say every hunting dog should be. They may hate it, but to have a retrieve to hand its a must.

the biggest thing for you and your dog now is patience and re-enforcing good habits. people will recommend FORCE FETCHING to correct this problem.....and yes, that will work. i highly recommend that you DO NOT force train a dog under 2 years old. you run the risk of totally ruining an otherwise competent hunting dog.
at the kennel i work at most dogs that come in between the ages of 8 months to a year and everyone of them gets force fetched during the 10 week program

My Lab will be 9 months old by duck opener and will have a retrieve to hand. By the end of April or into May (when he gets done teething) he will be in 'bird and gun program' and by June/July he will be in intermediate program and hunting by Sept. Later on will go through Advance training. And yes i will force fetch my dog.

Our FF sticks are 14" 1/4" pvc pipe with 4"x4" plastic ends about inch in on either side. Works perfectly and cheap.
 

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it all depends on the dog's personality. i've seen very highly regarded dogs break because they were "forced" too soon. not only did they not learn the force fetch, but they gave up on retrieving all together. of course, professional trainers won't accept responsability for this...they just tell you the dog is "untrainable" and send him home. usually with a hefty bill for the un-training of your dog. he he.

btw...my dog is just over 14 months old and has been retrieving to hand since he was 11 months. was able to do double blind retrieves at 12 months, and is capable of taking hand signals now. he has never been force fetched or forced anything. he does these things becasue he wants to..not because he is in fear of punishment if he doesn't.

to each their own..i am not saying that you cannot force a dog at a young age. but just because you can do something doesn't always mean you should.
 

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zx2,

i am not familiar with force fetching. how does that work? you work at a kennel that uses this method so can you share some details?

thanks.
 

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"force fetching" is training your dog to pick something up or hold something that is given to him until he is given a command to release it into your hand.

the training is normally done with the dog standing upon a training bench or table and placing or "forcing" the dog to take and object and then subjecting the dog to some sort of pain punishment if he/she releases it before being given the command. common techniques are to pinch the ears..pinch the scrotum (male dogs), or the use of shock collars. the dog eventually realizes that if he/she drops the object that the consequence is going to be some sort of sever pain.

the problem with this is that some dogs personalities won't stand up to this sort of training at a young age and they end up shutting down altogether. they associate the entire retrieving process with the bad experience and just lose all interest. that is why it is recommended by a number of different sources to wait to "force fetch" your dog.
 

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hey swamp, I think "severe" might be a bit strong of an adjective.
 

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hvacfowler said:
hey swamp, I think "severe" might be a bit strong of an adjective.
you think "severe" isn't appropriate???????? having your nuts pinched isn't severe? are your's made of steel or something? i like to think mine are but that is a figure of speech at best.

there's other ways to teach a dog to hold. i did my dog. besides, my lab is 130lbs. if you grab his sack, you're likely to draw back a nub! no thanks.
 

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shrpshtr said:
hvacfowler said:
hey swamp, I think "severe" might be a bit strong of an adjective.
you think "severe" isn't appropriate???????? having your nuts pinched isn't severe? are your's made of steel or something? i like to think mine are but that is a figure of speech at best.
shrpshtr - i couldn't have said it better myself. :salude:

but fine, even if you want to argue about the severity of the pain the dog feels. my point still stands. it is a pain training technique that forces (hence the name) the dog to do somehing against it's will with fear of physical repercussions if it does not.
 

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I am unfamiliar with nut pinching, however, the force action I am familiar with is applied via pinch through the ear. The only thing in your post I am arguing is the word "severe". From what I have seen, professionally, it is quite humane. Not to mention the expediting of the actual fetch. I also have had a vascectomy, so yes, I can have a take on the goings on down there. It sounds like you have a great dog, coupled with a trainer who has his own ideas of proper training methods, and thats great too. I wish you both the best of luck afield.
 

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Usually force fetch is done through an ear pinch or toe hitch. It is used to turn the retrieving response into a command rather than rely on the dogs retrieving instinct exclusively. I would strongly advise that you know what your doing when you use this technique because it's very important to know when to apply and release pressure. If you don't do it correctly you will do more harm than good. I am not a force fetch advocate but it will usually take me longer to build a good retreiver than it will a trainer that uses it. I will use it on a dog that does not show a high drive to retreive.
 

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brucemacp said:
I would strongly advise that you know what your doing when you use this technique because it's very important to know when to apply and release pressure. If you don't do it correctly you will do more harm than good.
That is true. If you have a local dog club around go and talk with them. I would also get and read 3 to 4 times before I started WATER DOG By: Richard A. Wolters
 
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