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Honoring retrieve??

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How do you get one dog to honor the retrieve of another dog? This weekend I dropped a duck in the grass, went with my two labs to 'hunt it up', the nine year old lab found it, was half way back and the 3 year old lab took it away from her. Yeah, the easy answer is send only one dog, but it happens during pheasant hunting too, and then I WILL have both dogs out hunting. Or it could be my dog trying to take it away from a hunting companions dog.

How do you teach honoring on a retrieve? I have a couple pigeons left in my cage that would just love to partake in a training exercise but I'm not quite sure how to set it up??

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I have also ran into this problem in the past. Usually the dominant dog is the problem. I had a male that would try to do it all of the time until he did it to the wrong dog. That helped out!

If it happens in the field, run out there, take the bird away from the dog that stole it from the other and give it back to the original dog and then keep the thief away from it. You are going to have to be quick. You will also need to tell the thief "No" and call him back. Then if he disobeys, you can discipline him for ignoring the "Here" command. If you use the collar, you can then implement it. No, then "here" and burn on the here command. Make sure you then give him his own bird next so he doesn't think you are getting on his case for retrieving. You want him to make the connection with stealing the bird, not with retrieving. I have seen this most often in young dogs. Another thing you can do in the yard is to make the 3 year old sit and watch the 9 year old work. You can do that with dummies so you don't have to waste your live birds.

Someone else may have a better plan?

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In the field I would say this. As they are hunting for the bird the instant you see one dog pick up the bird call the non-retrieving dog to heal. If there is the slightest notion of that dog not respecting the command repeat the command immediately with a nick of the collar.

If it is the desire of that dog to run thru the nick then use repeat the command with a constant burn.

It might take a few corrections but at some point he/she will get the idea.


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It is a good idea to build the foundation for honoring in your training sessions. It starts with honoring marks from a line and then progresses to birds shot in the field. Once your dog is actually steadied on retrieving marks, I like to have 2-3, even 4 dogs lined up in a row up. Dogs learn on repetition. I still do this drill even with older dogs at least a couple times year, and more so with young dogs. The basic drill starts with someone out in the field throwing a dummy. Each handler controls their dog at the line with either a checkline or ecollar. You take turns sending your dog. The other dogs must honor. Eventually you progress the drill with birds and then the ultimate temptation is to use birds shot as flyers. Utlimately the dog learns not to go after a bird until sent. I have had labs as well but with our spaniels we have trained them to be steady to shot in the field after the flush. I know there are pros and cons to this but the pro is that they don't go after the bird until you send them. Because of this, they tend to learn to respect when another dog has a bird. The other option is to intervene before they get to the other dog and if they don't comply, they get some juice from the collar until they do comply (come to you). Just some thoughts...sure you will here a variety of good views

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