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Powerstroke

Doesn't want to "fetch" outside

7 posts in this topic

SO I brought this up a couple months ago and the ideas were all the same. Take a month or so off and try again later. So I'm back and nothing has changed.

Here's the skinny. My 9mo old springer loves to play, fetch, retreive etc IN THE HOUSE. The second we go outside he wants nothing to do with the toys, the bumpers or the bird wings. Occasionally he will take the wing once, but then he gives up on it. He will usually chase it, maybe touch it with his nose but won't pick it up and of course never brings it back.

My thoughts are about getting a nice pheasant or duck trainer (foam) and maybe some scent and make it an outside only/training only item.

We work on obedience training regularly and he sits, stays and comes well, not great, but he does well. He is a machine in the field and loves to work. He never loses sight of me and almost naturally quarters in the field and works a zig-zag pattern on his own. I can't do any other hunt training with him though because he ignores the training bumpers.

One thing I recently came acrossed was I another dog from our same breeder was having the same difficulties. That owner was saying her pup (same age) loves to play indoors but not outside.

He is signed up for a 2week bird/gun intro training in May. The trainer doesn't seem too concerned as long as I don't create a negative atmosphere about training.

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Pick up a video on the conditioned retrieve, or force fetching as its known as. I have followed Jim Dobbs videos as guides with both of my labs and with a few others friends dogs as well. It will turn the fetch command into a command and not a choice. Follow the steps and dont push the dog ahead any faster just because of a good day or good session. All dogs take the hold command/ear pinch/toe hold/collar stimulus differently as well. My 3 year old black lab never needed anymore than the taught hold command with positive feedback only and I run upland bird competitions with both of them where they must retrieve to hand without taking more than 1 step. My 2 year old needed the whole process. Both dogs are solid and will retrieve and hold anything on command but I would say most dogs running the competitions have gone thru the whole process. You will be using all sorts of different objects for the training before you get to the bumpers/wings/birds. This will also help in the regular obedience as well. Also, it is not a very easy process to go thru with your first dog, so dont be afraid to get help from a professional.

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I would say powerstroke knows his stuff.

Taking a month or two off is the last thing that I would do.

I have found that sometimes labs are stubborn; enough to make you want to scream, but when my ivory, now 1 1/2, was playing those pigheaded games, I just made more of an effort to let her know who the alpha was.

She wanted to object but I held my ground.

When she did it right, I praised her like no other.

Pups are like kids, and definitely respond to a firm voice and lots of love.

But if all else fails, go to a professional.

However, sometimes you get a dog that just will never be.

Hope that's not the case.

Good Luck!

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Here's my two cents. Your trainer isn't concerned because he knows that he can charge you to force fetch the dog and make it retrieve. I think that by the sounds of it, he is a perfect candidate for force fetch. Second, your dog is only doing it on his terms and not yours. Let this pattern continue and it will spill into other areas of his behavior. Third, don't take a month off with a 8 month old dog. That is a critical period and time off will only make you go backwards. Fourth, get his obedience to near perfect. Do not tolerate anything else. It sounds as though you could use some direction. I would either pay a pro or look for a some sort of Springer or even a retriever club in your area. If you are willing to throw birds, I am guessing that someone will help you. It sounds like the instinctual behaviors (quartering in the field) are fine, so you know you have something to work with. For ten to fifteen minutes a day, you can end up with a great dog. Be patient. Not all dogs are easily trainable. Some of them make you earn it, but still turn out good in the end.

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I am assuming he is interested in retrieving, goes to it when you throw it but just won't pick up the bumper. I force train all my dogs (labs and spaniels) but a good way to start is to work on holding the bumper. Just start with a smaller bumper, insert it into his mouth and make him hold. If he drops it, pick it up and put it back in his mouth and say hold. Once he is holding it comfortably, you can then have him hold it while doing obedience work (i:e healing, come, etc). Even with that, I don't think he will make the transtition to picking up the bumper without force training. As suggested, if you can find a local club or others to train with, I would suggest doing so. There are alot of good dog people in most retriever and spaniel clubs and they could definitely help. Or consider working with a trainer for a short time. If you haven't force trained a dog, it would be good for you to find someone to help you or at a minimum do some reading on the subject. But it is one of those things that experience really helps. Its not that it is hard but it is understanding what is a normal response to the training, etc.

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I have been reading a lot about the Force trainings. I took the months off back in Dec and Jan. Then I started getting back into it once the adult teeth were in solidly. I do agree that my pup is a little tto adventerous and stubborn. There have been many things along the way where I have had to assert myself.

It sounds like I've got the textbook case for force fetching. This is my first pup so I will be paying someone to at least get me going in the right direction. I also found the MN hunting spaniels club and printed off a membership app from them and plan on sending that in. I'm hoping to learn some neat things and find some more support on the matter.

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Could it be they are to distracted outside as compared to inside? Or they are only associating fetch with being an inside trick. I would look more towards getting some pigeons before trying to get him/her interested in plastic fetching, get some fun in the game. Throw the pigeons with the dog on a check cord, coming back to you when called shold not be an option, but a way of life. Force fetching can be a real pain with a dog with little retrieve. Better make sure that the dog has a good idea of what is expected of them before you apply the "pressure". The idea of piching ears and sticking dummies in the mouth is not that simple.

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