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jmikes

Retrieving ?

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I have encountered a hurdle in my training. My 8 month old lab has been retrieving well on singles and doubles. I started to teach tracking with a dummy and pheasant scent. When I send her to find the bird she trails well, but when she encounters the dummy she grabs it and then sets it down and continues to hunt. I will call her and send her again saying here when she picks it up, but she still drops the bird. She has not been forced fetch, but I have never had a problem with bringing to hand. The only thing I can think of is when she was small I would do the same routine with live pigeons. On those occasions she would bring back to me, but would take some cohorcing ? to get the bird from her mouth. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks

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I think you said it in your post. "Force Fetch" sounds like the best way to fix the problem to me. I am no expert by any means but I force fetched my dog and it worked great when I was having that same problem. All dogs are different and many people have thoughts on when to do it. I force fetched my dog at 6 months and it went very well. It was very easy to collar condition him after that as well since I could always go back to the ear pinch if I thought he was having a hard time understanding the collar and how to turn it off. I will do it to all my future dogs.

LovenLifeGuy

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I think something wierd is going on here and before you jump into a force-fetch routine lets work it over a bit. First, seems like the dog is doing well for 8-months. Try having the dog take a dummy from you and then step away ten feet and get him to deliver it. Repeat-a few thousand times if needed Ha! He seems to know what you want right up to a point. I am working with a dog like that right now. Then, out of the blue the other day, she grabbed the bird, whirled around, brought it right to my side and stood there looking up at me like she was saying.....Ya gonna take this smelly thing or what? Ha! Sounds like your dog is having a little disconnect.

Persevere. crazy.gif

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Force fetch would really help clear this up. For now, the second she picks up the bird, call her very loudly and enthusiasticly, while backing away from her. Get as close to her as you can when you start. This should distract her from wanting to continue to hunt. You may also want to consider a check cord. Turn it into an obedience issue so you can fix it. If she was forced, then this could be fixed in two minutes.

One more thing to check - is her mouth sore from new teeth? Sometimes they forget how to retrieve when they are going through that.

Hang in there. This is a very fixable problem.

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I experienced the same issue with my lab around the same age (my lab was 7 months). The problem I found was that I did not put any scent on the dummy (pheasant wing and pelt) which I was using. I thought by having the scent trail going to the dummy my dog would naturally pick up the dummy.

When I finally put the scent on the dummy she immediately grabbed the dummy and brought it to me. I really don't know how close the bottle stuff is to actual wild birds but it is a start. Get your dog on wild birds ASAP. Make sure you have some way to restrain your lab (e-collar) when you introduce it to birds. Labs have a good nose and a young pup will track a bird as far as you will let it go. Just remember you want it to track it within shooting distance.

I don't know if this is the case with you but that is what happened with me and my lab.

She is almost six years old now and is a seasoned pheasant / grouse dog. She was ok her first year out, the second year out she was 100% better and the third year out she was a machine. She fully matured when she was 1 1/2 to 2 years old. Just keep the training fun and try not to expect that much right away. Labs are smart and in time yours will understand what you want.

The dog could also be in its adolescent stage wanting to hunt / be on its own, sore mouth, etc... It is a phase that all dogs go thru. Keep up with the training and when it's hunting season your dog will be ready to go! laugh.gif

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