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Dog wont fetch if it doesn't smell like bird

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I have a 9 month old lab that has decided if its not a bird, she does not want to retrieve it. When retrieving in water, she will swim out to a dummy and if there is not a bird wing attached to it, she looks around for one that does smell like bird and turns around and comes back. If it does have a wing attached to it, she retrieves like a champ. I assume this is becuase a lot of my fetching work has been done with bird wings

Question 1: Has anyone ever had a dog like this

Question 2: If so, how did you change it

Question 3: Besides having to always practice with wings attached to dummies, what problems could this cause in the long run

Also, I believe this habit of fetching anything I tell her to is "forced fetching", correct?

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Just stop the retrieving for a few days & work on obedience some more. Then start back up with a plain dummy or a tennis ball. If she is still not interested wait a few more days then try again. She will get over the smell thing.

No, this is not "forced fetching". In a nut shell "Forced Fetching" is more about your control over the dog, and causing the dog some pain to get it to do what you what it to do.

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If you were overdoing the retriever training and the dog became bored this can happen. That is hard to do with some labs that'll go till your arm falls off. A Labs desire to retrieve should be strong. Best of both worlds when the dog does what it loves to do and does it the way you want him to.

When it isn't, make it the dogs main stimulus for fun. Meaning reduce or eliminate activities and make retrieving the dogs main job. Keep it short and reinforce the good.

In the end you'll probably need to go with force fetch. Hes doing as he pleases. That is the time to turn his thinking around and make the dog please you.

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My new english cocker won't touch anything but the pheasant wing outside either. Inside she'll retrieve anything my wife throws and releases better than she does for me. I'll have to figure that one out.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

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