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inthecattails

Multiple retrieves?

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I have been preparing my Lab for early goose. Her first "official" hunting trip. She went duck hunting a couple times last year and we never seen a thing so not counting that. I couldn't be more proud of my girl and her training. Yesterday I thought I would see if I could get her to dock jump and while walking the dock and thinking to myself...how am I going to get her to jump off the dock? I hear the pitter patter of feet coming down the dock and without hesitation (blah boosh) off the end of the dock. Well that was easy!! She loves it!! Good laugh.

Any who...I have one area I would like to improve on. Not sure if I am going about it right. I can't get her to do multiple retrieves? I do it in the yard by throwing two bumpers maybe 10 feet. Have her fetch and she brings me the one and I send her for the second. She gets to it and hits it with her nose and turns and comes back to me without it. She wants the first one she brought back to me. After a couple attempts she'll bring it back. Some nights are better then others. I tried it on water and that was worse. I am not to concerned about multiple retrieves as I know it requires multiple birds down so with me...end of thought. grin Any tips or thoughts on this that could help me out? I know it's repetition but I haven't seen progress and perhaps losing ground.

Thanks in advance.

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This is what I did. Throw one dummy 10' and throw another dummy 10' in the other direction when they bring one back take it from them and hide it behind your back so they can't see it then send them on to the other dummy.

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Can't help you with tips as I'm training my first as well, but I just wanted to wish you good luck. I'll probably be doing the same thing next year. My pup is going to tag along a few times but her first 'official' hunting trip will probably be early goose next year. My layoutblind has a nice spot for her to hide in.

Good luck.

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This is what I did. Throw one dummy 10' and throw another dummy 10' in the other direction when they bring one back take it from them and hide it behind your back so they can't see it then send them on to the other dummy.

This is exactly what I have done...problem is she is to dang smart and remembers that first bumper regardless of where I put it. grin

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This is why most serious dog trainers are now force fetching/trained retrieving their dogs. When you tell the dog to "fetch" thats is what the dog does, regardless of where, what, how thick, how tired, etc. "Fetch" is no longer a release command for the dog/puppy to go and get the dummy/bird because they simply want to get it, it is now a COMMAND. Command is the key word there. As you stand right now, when you say whatever key word to your dog to run out and pick up the bird and come back, he/she is most likely doing it because of their own enjoyment. When a dog that has been through trained retrieve/force fetch is told to "fetch" it does it because it is told to do it. Don't get me wrong, the dog will still love doing it, they just realize that it is time to work and no more messing around. Thats my summary that I offer you. Let me know if you want more info. FF is best done by a trained pro's guidance the first time through however. You don't want to do it incorrectly with a risk of ruining the dog with too much pressure. I highly recommend looking into it though. Your dog will be much more reliable and trainable.

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pick up some training material, and follow that. if you want to get into more advanced concepts like multiple marks, you should be following a structured path.

try the Fowl Dawgs series by Rick Stawski.

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The first time I got him to do this I had to zip tie a pheasant wing onto two dummies.

Yeah I tried the pheasant wing to the bumper last night and that was mixed. Not sure what her deal was. She retrieved it a couple times and then she would lay by it and not touch it. As if the feathers didn't agree with her. She wanted to pick it up but wouldn't. I threw a plain bumper and no problem. Swapped them out and she returned it once and again wouldn't touch it. Curious to see tonight what she does. I have goose and duck wings so I may try that on the water. She LOVES the water and if I have problems with upland training I take it to the water and seems to work and can translate it back to upland easier. I had been thinking I was going to have to Force Fetch but I was really not wanting to go there. We'll see. I had worked with her previous to the wings on retrieving out of the decoys so she may have had too much for one night. I doubt it though cause she wouldn't leave me alone with her ball after wards.

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I agree with Perch here with finding a good training program and following it. I don't want to come across harsh here and I apologize if I do......but I know there are many new dog owners here asking questions just like this (and I am not a pro, I am on my first dog myself and getting my second in 2 weeks) so I thought I would offer my thoughts....so with that being said a few things that come to mind.

-The dog will retrieve bumpers but not a bumper with feathers? The dog should retrieve anything you say....not what he/she wants. FF helps with this but your asking more than what FF addresses (i.e. multiple marks). I personally don't train with wings on bumpers as it's not needed when training a retriever if you follow a training program. IMO you should not need something to coax the dog into doing what you want it to do. A good training program will go through the proper steps of introducing new concepts and building upon those concepts.

-You have problems on land work so you move to water? In a dogs mind these are two way different things. If your dogs has one concept understood on land (such as multiple retrieves) and then you move to water thinking he will know exactly whats going you may be disappointed and be left wondering why he wont bring back that second bumper. Well, whats going on in the dogs head? Did you go through the proper sequence (again following a training program) of introducing new concepts and then building on them? IMO the solution to resolving you land work DOES NOT involve water.....but a good training program will help.

I would not move to force fetch unless you really understand why you are doing it. If you think your dog may have had too much one night there is a good chance you suspicions may be correct. Keep training sessions short and limited to the goal in mind. Know what your trying to accomplish in that session and what you will do if your dog does not respond appropriately. Does your dog understand what being asked of it? If not maybe you need to back up and/or simplify what your doing. Maybe revisit the last concept you were doing to make sure that was solid before moving on to introducing a new concept.

Many new dog owners will attempt to just jump into training advanced concepts without laying down the proper foundation. I am guilty of this. I now understand why following a program needs to be done. It may be possible to accomplish what you need by doing things your way.....but it will be much easier on yourself and your dog by making sure the concepts are built from the ground up. It's also much easier to ask for advice when you run into specific issues.

Training a dog is much like building a house. You can't wire the house or install the windows before getting the foundation and framing in.

Everyone has their recommended programs or books to follow, and mine is Training the Pointing Labrador by Julie Knutson. See the very top post for more info. The book is the first I have read that really works to get you [the trainer] thinking about what is going on in the dogs head when training....and to help understand why you are doing what you are doing. Don't let the name deter you....this book would be good for ANY retriever breed.

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Good points Hemi and It's not harsh. I realized I was going to catch some heat on the water to land comment. I have a program I follow...loosely. I use all kinds of different shapes, sizes and textures for bumpers and the likes. She is used to picking up different things and has had some work with wings in the past. She knows her commands and retrieves great. Just wondering what others are doing on the topic of multiple retrieves.

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realistically, if you have not force fetched the dog yet, you are a ways away from multiple retrieves. like Hemi mentioned, follow a program, the steps go in order for a reason. and when you follow a program, you have a path that you can always back up and fall back onto if you are having issues moving forward. just for conversation, but, you have (rough listing here) obedience, Force fetch, collar condition, steady drills, basic handling, force to the pile, whistle training, mini T, double T, Swimby, and then you move onto more advanced concepts, like multiple marks. by following the program, you have taught the dog to be obedient, fetch on command, handles on land and water, understands the collar, remote whistle sit, is steady(necessary for multiple marks). you now have the tools to teach the dog, and correct him when/if you run into issues with more advanced concepts.

I myself am as guilty as anyone when it comes to trying to move forward to fast, and thats why it takes me twice as long to train my dog, cause i'm constantly having to back up...

one tip i will give that i really try to concentrate on, is, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS end the training session with success. even if it is something very small, always end it on a good note. which means, maybe you are doing swimby and you are having issues giving the dog an over cast out of the water, if you are ready to quit for the night, line him up and send him to the pile one more time, let him hard charge the retrieve and end the night with succession.

in the short time i've been training, one thing i've learned is to always build on success, and repetition breeds that.

Attrition - learn it, love it...

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Good points Hemi and It's not harsh. I realized I was going to catch some heat on the water to land comment. I have a program I follow...loosely. I use all kinds of different shapes, sizes and textures for bumpers and the likes. She is used to picking up different things and has had some work with wings in the past. She knows her commands and retrieves great. Just wondering what others are doing on the topic of multiple retrieves.

This is what we do, we call them puppy doubles.

Go to the corner of a building, garage or house. Throw a bumper down one wall, let him get a good long look at that one count to 10-15, now turn the puppy and throw another down the other wall. Make sure they are out in plain sight, NO COVER. This will also help with the early concept of not to switch on a bird.

If your puppy has lost the puppy teeth then I would stop with the retrieving and get the FF done. Once you have that accomplished you will be amazed at the difference in your puppies retrieving ability.

GOOD LUCK!!!!!

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I would drop a bumper, tell him to leave that and walk him away on leash 20 yards and drop another. Go back half way and line him up for the last one you dropped and send him with a command that means get away from you and retrieve something, i use the get out command. You need to have your basic body language involved with linning him up, i dont care how you do it just be consistant. Some people will do it from the side or make a wall with your body. It is a line you are sending him on. Make sure he only gets the one you sent him for and start out with it being the fresh one in his memory. Make him stay after the retrieve and you walk over and pick up the other one. Keep him wanting more. Do this a few times and change which one you send him for with you always picking up the other one. Keep him wanting more and hey my leader likes to retrieve also. This is a start to getting him to do what you want him to do not what he wants but it should still be fun to him. Take the second bumper retrieve in question away from him for know by you picking it up. . YEs you are a retriever also, competion for you dog. Only let him get 1 of the 2 retrieves. He will have to pay attention to you as to which one he can get. When i am working some of my older trial dog i may drop 10 bumpers all over in different spots so dont be afraid to add 3 or 4 if it starts going well. If you can get this down for a month and he is dependable about doing it try sending him for the Second one. Dont get discouraged if it does not work smooth the first few times, you can't just read this try it once and say it didnt work. Dog training is work and you dont always get instant results. You need to think like a dog and be smarter then they are which is hard for most people. BY doing this you are not imbedding the current problem but taking it away for know. IF you can remove a problem by doing a different drill and erase it then he you are smarter then him.

I am not a big force fetch fan. This is only because it hides problems that i consider to be traits from mom and dad. I want to see a good desire to please and to retrieve from genes not a table. I have force fetched many dogs and made them good retrievers only to see them bred and produce pups that NEED to be force fetched. I understand the need for it and reasoning for lab trial guys to do it i am just not a big fan of it for the above reasons. I like to try to be smarter then the dog if the desire to retrieve is in him.

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Lynch, I really hate to be the bearer of bad news but FF has absolutely nothing to do with bad traits being passed on from parents.

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Duck Buster, you are not the bearer or bad news just ignorince. You are missing the point, try reading the post again.

This is not a debate sesion from me to you it is to give advice to a fellow member about a dog issue. I do not pick apart anyone elses advice as you should not mine.

I stated why I dont like to force fetch unless i have to. Force fetch is a tool for dogs that dont have the desire or you want to or need to dominate them and show them you are the pack leader. Maybe it is because you are a trial guy and need the dog to retrieve stinky ducks that have been sitting all day. Maybe all of the above huh. Maybe i can get all of the above acomplished without the use of a table and a collar. Maybe i am smarter then most dogs i train??

I have been around a while and fully understand the reasoning.

I still will use the table and collars if i have to and as i said before i understand the reasons for using it. Some dogs are smarter then me i admit.

I know of many dogs that have had little desire to retrieve and or hard mouth but this was corrected on a table and they turned out to be good dogs. Should we use these dogs as breeding stock? You can but i will not.

In my opinion i believe that collars and FF has screwed up the lab breeding program. They are tools for dogs that have problems. Every dog i breed in my program was not and will not be put on a table or collar trained. In my opinion if i have to put a collar on them to get them to do what i want then i dont want them. They can still make great gun dogs but will not be bred here at my kennel.

One of my mentors told me we trained dogs for 500 yrs before collars came along.

I think that was posible because they did not have the tools (collars) to control them and had to be more selective to improve by breeding.

What ever happened to trying to improve the breed and breeding by genes not collars or tables. Do you think they get the desire to retrieve and please the owner by Force fetching them?

If i take a young dog and put him on the table how do i really know what i have got from mom and dad???? as i stated i will do it only if i have to.

Let me ask you this simple question. Can Force Breaking cover up faults in a dog? Do you understand what i am trying to say yet?

I hope you understand my statements better know.

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You bring up a point Lynch that I haven't heard anyone defend in a looooong time. I had my pup out at the gun club to hear the loud noises, and several people asked casually (as if it were the most natural thing in the world) when I was planning on "forcing" him.

One younger fellow parked near my truck told me point-blank that if I wasn't up to force-fetching the pup myself, his buddy was a trainer and would do it for me.

I shuddered.

This will be only my 3rd dog, so I'm not an expert by any stretch of the imagination. However, I've run my boys in fun trials over the years, and came to the conclusion that for an amateur, starting with a strong desire to retrieve and honing that through training provides a more exciting and stylish retrieve. You can see the joy in the dog. I've seen too many who cringe or cry at the line, and it would break my heart to see my dog retrieve like that.

Obviously, done well it can produce outstanding results, and in some cases salvage a dog that would otherwise wash out of training. Its just not the way I want to do it.

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I don't want to enter this debate as I can already see where this is going.....but do want to make one comment. Lynch, I don't think DB was picking apart your advice, but rather your opinion of FF. You are entitled to your opinion as is everyone else.

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You bring up a point Lynch that I haven't heard anyone defend in a looooong time. I had my pup out at the gun club to hear the loud noises, and several people asked casually (as if it were the most natural thing in the world) when I was planning on "forcing" him.

One younger fellow parked near my truck told me point-blank that if I wasn't up to force-fetching the pup myself, his buddy was a trainer and would do it for me.

I shuddered.

This will be only my 3rd dog, so I'm not an expert by any stretch of the imagination. However, I've run my boys in fun trials over the years, and came to the conclusion that for an amateur, starting with a strong desire to retrieve and honing that through training provides a more exciting and stylish retrieve. You can see the joy in the dog. I've seen too many who cringe or cry at the line, and it would break my heart to see my dog retrieve like that.

Obviously, done well it can produce outstanding results, and in some cases salvage a dog that would otherwise wash out of training. Its just not the way I want to do it.

You have a very good insight, the more natural ability they have (retrieve, soft mouth, pace, level head, desire etc) the easier it is to train a dog. Some of my best dogs require the least amount of training time.

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Lynch, I understand what you have said in that we are not here to debate FF. WE are trying to answer another posters questions/concerns.

Having said that, I will just re-enforce my statement. You stated that "you are not a big FF fan. This is only because it hides problem that I consider to be traits from mom & dad".

I will say it again, FF has absolutely nothing to do with hiding "bad traits" from mother or father. FF is a foundation for a training program. My training program and that of many, many others, pro's and amateurs alike.

It is obviously not part of your program and that is your decision. As far as you go that is great for you and I hope it continues to work for you.

GOOD LUCK to all hunters!!!!

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      Reports of anglers catching walleye, smallmouth bass, channel catfish and even an occasional trout on the Maquoketa River in Delaware County. The river remains up a bit, but clarity is not bad. Walleye - Fair: Cast and retrieve a jig with plastics tipped with a minnow. Smallmouth Bass - Fair: Cast and retrieve a jig with plastics tipped with a minnow. Channel Catfish - Fair: Try cut bait fished on the bottom.  North Prairie Lake
      North Prairie Lake was stocked last Saturday, April 14th with both rainbow and brook trout. Trout fishing should be good; the weather forecast looks to be more of average seasonal temperatures next week.  Brook Trout - Good: Cast and retrieve flashy spinner baits like a panther martin jig or similar jigs and spinners. Rainbow Trout - Good: Cast and retrieve flashy spinner baits like a panther martin jig or similar jigs and spinners.  Shell Rock River (Greene to Shell Rock)
      The Shell Rock River has been high and muddy, but is starting to drop in water levels. No fishing reports for this week.  Wapsipinicon River (Tripoli to Troy Mills)
      No reports on the Wapsipinicon River as the river continues to rise and remains muddy. It may the perfect time to try for some catfish on the backwater areas of the river. Channel Catfish - Fair: Use cut bait fished on the bottom.  Few fishing report this past week as winter will not let go of its grasp. Interior river levels have been on the rise and conditions are muddy with the snow melt. Trout stream stockings continue and streams remain in good condition. Call the N.E. Iowa district office at 563-927-3276 for more information.   MISSISSIPPI RIVER Mississippi River Pool 9
      River level at Lansing has risen nearly a foot with a steady rise predicted this week. Water temperature is 36 degrees. Look for backwaters and areas of lesser current away from the main channel that concentrate fish. Walleye - Slow: Walleye are in spawning mode, but the recent cool down in water temperatures will prolong the spawn. Yellow Perch - Slow: Perch are still in spawning areas along the rocky shorelines and near the tailwaters of the dam. Expect the bite to pick up again once temperatures rise. Sauger - Slow: Sauger are in spawning mode, but the recent cool down in water temperatures will prolong the spawn. Northern Pike - Slow: Pike spawn is ending; anglers report catching some nice pike with live bait.  Mississippi River Pool 10
      River level at Lynxville has come up several feet to 18.8 feet with a slow steady rise expected.. Water temperature is 36 degrees. Look for backwaters and areas of lesser current away from the main channel that concentrate fish. Walleye- Slow: Walleye are in spawning mode, but the recent cool down in water temperatures will prolong the spawn. Yellow Perch - Slow: Perch are still in spawning areas along the rocky shorelines and near the tailwaters of the dam. Expect the bite to pick up again once temperatures rise. Sauger - Slow: Sauger are in spawning mode, but the recent cool down in water temperatures will prolong the spawn. Northern Pike -  Slow: Pike spawn is ending; anglers report catching some nice pike with live bait. Mississippi River Pool 11
      River level at Guttenberg has risen two feet at 10.3 feet with a slow steady rise this week. The gates are all up at the Lock and Dam. Water temperature is 36 degrees. Look for backwaters and areas of lesser current away from the main channel that concentrate fish. Walleye - Slow: Walleye are in spawning mode, but the recent cool down in water temperatures will prolong the spawn. Yellow Perch - Slow: Perch are still in spawning areas along the rocky shorelines and near the tailwaters of the dam. Expect the bite to pick up again once temperatures rise. Sauger - Slow: Sauger are in spawning mode, but the recent cool down in water temperatures will prolong the spawn. Northern Pike - Slow: Pike spawn is ending; anglers report catching some nice pike with live bait. The Upper Mississippi River is on the rise with heavy snowfalls and melting. Water clarity is diminishing as levels rise. The bite has slowed with water temperature staying unseasonably cold near 36 degrees. Expect a fast warm-up and increase in fish activity as temperatures rise. Mississippi River Pool 12
      Water levels are rising at 9.3 feet at the Dubuque Lock and the RR bridge is 11.5 feet. Levels are up from last week and will continue to rise all week. The channel water temperature is still only around 39 degrees. Yellow Perch - No Report: Some scattered reports of ring perch catches earlier, but not many people out fishing for them. Northern Pike - No Report: The pike spawn is late this year due to the weather; they might be still spawning some. Once done, pike can go on a good bite. Try flashy spinners. Walleye - Slow: Fishing has been good at times for walleye and sauger this spring, but poor weather is limiting activity and slowing the spawning season. Some walleyes may still be spawning.  Mississippi River Pool 13
      Water levels at Bellevue are 10.3 feet and rising. Both Bellevue City ramp and the DNR ramp are open, but no courtesy dock is available yet at the DNR ramp. Paddlefish season is over for the year. The channel water temperature is around 40 degrees. Paddlefish - No Report: Paddlefish season is closed for the year. Sauger - Slow: Hit or miss. Some reports of sauger being caught. Most are being taken on minnow rigs. Walleye – Slow: Nice slot fish are still being reported, but fishing is slow. Minnow with a jig or pulling crank baits are the most popular strategies.  Mississippi River Pool 14
      Water levels are rising and are 9.7 feet at Fulton, 12.6 feet at Camanche and 7.3 feet at LeClaire. The water temperature is around 41 degrees. Paddlefish season is now closed for the year. Paddlefish - No Report: Paddlefish season is closed for the year. Sauger - Slow: Just not many people out walleye or sauger fishing in the cold weather. Both species are still spawning due to the extended cold water season.  Mississippi River Pool 15
      Water levels are 9.8 feet at Rock Island. Water levels are up from last week and will be on a steady rise this upcoming week. Conditions are still favorable for angling.  The River levels will be rising this upcoming week. Water conditions are conducive to angling, but the weather has not been. Paddlefish season is closed for the year.  If you have any angling questions, please contact the Bellevue Fisheries Station 563-872-4976.  Mississippi River Pool 16
      Tailwater stage is 9.85 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities and has been rising the past few days. There has been some walleye and sauger fishing in Sylvan Slough. Sauger - Slow:Some saugers are being caught in Sylvan Slough. Try fishing with jigs and minnows or trolling three-way rigs with stick baits. Mississippi River Pool 17
      Tailwater stage is 8.29 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine and has been rising the past few days. Tailwater fishing for walleyes and saugers has been slow. Sauger - Slow: Try fishing fishing in the tailwaters with jigs and minnows or pulling three-way rigs and stick baits. Walleye - Slow: Look for walleyes in the tailwaters or down by GPC. Try vertical jigging with minnows or trolling three-way rigs with stick baits.  Mississippi River Pool 18
      Tailwater stage is 9.98 feet at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston and is rising. The gates are out of the water at the dam. River stage is forecasted to reach 11.9 feet over the weekend. We have not received any fishing reports for this pool this week.  Mississippi River Pool 19
      Tailwater stage is 6.39 feet at Lock and Dam 19 above Burlington and is rising. River stage is forecasted to reach 8.2 feet over the weekend. Flood stage at Lock and Dam 18 is 10 feet. We have not received any fishing reports for this pool this week.  River stages have been on the rise the past few days. Main channel water temperature dropped to 41 degrees; water clarity has been fair. We have not received much for fishing reports this week. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19, contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.