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ZEEK1223

trouble getting my dog to give the birds up.....

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My lab only has about 10 swimming retrieves under his belt. The first half of those retrieves he would bring them right back to me and give them up right away. Now for some reason he thinks the birds are his, and he wants to investigate them a liitle more. He will bring the birds within a 10ft radius,and when I say come he will drop the bird and jump in the boat. My problem is I dont want to scold him after he swims out 30 yards and bring the bird back within 10 ft. How do I get him to give the birds to me without him thinking he is being scolded for swimming out and getting the bird? This is frustrating me, because he started off so well. It seems the more comfortable he gets with it. The more he wants the birds for himself. I have read not to use a shock collar when the dog has a bird in his mouth. thanks for any replies.....

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OK - I'm certainly no expert, but I do know that when we are training springers - we often shake a dead bird for him to see when young pups who are prey possessive and bringing in a bird on a retrieve. That was really helpful.

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CHECK CORD!!!

Your dog should retrieve all the way back to you every time. If he isn't consistent than he should still be on a check cord. The bird is never his and he needs to know that. It can be his prize and you can pet and praise him while he holds the bird (softly), but he needs to know his role.

It sounds like more training is needed to make him realize what is expected of him. It sounds like he knows the drill, but he doens't have the "manners" yet about his job. He gets tired of losing his prize so he tries to keep it.

A shock collar can be used if the dog understands its purpose. When my dog doesn't retrieve right to me or tried to walk to the side I give the command and a bump on the collar. He doesn't drop the bird, he comes to me. I praise him before taking the bird. This reinforces that the command was to come and he did it with correction. When he comes right to me he doesn't receive the shock.

I know its tough on water retrieves, especially with blocks in the water. A check cord can interfere or get tangled, but that is whats necessary. A dog who retrieves ten feet short means he saved you 80 feet of retrieve, but you still had to finish the job.

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That dog may need to be force fetch trained.. It's not an easy or fun thing to do, but there are some guys on this web site who have done it and can give good advice on it. There have been some prior posts on the subject but i can't remember what they were called. But I do remember some guys had it down.. But don't be afraid to use a pro for this..Like I said it's not the most fun thing you'll ever do with your dog, but I would consider it if I were you ..good luck.uplander

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A check cord while duck hunting? If you use one you better be prepared to go into the water and untangle or save your dogs life.

The dog has only one place he can come out of the water and that is right in front of you. Meet him on the shore line and take it(not the bird but your training exercise) from there.

I would however go the FF route instead. What you explained is an obvious dog working for him and not you. As stated earlier he needs to know that this is a team effort, you shoot it and he retrieves it. Getting him thru the FF will change all that.

GOOD LUCK & GOOD HUNTING!!!!

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If you're holding the end of the check cord you can bring the dog in if necessary. Its not ideal for every situation.

A dog that has been properly collar conditioned should already know that the shock is a correction but not from the bird or the dummy etc.

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Just an update: My dog has been doing much better. I have really been working on his retrieves weather its a toy or his training dummy. He is still pretty young, and now that I am actually shooting him some birds. He really doesnt need to investigate them as much. I think I was expecting too much too soon from my pup. Thanks for all the advice.....

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Please don't use on shock collar to correct your dog when a real bird is involved, you might just turn him/her off to game. Use training dummies and force train retrieve if necessary and use commands like fetch/give to retrieve and give up the dummy. A check cord is useful for this as well.

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