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Puppy walking right behind you

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I have a 4 month old Black Lab, and whenever I get her into tall grass she walks right at my heels and I kick her in the chin everytime I take a step. When we are in shorter grass where she can see a little more she will run a little more. Is this normal and when she gets older will she get out infront of me a little bit or is it something I should work with her at and how.

Thanks in advance

Tim

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Usually this is solved by one or two stiff kicks in the chest/chin, however if she is small she might not be able to get through the thick stuff yet, I'd give her some time before working in the field with her. If you let it go now she'll always want to do it. Good luck.

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My dog did this as well, especially when tired out. She has since pretty much grown out of it, unless it is REALLY thick stuff (guess she's smart!) I wouldn't worry about it too much, just keep on training and when she figures out how to find a scent, the instincts will kick in.

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Think about it this way. If that dog were wild it would be following mamas every step, at 4 months old it might not even be allowed to stray far from the den. In her eyes you are pack leader and she will follow you, besides she's just a baby. Give her time and when you start to put her on birds make sure she contacts them in front of you. Once she's a little older more confident and figures out there is birds out front you'll be on your way..good luck ..uplander

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Nothing to worry about. She's very young yet. My male Lab did the same thing. He grew out of it and has no problem with the thick stuff now. In fact, I can't keep him out of it if there are ringnecks around!!!!

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Yep both my labs did that until they were a little older than that. Once they got a little taller and put a few pounds on to help push them through there was no problem.

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My pup was doing that too. she is 3 months. i fixed it by throwing the dummy- or whatever you use-- into the grass ahead of me. She just got used to the tall grass after a couple of times.try to make it fun so that she accosiates the tall grass with a good time. i tried the hole boot to the chin thing with minimal success- mainly just hurt her feelings.

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Most of the time you can cure that by just simply stopping and standing still, dont say anything and let the dog get "bored" and she will venture out more. I wouldnt worry about it at a young age, but that worked with the dogs I hunt with.

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Most of the time you can cure that by just simply stopping and standing still, dont say anything and let the dog get "bored" and she will venture out more.

That's what worked for me.

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Mine was 6-7 months last fall and did the same thing. Had me worried. This year he is a machine out there. They just need to mature alittle. The tall grass is tough on them to get thru.

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My Weim did this as well nothing to worry about she will outgrow it. Especially when she figures out that most of the birds are out in front!!!!

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I have always said, don't expect anything much out of a pup, let them have fun, love them up to death when they do something good and wait for the field work until they are a year old. Don't ever force them into anything at that age. Kick back, have fun walking and act like a kid, it really is kinda fun to do!!! Good Luck!

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I had a couple of pups previously do this and I am now on my third.

What I had success with is when she is on my heals I will turn around and walk into her and say up front. After awhile she gets it and all I have to do is when she is following me is step aside and say up front and she will run by me. As your pup gets older it will be able to handle to thicker grass but sometimes when they get tired they will still get behind you,and teaching them what up front means will help with this.

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My dog is 5 yrs old and he still does this when he cant find any bird stink. Its his way of telling me we need to move to a new spot. I think you are brave to take a 4 month old dog out. When mine was 7 months he was trying to learn but thats about it. I imagine the intro your dog gets this year will make next year that much better. Good luck

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i think they all do that when there young .waist or chest high thick stuff is hard enough for us to get through ,and a 4 month pup is way young to be worried about it. if she likes the short grass keep her in the short grass and let her have fun .forcing her up front probably won't do anything but hurt her confidence for awhile , and i would not suggest kicking her in the chin and chest with your heel .slow down and let her have fun this year .just my opinion

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My male pup is 6 months old and he also did this the first month of hunting. I played fetch with him quite a bit and he always would walk behind me and wait for me to throw the dummy this carried over when i took him out hunting and he just didnt get the point that he had to go find a bird in order to retrieve one. So i stopped playin fetch with him and would go set out a dummy back in our grove and make him go find it. Just last week we were out hunting and he was walking behind me like usual but he caught wind of a bird and got out ahead of me and kicked up a hen! he kind of got the point but still wasnt sure of himself. I took him back out today {since i go to college i only get to take him out weekends} and he would walk off to the side of me and every now and then up in front a couple yards, then he all of a sudden got birdy and took off and got up another hen at 20 yards. the rest of the day he stayed in front of me and worked the tall grass and even the catails wonderful. He got up another hen but no roosters. Point is he gets whats going on now but i never expected him to figure it out this early. be patient it will happen just has to get that one bird and then its all uphill from there!

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Be patient, don't get too frustrated and burn the dog on hunting. You might try getting out alone, so the dog does not get caught up in the craziness of a bunch of guys. Another trick that I have seen work real well is to let the dog chase down a cripple. It has to be the right situation so you don't lose the bird, but if you can get a bird that is still kicking, bring it to an open field, and let the dog chase it and catch it. Obviously you don't want to let this go on forever, and again don't do it in a situation where there is any chance of losing it, but it gives the puppy a chance to get on a bird, and get excited about what the future holds.

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We had golden retreivers when our kids were growing up about 40 years ago and I bird hunted with them. All of the Goldens we had loved to retrieve but would tire in the field after a few hours and seemed to lose interest. I didn't learn about prey drive until I got my first pointing dog in 1989. It was an English Setter. I made a lot of mistakes training him but he turned out very well and was still hunting when he was 13. I've had several ES since that first one and they all exhibited a strong prey drive which is something you can not teach them. Just like pointing is an instinct all you can do is work with their natural instinct to seek prey (if they have it) and develop a relationship with the dog so they want to be with you. This is probably not so much of a problem with a Lab which normally hunts within gun range but the purpose of a pointing dog is to cover a lot of ground. This means that they are going to be out of shotgun range most of the time. But if they do what they are supposed to do they will go on point and hold point until you get there to flush the bird or give a release command. If you have selected a pup from a hunting line the instincts to retrieve (in your case) and seek game are probably built in and only need to be nurtured. I start play training with my pups as soon as I get them and this simply consists of taking them out to an open field and letting them explore. If you start them when they are about 7 weeks old and do this you will notice that they don't want to get very far away from you. After a few weeks of this they will start noticing things and exploring. What you should do then is to follow them and encourage them and ocaisionally call them back with a voice command or introduce the whistle. Continue walking and they will again start moving away to explore sights and sounds. Again you follow then and encourage them. When they become a little bolder you can use a long check cord to reel them in if necessary. The purpose of all this is to encourage them to be out in front seeking "stuff". If you have socialized them to the point that they want to be with you they will watch for you and change direction when you do. This is not serious training but it is more like play training. You are playing with them and at the same time teaching them to be out in front, change direction when you do, respond to voice or whistle commands and even hand signals. There is no punishment

in these stages and you should not use a shock collar until the dog learns and knows the commands. And if you use a shock collar, use great care to avoid using it around birds. You do not want to associate punishment or pain with birds. If your dog has a weak prey drive you can stimulate that desire by using planted pigeons or going to a game farm provided the dogs ancestors were of good hunting stock. One thing to remember is that it is easier to bring a dog in to work closer than it is to get the dog to work farther out. Some dogs may never be comfortable away from the handler. If this is the case, the dog will still probably make a good house pet.

Sorry about the long ramble here but we're working with a dogs natural instincts and we can make a lot of training mistakes to make things go wrong.

Good luck

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