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labsareus

Young dog and goose retrieves

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Just a question for someone with more experience. Is it normal for a Lab to be OK retrieving geese on the water but not picking them up when shot on land ? Does this take some time or is there something I can do to help train him on this ?

My Lab is 9 months and the first water retrieve ever was a goose (made sure that it was dead) and several since. However on Saturday we shot 4 and while he would beat feet to the downed bird, he would not pick them up. He did chase down a wounded one across a plowed field but then just sat by it until I made it to him.

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Well, since you have some geese to use - now is the time to train. Bring it home in a known environment and play fetch.

Some dogs just dont like the feathers in their mouth. You can break this by playing fetch with a bumper a couple times - then throw out the bird in the same routine.

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My dog is one of those dogs that just didnt like feathers in his mouth like tealitup stated. I force fetched my dog and no longer have problems. He brings back geese on a full sprint so he can get it out of his mouth. Never really had problems with ducks, pheasants or grouse.

He never had a problem with geese in water either, just on land. My guess is the water keeps the feathers out a little bit better.

force fetch is a good tool!

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Also remember, all the dog is essentially doing on a water retrieve is pushing the bird. Pushing a goose in the water is a whole heckuva lot easier than picking a 5-15 lb bird up and carrying it back.

As was also stated, the force fetch is the best way to make sure your friend brings back the downed bird.

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Mine did the exact same thing. Race down the cripple or dead goose but wouldn't pick it up. An experienced trainer worked with me a little bit to show me the forced fetching thing and Dezi figured it out really fast. He now retrieves, albeit not b*lls to the wall yet but I'm confident that he will by the time next fall roles around.

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When you clean the goose, take the breast meat out and then tie a dummy in the chest cavity. Freeze it and you have a training dummy for the spring and summer to work on this. Use it with lots of praise and treats and you should be fine.

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Gonefishin is on to something there. Instead of breasting the the bird just take out the insides and replace them with expandable foam. We do this quite often with birds we shoot in the fall and they are good all summer long. Albeit they are quite a bit lighter.

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