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Sportfish1850

GSP Retreiving Issue

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Hey guys, I have 2 GSP's, 7 months old. Littermates. Dogs are doing great.

The dogs are showing different retrieving habits.

1 of the dogs is a machine on retrieves, delayed, blind, doubles, just beautiful to watch him track and retrieve. And he'll bring back anything I throw. Bumpers, dead bird simulations, tennis balls....you name it you throw it or send him out for a retrieve its coming back no matter what.

The other does well too but is finicky. He will ONLY retrieve soft cloth dummies(which is what I started both dogs on) and balls. He'll track down plastic dummies and soft bodied bird forms and does well on blind retrieves or delayed retrieves. But after finding the "dead bird" he will only return the object to hand if the object is a soft bumper or ball. If its a plastic bumper, a bird body etc he'll play with it for 2 seconds then run back mouth empty.

I know the stand pat answer here is "force fetch" him, but I'd rather avoid that process (since I'm self training and don't have a force fetch set up) given both dogs show great retrieving ability and willingness, just the one dog just tends to resist the harder objects in his mouth.

Is there anything I can do other than force fetching to get him to be more agreeable to the different objects I toss out so he's more like his brother ?

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You might try a frozen bird and see what happens. But ultimately you may have to teach him to hold no matter what he has in his mouth, which is starting down the path of the trained retrieve. Teach him hold and put him on a cord and see if that helps.

You don't need a "set up" to do force fetch. A check cord and an e-collar are the minimum. Based on the method you use it'll vary from there. I force trained my dog with a check cord, a number of different types of "bucks", an ecollar, and a frozen bird (affectionately know as Albert).

You seem to be dedicating a large amount of time to retrieving. Are you also spending time on working and pointing game properly? To me that's more important for a pointer.

Any of you lab guys have some advice on the retrieving issue?

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Don't over work the retrieving... I did that with my one and only Shorthair. He was an outstanding retriever... better than a lot of 'true' retrievers, but not so good on pointing. He had the tendency to want to break when on point and I fully believed that it was because he wanted to try and catch the bird to retrieve it, not just to flush it.

Good Luck!

Ken

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I would forget the retrieving and work on developing the pointing instict. Too much obedience at a young age can take the independence out of a pointing dog. True pointing cannot be taught, whereas retrieving can be at any time. I wouldn't worry about retrieving until they are first holding point and steady to shot.

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Stick with whatever bumpers work longer and don't over do it as labs said just short sessions, and we talked about the teething stage a while back, if this is hapening the retrieving should be put on hold for a while till the tender mouth heals up. Good luck

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Thanks for the advice guys. So far pointing training has been limited to pointing scented feathers and ducks nesting on our neighborhood pond. They do point fairly well but these are not real bird situations. That's my next step but living in the city that's not easy.

I'm trying to find a source for pigeons at an affordable cost (letting $60 in pigeons just fly away every training session seems a bit expensive)to work the pointing on live birds. I'm following the "Perfect Start" "Perfect Finish" method for bird and gun introduction.

Any tips on where I can purchase some pigeons for cheap would be appreciated.

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We bought a trap and befriended a couple of farmers... we generally got a half dozen or so per trap... my buddy lived in St. Paul for a while and put the traps under an over pass and we did eve better there.

Many trainers will sell pigeons for 4 or 5 dollars. Put an ad on C.L. offering $3 per live pigeon. Bet you get some takers.

Good Luck!

Ken

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Hey Sportfish1850, the MN NAVHDA chapter has a weekly training session at Kelley Farms in Hugo. I encourage you to get involved. I plan on attending as many as I can.

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