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How do you teach a dog to honor??


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How do you teach a dog not to try and take the bird away from another dog?? My 9 year old lab seems to think that every bird she sees fall should be brought back by her, most other hunters don't like it when she tries to take the bird away from their dog. It seems like the younger the dog, the more aggressive they are to get that bird. Now I'm noticing with my 9 month old that she seems to think that every dummy should be hers, I can see the writing on the wall, when we go pheasant hunting, she'll be after every bird and will try to take it away from the old dog.

How do you teach honoring?

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Well, sounds to me like a basic obedience issue. Your dog shouldn't be sent on a fetch until told to. If she's racing off trying to steal a retrieve, I'm assuming she's doing it on her own and not because you told her to.

You own a lab, so I'm guessing you've trained it to sit. If you haven't trained it to stay, do it. Make it sit in one spot and if it moves, pick it up and set it back where it was, commanding "sit" in a stern voice. Overlay this with an e-collar if the dog has been properly introduced to the stimulation. After several repetitions, begin walking around the dog and, eventually, out of sight. Make sure the dog can't see you, but you can see the dog. If using the e-collar, stimulate as soon as the dog moves, then return to the dog and continue stimulating until it is seated back where it was.

Eventually, you can transition this to fetch situations. A command -- any command -- is continuous until it is negated by another command. For instance, if you tell the dog "sit," it should remain sitting indefinitely until either told "come" or "fetch" or any other command that supersedes it. With "sit" firmly placed, begin teaching it that "fetch" is an end command. If your dog is fetch crazy, this is a good place to show it some humility. Make it sit, then command "Fetch" and let it retrieve the dummy. If the dog goes for the bumper before commanded to do so, firmly correct it, pick it up, and place it back where it started. Again, e-collar overlay can be utilized here. The dog only gets to retrieve when it has followed directions. THE RETRIEVE IS THE REWARD. If the dog does not do what it is told to do, it does NOT get to retrieve. Plain and simple.

I'd think this would be a good groundwork to start on. Hopefully you can solve the issue. My biggest pet peeve is hunting with a dog that doesn't follow commands (or hunting with someone else who sends his dog on every retrieve, regardless if his dog was part of the kill or not).

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Sounds like the problem is when hunting with multiple dogs and once a bird is down, they play tug-o-war...I've seen a few birds ripped apart this way.

I'll agree with the basic training above, but do not think it will resolve the competition in the field. I've grown up around labs and haven't met two that don't compete after the same dummy or bird...So i'm looking forward to the responses that follow. I even spent two summers shooting mallards for a professional dog trainer (Lots of fun BTW!!) Hopefully someone has had success, and i'm guessing it comes with lots and lots training accompanied with a shock collar. You really need to practice sending two dogs towards 1 dummy and then train the one who doesn't get the dummy to forget the retreive...This has got to be really hard to do. Good Luck.

Edit: If you could send two dogs to the single dummy and get them both to stop, then send 1 dog to finish the retrieve i think you'd have success...But you will need to spend a LOT of time accomplishing this...And then HOPEFULLY your dog will listen to the stop retreive command when another dog is around.

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Sounds like the problem is when hunting with multiple dogs and once a bird is down, they play tug-o-war

Bingo!! They'll sit and stay, and stay as I walk out of sight, and will stay when I throw a dummy, and will stay until I say their name, "Belle, hunt it up". We're working heavily on that right now, the second one has to stay while the first one retrieves, and the first one better not go until she hears her name and is told to go.

Its that situation where you're going out hunting, a bird goes down, they see it and want it. If its my other dog that they take it away from, not the best but when its someone else dog - they don't like it.

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This should be interesting.

I'll be watching this one.

My Crew in the Let's See Your Dogs thread.

I'll give you slightly different perspective.

My dogs don't retrieve, they herd.

They need to work at a distance, stay on task, and pay attention.

Sound familiar ?

Retrievers are just another type of working dog.

Ok ... when I get a new dog, there are 3 cmnds he must know before he can do anything useful in the field.

1) "Down" ... stop IMMEDIATELY and lie down ... cmd to follow

2) "Leave it" ... WHATEVER is distracting you, ignore it... cmd to follow

3) "Come"

That's the foundation.

The "cmd to follow" changes, but if we don't have "Down" and "Leave it"

we'll never get there.

I start teaching all 3 the day they come home.

Lots and lots of "Down" cmds, at random, out of the blue,

anytime, anywhere, always followed by "Come".

And the same with "Leave it" ... always followed by "Come".

My test ...

The puppy heads for the toy box and grabs his favorite.

"Leave it, Come" ... grab a tennis ball and head outside.

If I can randomly give him those cmnds while we toss the tennis ball around, he's ready.

But I'll still let him act the fool and run himself out the first time he's actually on stock. laugh

I know he'll look at me eventually and ask for help.

Then we can get down to bussiness.

I've never used an e-collar.

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How to honor? I thought this was going to be a pointer thread. laugh

Sounds like he has the basics down. Now it's a matter of transfering that knowledge to the field. Sounds like his drive to hunt is overtaking his obedience training. Repetition and practice in the field.

Might have to get a check cord on him in the field to remind him that he's hunting with you, not the other way around. I would get on some birds with multiple dogs in a training situation with him on a check cord so that he has to listen. Repeat. Have him heal back to you when you say so, instead of getting every bird.

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