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Pup issue with retrieving dead bird

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by len loma, Oct 23, 2012.

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  1. len loma

    len loma TS Member

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    Hi, have a 1 1/2 yr old pup who will retieve on command a pheasant dummy all day long bring it to you, sit and release in your hand all on command. My problem is he will not do this with a dead pheasant. He will hold a dead bird in his mouth if I put it in there and release on command. Displays a soft mouth. Picking it up and walking with it seems to be the issue for him.

    Been raising and training bird dogs for a long time and this has never been an issue. He is a popular hunting breed (won't mention what he is because that will be a debate) who comes from titled field trial parents. Mom has won a number of field trail events. He is one of the smartest and most disciplined dogs I have had to date. He is driven to please but can't get over a dead bird in mouth. I am sure I will get him in time but any simple ideas to fix problem?
    Thanks, Len
     
  2. docbombay

    docbombay Well known trouble maker

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    Take one dead pheasant wing and rubber band it to the dummy.

    Doc
     
  3. Pocatello

    Pocatello Active Member

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    Has he been force fetched? If not, do it!
     
  4. mag410

    mag410 Active Member

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    I am in the same shape. My dog will retrieve any and everything, rocks, sticks, balls, clay targets, shoes etc, but she will not retrieve anything that was ever alive. She is also very smart and compliant. Other than that she doesn't like to swim or retrieve anything that was ever alive, she is a great dog. Please don't tell her I said she is a great dog, she thinks her name is "worthless old black dog".

    Michael
     
  5. wolfram

    wolfram Well-Known Member

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    You can do force fetching and it usually does work (might want someone else to do this)

    or you can live with what you have. A lot of the pointers (GSP in particular) don't do solid retrieves even though they love playing fetch in the back yard. It is almost like they don't want to get in trouble for getting YOUR bird. Like a respect thing. My best ever GSP would retrieve quail from the nastiest places and head my direction with them but as soon as we made eye contact he would drop the bird. This worked just fine as far as recovering the game but I always wished he would make the full trip. Try as I might I just couldn't make him do the full retrieve and he was a very smart dog. (Id give anything to have him around today)

    My current GSPs will bring the bird in but only if I'm not looking at them (hard not to do) and the puppy of the two seems more interested in doing what I want him to do.

    Contrast that with my old yellow dog that would run a rooster down and haul it back from great distances just pleased as punch to be bringing me something. Obviously that is why they are called retrievers.

    Good luck but remember to have fun and make sure your pal has fun too!
     
  6. wireguy

    wireguy TS Member

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    The obvious solution is force retrieve which certainly isn't quick or easy but it does work. When you complete the process on the bench with live pigeons start it again on the ground, and continue through, ending with real birds. By this time the dog should be soft mouthed enough that you can use live pigeons with the dog controlling the bird without harming it. By the time you are using live birds on the ground the dog should be retrieving them with joy and gusto.
     
  7. g7777777

    g7777777 Active Member

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    Force fetch

    It is pretty easy- takes from 2 weeks to a month- maybe 10 mins a day or twice a day depending on your circumstance or give the dog to someone else to do if you cant spend the 10 mins on a daily basis

    Regards from Iowa

    Gene
     
  8. Setterman

    Setterman Well-Known Member

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    Have you tried some retrieving with another dog around as "competition" for the bird? With the presence of another dog, your dog may retrieve to you so the other dog doesn't get the prize. Worked with one of my setters which aren't normally good retrievers. When he figured out it was OK, and he got lots of praise, he was a much better retriever.

    If that doesn't work, force breaking is the only solid, reliable way to train retrieving.
     
  9. Jawhawker

    Jawhawker TS Member

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    It sounds as though "force breaking" is what it will take as I would say that young guy most likely got spurred real good by a cripple early on retreving pheasants. It happens alot with cripples. But Iam sure your well aware of circumstances since you've been training for along time.

    I suspect from your post that you've never attempted the procedure. There are videos that can explain it better than I. Settermans suggestion may work but I would suggest using a dog the se age or younger so a dominance issue isn't present which of course could create negative impact. :
     
  10. dshot

    dshot Member

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    Blow in his ear and see how fast he drops the bird.
     
  11. gdbabin

    gdbabin TS Member

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    I had a shorthaired brindle 3-toed walker, cur, retriever, yard-dog mix we used for pheasant huntin' back in the day.

    Not very friendly, but an ugly beast, we chopped off Bugger's nads so he couldn't replicate. The surgical procedure proved premature however cause he worked out to be the savviest retrieving machine ever seen in those parts. To explain:


    A quick learner, ole Bugger only got spurred by a half-dead angry cock once. From that point on whenever he approached a flopper, he'd place his shorter than the other 3-toe'd front leg on the critters neck to hold it still real good, then he'd deftly crunch its pointed head like a cracked pecan in his teeth. Booger'd then come ambling back in that crooked gait of his and drop the dead critter at my feet. He'd then give me a patronizing look and pass gas as a reminder to make a better shot next time.


    That dog was smart--he force trained ME!



    Guy Babin
     
  12. romie

    romie Active Member

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    I would start with the wing on the ball or maybe just a few feathers and try to work up. keep adding feathers. Different problem but I had a dog that wouldn't jump in a truck bed. backed up to a ditch and started taking little jumps till she will jump in the truck. Yes... I know it is a different problem but it is the small step theory.
    Monty
     
  13. len loma

    len loma TS Member

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    Thanks for the ideas. Thinking about it a bit more early last year he was bring dead birds to hand. Maybe he got clawed up by a bird. I thought working with dummy it would be a no brainer for him. I'll just keep working with him on force fetch till he gets it. Guess I have been lucky with the other dogs but I can see when he finally gets it he will be a very special buddy of mine. Thanks, Len
     
  14. Doug Brown

    Doug Brown Banned User Banned

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    Two words- force fetch.
     
  15. Mapper

    Mapper Member

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    I once had a shorthair that wouldn't retrieve. He knew exactly what to do, but disliked feathers. He would pick up a bird and then go PFUFF, put his foot on it and start barking till I showed up. His idea seemed to work so I let it slide.
     
  16. Stl Flyn

    Stl Flyn Banned User Banned

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    By letting them get away with a partial retrieve, or no retrieve, you are training them it is alright, and you will do the work for them.
     
  17. lightning20ga

    lightning20ga Member

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    the pond will work short retreves at first a few aday no old smelly birds if h es soft DO NOT FORCE FETCH
     
  18. psfive

    psfive Member

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    Every retrieving dog needs to be force broke. Some are tougher to break than others. Even the good retrievers will at some time tell you to go get it yourself if they don't believe it's their job to do. There are several way to complete the task. Check youtube and books on the subject. Paul in GINebraska.
     
  19. b12

    b12 Well-Known Member

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    Many years ago I used to raise bird dogs, German shorhair, Griffins, Emglish setters and pointers. Long range dogs and close in working dogs. Read several books cause it was a hobby of love for me. So as to your problem you must realize that their are certain things that are bread into dogs from many generations past and once in a while somothing will stand out from others.
    I had the same problem a couple of times and here is what I read from old pros many years ago.
    When a dog retrieves he is doing it to please. And with a pup or yung dog he wants to be acknowledge he done good. Some times the dog will bring the bird back but not give it to you. The thing to do is when you get the bird take the head off and give it to him as a reward. That way he feels rewarded. It don't take long and the dog will forget about getting the head and not want it anymore.
    I would say to the fellows that the dog that drops the bird from a distance when he makes eye contact is probaby due to a since of disatification in your expression and the dog is unsure what to do to please. What I would do is let the dog drop the bird. Go get the bird. Neal down next to the bird and tear the head off and offer it to the dog. Don't force it on the dog. Ig the dog don't take it from you then just lay it down righ their and stand up and walk away slowly. If the dog works in and takes the head and eats it be sure to praise him and a good reward.
    Some dogs are shy, others are bold. Some learn quick,some slower but if you have the patience and don't show disatifaction in your expression. A good companion will since it immediatly. Its worth a try.
     
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