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I had two setters, one passed away a couple months ago , probably one of the best dogs ever hunted with. the younger one stopped retrieving after he passed away. Any tips on how I can get him back to retrieving? He just turned 5. Thanks, Pat
 

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Great looking dogs Pat. It is always hard to lose one. That's odd that the other dog stopped retrieving when they hunted together did he let the older dog do most of the retrieving or did they share equally? Maybe try to hunt him with another dog and see what happens. I have a great Setter trainer I know I will run it past her.
 

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I was struck by the similarity of your first picture to one I took of my buddy's dog, on left, and my dog Spud, on the right. They are pointing a pheasant in this shot.
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He was a retrieving machine,they both retrieved egually.Isn’t he too old for force retrieving? By the way good looking dogs there. I love setters and I love there style when they point. Thanks guys
 

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Setters are quirky. My female will retreive only if other dogs are in the field. When hunting by ourselves she will stand over it till I pick it up. Never force fetched her. Out of 6 setters I've had, only 1 naturally retreived.
 

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I'm not sure I can help you with a dog that has quit retrieving, but the good thing is, he knows how to do it, so maybe it's just a matter of time and keeping him in the field.

I had two English Setters.....a Black and white- Latz's Blissful Belle, and an Orange and white -DeCoverly's Big Duke. Both Ryman's. Neither one would retrieve, but damn, they'd hold a pheasant down to the ground until I came to get it. I miss 'em both

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Force-fetching is an option, but I wouldn't turn to it immediately with the dog having been a reliable retriever in the past. I'd try to make it fun for him by throwing freshly killed birds for him and encouraging him to pick them up and bring them back, then lavishing him with praise if he does it.

Properly done, a force-fetch program will leave no doubt – he has to go get the object, whatever it is, and bring it back. I've administered such a program with a setter one time, under the full guidance of a professional trainer. If I had my druthers, I wouldn't do it again.

I'll accept marginal retrieving from a pointer or setter, as that's not a trait that was emphasized in those breeds, and I'll even live with one of them just standing over a dead bird until I arrive.

If your dog enjoyed retrieving before, hopefully that light will turn back on for him.
 

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I agree I would not turn to force fetching yet since the dog was a good retriever. I still think a little competition with the right dog may help but as someone else said Setters are quirky.
 

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My dog was a retrieving machine - we called her 'Fetch-o-Matic' - she would fetch anything (OK, never taught her to get me a beer from the fridge).

Her favorite 'toy' was a dummy launcher - commercial style using 22 blanks to launch the dummy out to 100 yards or more. Unless we were on birds - then NOTHING else mattered. You'd think she'd never fetched a ball or the dummy in her life if she thought we were hunting instead.

She was really wired one day as we were going hunting, so I stopped and shot the dummy a few times for her at a large park. When we arrived at the hunting ground I figured I'd try it again. She just stood there looking at me when the dummy launched. She must have loved watching one dummy (me) going to fetch the other dummy in the field...

I think the two answers are:

1) Give him some time - dogs do grieve (saddest thing I ever saw was one of our Brits died - the two were apart at the time - and when the survivor smelled the car where we had carried the other to be cremated she freaked out).

2) I concur on the 'you need a second dog for some dogs to fetch.'

Sorry for your loss.
 

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Thanks for the encouraging words, and thoughts. Too cold out here in Chicago to do anything , hopefully next week it’ll be a little warmer I’ll take him out and work with him a little. I’ll let you guys know how he did. Thanks again, Pat
 

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View attachment 1256625 View attachment 1256657 View attachment 1256665 View attachment 1256673 I had two setters, one passed away a couple months ago , probably one of the best dogs ever hunted with. the younger one stopped retrieving after he passed away. Any tips on how I can get him back to retrieving? He just turned 5. Thanks, Pat
He's missing his partner. There no different than people. Work with him to get him through the situation.

I'd try taking him to a preserve. Buy him 10 birds, work him, show him number one that he can do it alone (confidence) and number two that he can still have fun without his old partner.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
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Yeh i know, he cried for three weeks. He was a wild dog when they were together within one week he totally changed very calm now. Lays around all day. I think it’s time to get another pup
 

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Yeh i know, he cried for three weeks. He was a wild dog when they were together within one week he totally changed very calm now. Lays around all day. I think it’s time to get another pup
 

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I think the retrieving (when two dogs were working) was something the dog did to ensure he was the good dog that brought the game in to the master. A competition for your approval. I think your best all around solution is to start a new dog so that you can have a pair of them in the field. (also a guy should have at least two good pals) I would strongly advise against the force breaking. I am currently just hunting one dog (the old boy is retired from the field) and the now my middle aged dog will find the downed bird and finish it if need be and then drop the bird as soon as I make eye contact with him. Not really a problem but I sure did like watching him come in with a bird for me. I have a black dog on the way up so perhaps things will get fun next year.
 

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You're a bunch of lucky guys, my damn german shepherd won't fetch a bikini top worth a damn nasty temper and vicious, Man's best friend phoey! that traitorous dog likes my wife better, probably cause every time I get kicked out of the house I sleep in his place and steal his blanket.
Aloha
 

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Aloha One's comments reminded me of a yellow dog that I named Bud that I got after college. He was a decent hunter and a great retriever - actually a bit too good at that. Back in those days I was single and Bud would collect the undergarments of what ever female that I could trick into getting out of them. Then he would take these pilfered items to his secret hiding place until the next time I would have company and guess what he would bring out to show everyone....

FWIW the dog outlasted lots of girlfriends - sneaky SOB!
 

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when my oldest gwp died, the younger one changed. they were best buds, kenneled together. got a new pup and the younger dog just wiggled with joy of having a new buddy. so yes try hunting him with another dog, preferably with one you hunted with before.
 
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