Not sure what to do
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By duckguy - 9/20/2012 12:04:59 AM
I have a 3yo lab. The problem started last year. I first brought Mack (dog) hunting when he was 11 months old and he did fantastic he retrieved every bird, then last year after training during the summer with frozen birds he would not pick up the bird after it was downed. He would swim out to the duck, bump it with his nose and return to the boat. I am confused to say the least. After the hunt I would take him out and have him retrieve an actual duck that I would through and he would go and get it. Then the next time out later the same day and same as before he would swim out and bump it with his nose and swim back???? Has anyone ever experienced this happening?? Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!
By Mallard Mugger - 9/20/2012 7:53:53 AM
Many have so you're not alone.  Let me start by asking what training program you have been following and where you are at in it?  What tools do you have in the tool box to correct this?  I am of the crowd of conditioned fetch (i.e. Force Fetch).  If you're looking for a "Gentleman's" way of training I'll bow out now.  Either route you want to take, don't take him out hunting until you can get this fixed, you're engraining a response that will become mutch harder to break the more it becomes engrained.

One more questions while I'm at it.  Is it just dead ducks or cripples as well?
By scofo35 - 9/20/2012 11:21:55 AM
I would force fetch that dog right away.
By Swamper - 9/20/2012 4:22:53 PM
force fetch  ASAP
By neducks - 9/23/2012 4:00:21 PM
Will he get a thawed bird when he is on your normal training grounds?  Sometimes with my cbr he'll nose around the first bird if we have been using the the same type of bird i.e pigeon or frozen and then switch to thawed or goose.  He is force fetch trained so a simple command for him and he picks it up.  I try to switch up variety as much as i can.
By duckguy - 9/24/2012 1:44:22 PM
First off everyone, Thank you for your help!! I am looking into finding a trainer for him now.  I am fine with force fetching if it helps solve this problem. I live next to 50 acres of field with some water on it.  I use scented bumpers (hand and launcher type)  He is steady to retrieve listens well and will retrieve anything I throw.  This weekend was MN's opener (and we smashed!!!!  limited out both boats by 9:30 both days!!! saw 100's of ducks) I brought him out and after 3 times of him not getting birds I quit sending him out and had him in the boat next to us, then all the sudden we hit a double and he gets out gets the birds and comes back.  He didn't do it again all weekend? lol  So after day one we brought the ducks back to the hunting shack to clean the birds and I kept out a teal and had him do fetches first in the tall grass then over water until I was tired of throwing the bird..  The next day he didn't retrieve one??  So I guess I'll start looking for trainers in earnest now.  I live in MN do any of you know of any that you would recommend in my state?  Thanks Again!!
By kghops - 9/24/2012 7:38:35 PM
Your dog is retrieving on his terms.  Force Fetch will train the dog to retrieve when you say so.  Somewhere along the line there's some holes in your training.  Not sure where you live in Minnesota, but there are plenty of really good trainers over there.  Contact The St. Cloud Retrieving Club or Northern Flights Retriever Clubs....give them a call and someone should have some good references over there.  If not, let me know and I'll find someone for you.

By jpsheet - 9/25/2012 3:08:12 PM
I don't want to hijack this thread but is anyone worried that the dog won't respond to ff being as it is older then a pup i took my 1 and half old lab to a trainer and she would have nothing to do with ff  he said she was to big strong and set in her ways he didnt want to work with a dog that wasn't going to work with him
any thoughts on that
By hunter951 - 9/25/2012 6:44:09 PM
I ff my 4 yr old, so I don't know about other dogs, but it worked for me.
By Swamper - 9/25/2012 6:57:23 PM
year and a half certainly isn't too old.  sounds like the trainer was the problem.

find another trainer. 
By neducks - 9/25/2012 8:23:16 PM
i helped a friend force a 4yr old 120lb chessie. he had contacted 3-4 pros who expressed no interest in helping so we did it ourselves.  we are both amateurs so we dont know any special tricks.  butch goodwins book provides as much insight into force fetching as any book or video i found.  It took us about 5 weeks so patience is essential. So if no trainer wants the challenge you might consider doing it yourself.
By jpsheet - 9/26/2012 8:53:32 AM
that was around may or june so i asked a friend to help and we ended up not ff but as soon as i started to not let her get away with anything (i was being "to nice")  she shaped right up and the e collar helped now we just have to wait to see how she does in the blind that was my problem when there was no action she would just get out of control
i didnt want to take over the tread with my question i was just wondering if anyone saw that as a problem like i had