Need Help on How To Get Dog To Pick Duck up return
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By ducksnoh - 12/8/2012 1:27:26 PM
I have a 1.5 year old golden and she loves to retrieve anything.  I have spent much time training her on "dummy" retrieves and she does great.

1st season this year and she does great marking and heading out to fallen bird but seems to not want to pick the bird up and return it.  Seems liek she is unsure to grab it.  Meanwhile at home she will retrieve birds the cat kills, rodents anything.

Worked with her back at boat launch with bagged duck and she seems to get better but hesitating and seemingly uncertain vs toys, balls and duck dummy.

Looking for some tips.  Not sure if it is just all the new experiences etc?

Thanks for the help
By Tim Price - 12/8/2012 6:08:05 PM
You need to train using birds. Never ask your dog to do anything in the field that you haven't showed it to do during training. Introducing birds usually happpens during puppy training and is phased in during diff phases of training depending on how the dog takes to birds. I.e. if the dog is mouthy on birds, you wait until after force fetch so the dog's mouth habits are better. Are you following a training program?  
By ducksnoh - 12/8/2012 9:37:02 PM
no specific program just a combination of what I have read.  do you recommend a specific program?
By bxcall1 - 12/22/2012 12:50:24 PM
I have a similar problem with my 2 yr old lab. She will retreive anything I throw and any pheasant I have shot over her. She is steady in the duck blind and obeys well until it comes time to actually pick up the duck! She will go out as if to retrieve, smells the duck but only rarely will she pick it up and bring it back. Then it had better be a live duck because she has no interest in a dead duck.

I've used dummies with duck wings attached and she's fine with these. Any suggestions?
By Swamper - 12/22/2012 8:38:42 PM
if you have not force fetched your dog, then you have missed a critical step in  your training.  also, using real birds, both alive and dead are essential. lastly, backyard training and real hunt conditions are not the same. therefore, don't expect the same results.

forget the toys and other play retrieves.  stay focused on the real deal.   over and over and over again.  keep it fun.  lot's of praise. 

i have just rounded the corner with my 12 month golden.  he is now fully engaged in the game.   we worked hard together, with some help from a couple pro's and it has now paid off.   he now has several dozen retrieves to his credit so far this season, in many different settings. 

while working on retrieving skills, make sure you hammer in the obedience.  a good retriever that has no hunting blind manners is worthless.

good luck.  keep us posted.