During training, my young retriever did excellent staying by my side until I released her to fetch her dummy/bumpers. I make her stay before allowing her to eat any meals and work on stay training all the time. The problem is, real birds drive her up the wall. This isn't a huge problem as far as I'm concerned. If my dog wants to fetch ducks so bad that she completely loses her mind, it's a lot better than if she had no interest in jumping in after the bird at all. The problem is, she breaks even if I miss!! (Which happens more than I like to admit) I've had her chase a healthy flying bird a few hundred yards down the river before. (even the e-collar won't bring her back)
I tried hooking her up to my vest and even using a ground stake but no matter how many times I make her sit before going after the bird, she doesn't learn. I was hoping someone else had this problem. The issue is, I can only train for it in the field because she does so well in training situations. Thanks in advance for any tips.
P.S. I'm sure this has been brought up before, but I'm new here and looked back a ways and didn't find anything.