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Thread: Pup won't pick up bird

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
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    Default Pup won't pick up bird

    I have a 6 month old springer. I am working on retrieving with her. When she finds and flushes a clip wing (pigeon or pheasant) she will pick the bird up with no problems. I use dead birds in the backyard. I sit her on the place board, then throw the dead maybe 4 or 5 feet. I have her on a check cord to get her to bring the birds back to me. The problem I am running into is she won't pick the dead bird up. If I go to pick it up she will pick it up. Do you have any ideas on how to get her to pick up the dead birds? Thanks for any thoughts or ideas.

  2. #2
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    Feb 2015
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    So she retrieves clipwings and dummies... Is that correct? And she retrieves the dead bird when you move towards it?

    What happens when you throw the dead bird further? Also, what happens if you get rid of the place board?

  3. #3
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    Yes she retrieves dummies, tennis balls, and will pick up clips wings that have been planted and run with them. She will nose the dead bird and mouth it, but she won't pick it up. She will pick it up if I reach over to pick it up. Throwing the dead bird farther doesn't seem to matter. With or without the place board doesnt seem to matter .

  4. #4
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    Try putting the bird in nylons. Maybe it's the feathers and oils that bother her. Then you slowly cut holes in it so more feathers are out.

    But I wouldn't worry too much. She's just a puppy!

  5. #5
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    Give a treat like a small piece of hotdog when she brings the bird to you, even if you have to move as if to pick it up yourself. Pup will get the message.
    - From the office of Browning, Colt, Winchester & Savage
    - Kansas: Big Cock Country

  6. #6
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    Oct 2012
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    Not to pick on Springer guys, but I have two buddies with Springers. One dog retrieves the other will not pick up a bird. One trainer told them Springers are not typically good retrievers and he finds more Springers that won't retrieve than those that will? I am not familiar with them that much, those of you that are have you seen this problem?
    If this is the case maybe some different tricks to help dogs that are not prone to retrieving might be in order? I will follow this post closely so I can help my two buddies with their dogs as well!

  7. #7
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    Oct 2009
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    I like the "nylon socks" idea...at 6 month's, I wouldn't be too concerned.

    Has the dog gone through a puppy class - intro to gun and bird? Usually the dog will be very enthused after two weeks of clipped birds et al.

  8. #8
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    Des Moines
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    She retrieves everything else. She will flush a clipped wing, then pick it up and run with it. She did this with tennis balls to start. She was all over them if they were moving. When they stopped moving she lost interest. She is out of that phase now and will retrieve tennis balls or dummies all day and want more. Maybe it's just the fact she is a young as several have pointed out. If that's he case then no big deal. She's only been on clips a couple weeks. Maybe just more exposure to birds will help.

    The nylon deal is a good idea. I will give that a try. I have heard the taste of texture of pigeons turns some dogs off.

    I will try the treat idea too Brit. Hat has helped us through some issues already.

    Most well bred springers retrieve. Some better than others but the vast majority retrieve. If my dog doesn't retrieve it would reflect on the dog herself, not the breed in general.

  9. #9
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    I hunted with a friend of mine that hunted a Brittany. His dog would find a cripple and stand on the bird. My friend didn't care about the retrieve part - just find the bird!

    Would assume you are using the command "fetch." and he understands what that means. If you can train with another dog and your dog watches the dog retrieve, perhaps he'll get it...nothing like a little competition.

  10. #10
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    Feb 2015
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldenboy View Post
    Not to pick on Springer guys, but I have two buddies with Springers. One dog retrieves the other will not pick up a bird. One trainer told them Springers are not typically good retrievers and he finds more Springers that won't retrieve than those that will? I am not familiar with them that much, those of you that are have you seen this problem?
    If this is the case maybe some different tricks to help dogs that are not prone to retrieving might be in order? I will follow this post closely so I can help my two buddies with their dogs as well!
    This is not my experience with springers. Well bred, field bred springers love to retrieve. They live for it! Show lines, on the other hand, may be hit or miss. But I would never have a springer, or a spaniel for that matter, unless it retrieved enthusiastically. My springer runs the hardest when chasing down a mark.

    Now spaniels aren't as keen on repetition as some labs, but I don't hold that against them.

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