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  1. #1

    Default Retrieving issues

    Hi all, just picked up Gus from the trainer yesterday after being there for 3 months. He is about ten months old right now. The trainer said that he did well great nose, quarters, responds to whistle commands, and retrieves. The only hiccup that I would like to work on with him involves the retrieving. I guess he has no problem finding the downed bird and bringing it back, but once he does come back you really have to grab the bird out of his mouth he doesn't seem to want to willingly drop it. Not sure if this is just a puppy faze or what. Would appreciate it if someone could give me some direction. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    My 6.5 yr. Golden still prances around/struts and doesn't want to give.

    A little electric reminder is usually all that's necessary. Your puppy may be too young for stimulation?

    Patience, he'll eventually drop or give it up, although it may take some time.

    Does he hold on to a training dummy? That's a good place to start and reward him often...
    Last edited by jonnyB; 04-07-2017 at 08:33 AM.

  3. #3
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    first you should never allow him drop it, he should give the bird to you when you reach for it, if you allow him to drop it he'll drop a pheasant and the damn thing will try to run off lol

    now how to fix him

    have him sit holding the bird, you kneel next to him and gently grasp his collar with your left hand and just pet him no talk just quietly hold him, don't reach for the bird right away. After quietly petting him for about 45 second seconds or so reach for the bird command "give" if he doesn't give it to you just keep petting him (don't talk at all during this process the only command he will hear is "give")

    make him stay there for another minute a try again, command give, if he gives willingly praise and send him on, if he still holds the bird just keep petting and repeat in another minute or so

    eventually he will want to go more than he wants to sit there and hold the bird ( that's why your left hand is securing his collar)and learn he isn't going anywhere until he gives you the bird, once he learns that he will give you the bird on command
    Last edited by bobman; 04-06-2017 at 06:09 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobman View Post

    now how to fix him
    Yep, agree totally

  5. #5

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    Hang on people. First we don't have any idea as to what the training program was. Was the dog force fetched and collar fetched? Give us the run down of the specific training program and what the dog learned while at school!

    And as far as the dog being to young for collar stimulation, that is false. If the dog was indeed force fetched and collar fetched, then by all means, talk with the trainer on how you need to apply e-pressure.

    A good trainer also trains the owner when the dog is picked up! That is the only way to get your money's worth.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by westksbowhunter View Post

    A good trainer also trains the owner when the dog is picked up! That is the only way to get your money's worth.
    Bingo!

    Also the trainer knows this dog better than anyone including the OP. If there is a problem with his training (I doubt there is) give him a chance to fix it first. Heck who knows what he was even hired to do.

    I kind of feel like the trainer is being thrown under the bus even though he isn't named in the post......
    "We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare and love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. It's the best deal man has ever made." M.Facklam

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobman View Post
    first you should never allow him drop it, he should give the bird to you when you reach for it, if you allow him to drop it he'll drop a pheasant and the damn thing will try to run off lol

    now how to fix him

    have him sit holding the bird, you kneel next to him and gently grasp his collar with your left hand and just pet him no talk just quietly hold him, don't reach for the bird right away. After quietly petting him for about 45 second seconds or so reach for the bird command "give" if he doesn't give it to you just keep petting him (don't talk at all during this process the only command he will hear is "give")

    make him stay there for another minute a try again, command give, if he gives willingly praise and send him on, if he still holds the bird just keep petting and repeat in another minute or so

    eventually he will want to go more than he wants to sit there and hold the bird ( that's why your left hand is securing his collar)and learn he isn't going anywhere until he gives you the bird, once he learns that he will give you the bird on command

    Wouldn't it be easier if you taught the dog to hold before trying reinforce him to do something that he has not learned yet? You want him to sit and hold but we don't even know the level of it's obedience yet! You want him to sit and stay and then hold before teaching the obedience commands? Not wanting to start a debate but the dog has been through a program with a trainer for 3 months. This needs to be handled with the owner and the trainer and sticking with what the dog has been taught not forum members trying to fix something with a dog that we know nothing about.
    Last edited by westksbowhunter; 04-10-2017 at 04:38 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobman View Post
    first you should never allow him drop it, he should give the bird to you when you reach for it, if you allow him to drop it he'll drop a pheasant and the damn thing will try to run off lol

    now how to fix him

    have him sit holding the bird, you kneel next to him and gently grasp his collar with your left hand and just pet him no talk just quietly hold him, don't reach for the bird right away. After quietly petting him for about 45 second seconds or so reach for the bird command "give" if he doesn't give it to you just keep petting him (don't talk at all during this process the only command he will hear is "give")

    make him stay there for another minute a try again, command give, if he gives willingly praise and send him on, if he still holds the bird just keep petting and repeat in another minute or so

    eventually he will want to go more than he wants to sit there and hold the bird ( that's why your left hand is securing his collar)and learn he isn't going anywhere until he gives you the bird, once he learns that he will give you the bird on command
    Really what you are suggesting is shaping a behavior much like clickers and treats. While I am a strong believer that shaping behavior is a great method for some trainers and some dogs I don't think it's sound advice in this case. In order for your method to work You are assuming the dog will remain sitting and not drop the bird or chomp on it. I would be surprised if either of these assumptions are accurate with a young dog. If the pup doesnt sit relatively calmly and hold solidly I can't see this working. You will spend all your time fighting these issues and diluting what you are trying to achieve.

    PS I still teach "parlor tricks" to my dogs using a clicker and treats while we are bored in the winter. But when it comes to there real job I am 100% a FF advocate, while I prefer attrirition to pressure I will use pressure when ever appropriate!
    "We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare and love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. It's the best deal man has ever made." M.Facklam

  9. #9
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    no need to be so adversarial I am well aware there is definitely more than one way to train a dog, I simply offered a proven method that doesn't require force.

    Most hunters won't follow through a FF routine, especially on a resistant dog, so I like to offer an alternative that they can feel good doing.

    to answer the questions from above

    the problem is not getting the dog to hold, he's already holding, he is refusing to release if I read the OPs post correctly

    the dogs already trained to a point that would indicate he knows sit, so he will sit

    your left hand is firmly holding his collar so that is why he won't run off, infact that why this method works, young dogs always want to move on. You don't let him until he willingly gives.

    I've been training labs and pointing dogs since the late 60s both personal dogs and for other folks. I quit training other folks dogs in the late 80s. I maintain a string of 8-12 personal dogs and have for the last 38 years or more. My point mentioning this is simply that i do have a lot of personal experience working with problem dogs and this is a common problem especially with pointing dogs.

    The technique I offer above doesn't use treats or a clicker and it works well because the dog makes the connect that the release means he get to have more fun hunting. And it won't mess up a dog like someone that will not got through a FF routine.

    It's slower and takes patience and it's pleasant and simple understand and to do, few people find force fetch training pleasant.

    This technique is really more useful and aimed for upland type retrieve work where a dog wants to get back to the hunt, but this is a pheasant hunting site.

    I was trying to be helpful.
    Last edited by bobman; 04-10-2017 at 09:36 PM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobman View Post
    no need to be so adversarial I am well aware there is definitely more than one way to train a dog, I simply offered a proven method that doesn't require force.

    Most hunters won't follow through a FF routine, especially on a resistant dog, so I like to offer an alternative that they can feel good doing.

    to answer the questions from above

    the problem is not getting the dog to hold, he's already holding, he is refusing to release if I read the OPs post correctly

    the dogs already trained to a point that would indicate he knows sit, so he will sit

    your left hand is firmly holding his collar so that is why he won't run off, infact that why this method works, young dogs always want to move on. You don't let him until he willingly gives.

    I've been training labs and pointing dogs since the late 60s both personal dogs and for other folks. I quit training other folks dogs in the late 80s. I maintain a string of 8-12 personal dogs and have for the last 38 years or more. My point mentioning this is simply that i do have a lot of personal experience working with problem dogs and this is a common problem especially with pointing dogs.

    The technique I offer above doesn't use treats or a clicker and it works well because the dog makes the connect that the release means he get to have more fun hunting. And it won't mess up a dog like someone that will not got through a FF routine.

    It's slower and takes patience and it's pleasant and simple understand and to do, few people find force fetch training pleasant.

    This technique is really more useful and aimed for upland type retrieve work where a dog wants to get back to the hunt, but this is a pheasant hunting site.

    I was trying to be helpful.
    I'm sorry if I came off adversarial, that was not my intent. I may have painted with to broad of stoke.

    As far as the OP is concerned the best answer is getting in touch with his trainer first. "Reinventing the wheel" at this point makes very little sense. That is why I said I didn't think your advice applies in this case. My guess is the OP is grabbing at the bird in to much of a hurry and shotgunning commands like "sit, hold, drop, give, and here" as nervous chatter. With the number of dogs and handlers you have been around you have seen this many times. Calming down and shutting ones mouth fixes a lot of line manner issues.

    And I will say again I don't doubt your method will work, I also agree that pressure is unlikely to be be the fix for a "sticky" dog early on. "Sticky" can be a tough nut to crack if allowed to become habit. Once it becomes a habit then pressure might become the only answer and it isn't pleasant for anyone.

    Call the trainer, meet with him is step one.

    After all this has been said none of have seen the issue, none of us know what the dog has been trained to do. Everything I have said could be complete crap!!

    I'm moving on, we have open water finally, all the good dogs are coming north for the summer. Time to be training before the trial/test season starts in a few weeks.
    "We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare and love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. It's the best deal man has ever made." M.Facklam

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