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Thread: Retrieve problem

  1. #11
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    Oct 2008
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    Central MN
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    Quote Originally Posted by springerfan View Post
    I have a 1-1/2 year old Springer. Very birdy, lots of drive. This is his second year hunting, all on pen raised birds that get released before the season.

    Today, he flushed a rooster, that I dropped and it landed in some short grass, still alive. The bird took off running, and he ran it down and tackled it. Then he got up and started hunting again. Rooster ran off, and We couldn’t find it again.

    This seems to be his MO this year, as he has left a couple other birds lay after they have been shot.

    I sent him to a trainer this spring to have him force fetched, but the trainer couldn’t work with him. Dog got very skittish in the trainers kennel, and would cower in the corner of the pen.

    Any suggestions? I have an older dog, that has been forced, maybe I need to always hunt them together and hope he “gets it” at some point?
    FF isn't some big some big scary thing. I would try another trainer, not all dogs mesh with every trainer. The good trainers can adapt to any dog, Zeb suggested Morgan Haglin. I wouldnt know Morgan if he walked in the room but he has a solid reputation around here.
    I will add that maybe and this is a big maybe tightening up his obedience could help. If recall is perfect a quick, firm "here" when he grabs the bird might get you a retrieve. More likely he will just come back to you without the bird
    "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

  2. #12
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    Nov 2007
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    NE KS
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    I’d find a competent, well known, and accomplished retriever trainer to take him to. I’d say the trainer you had him with didn’t know what he was doing. Dog needs force fetched and lots of marks. Force fetch is MUCH more than just a conditioned retrieve. It teaches a dog how to turn pressure off and when done correctly the dog is retrieving because he HAS to and not because he just wants to. In turn he will be doing almost all he does for you and not solely for himself.

    People look at FF as cruel and not needed. You could teach just “hold” but when you need that dog to make a retrieve that he doesn’t want to your right back to where you are now. And force fetching is done at the dogs pace. Anyone who says they can force fetch a dog in X amount time you need to run away from. All dogs progress at different speeds. Could take a month could take 3 months. It’s complete when it’s complete.

    Just my personal opinion.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
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    Sioux Falls, SD
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    607

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gatzby View Post
    I will add that maybe and this is a big maybe tightening up his obedience could help. If recall is perfect a quick, firm "here" when he grabs the bird might get you a retrieve. More likely he will just come back to you without the bird
    I think you’re right; he’ll likely just drop the bird & come back.

    I still think the “bird in the water trick” might work with this one if he’s sufficiently fired up for a game of fetch ahead of time. Maybe start w/ a ball/toy & then throw a bird. And do this in the field during a hunt (not at the park) so you can throw the next bird, and the next bird, if he doesn’t retrieve right away. With Buzz it took some throwing the bird on land then, too, and a TON of encouragement, but he got it & he got it quick. About 3-4 birds was all it took to go from “I won’t pick up a pheasant” (4 seasons worth) to being a VERY solid retriever. The aggression in his retrieves continues to increase into his 3rd season as a retriever. (caveat: Buzz is, by nature, VERY eager to please.)

    It almost sounds to me like this dog doesn’t really, REALLY know what “fetch” means. Or if he does, that it’s “OK” to fetch a pheasant. To me & my dogs, it means, “Go get that thing & bring it to me until I say drop.” My experience (limited as it is) has been that that definition can be taught without force fetch. Which leads me to a question. As I consider the concept of FF (I’m no expert), I wonder how much of it is simply teaching the MEANING of “fetch”. I get that the idea is to teach the dog that his JOB is to fetch, and that after he understands his job, he’ll grow to love it. I get that most pros FF & that it’s basically proven that FFed dogs are considered to be more reliable fetchers. But while the RESULT of FF is reliability, is it really teaching reliability? Or is it just teaching, reiterating & reinforcing the meaning?

    Also, similarly to the idea that “sit” includes “stay” & therefore some guys don’t teach “stay” (not saying I agree with this), doesn’t “fetch” include “hold”? I’ve never had an instance where “fetch” by itself didn’t suffice, whether it was retrieving, or the dog sitting by my side holding something, or him at heel, carrying something. To my dogs & me, “fetch” doesn’t end until I say “drop” (so I guess it includes “hold”). (another caveat: I do no field trials or competitions of any sort. Just family fun & pretty serious pheasant hunting.)

    Does that make sense, or have I thoroughly confused everyone?
    "Most pheasants in South Dakota don't react too well to #5s." -The Hunt for Red Rooster

  4. #14
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    Dec 2008
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    Watertown, SD
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    I will again make the suggestion to take your dog to Morgan Haglin with Pine Shadows Kennel by Brainerd, MN. http://www.pineshadows.com/ They have been raising and training Springers for over 40 years and are an Orvis Endorsed Hunting Dog Breeder. I'm sure they have seen all conditions and situations in training and would know how to work with your dog. At a minimum give them a call and visit with them. We can offer up all kinds of advice on this site but putting your dog in the hands of a good qualified and competent trainer is the best solution.
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  5. #15
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    Oct 2016
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    Sioux Falls, SD
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dakotazeb View Post
    I will again make the suggestion to take your dog to Morgan Haglin with Pine Shadows Kennel by Brainerd, MN. http://www.pineshadows.com/ They have been raising and training Springers for over 40 years and are an Orvis Endorsed Hunting Dog Breeder. I'm sure they have seen all conditions and situations in training and would know how to work with your dog. At a minimum give them a call and visit with them. We can offer up all kinds of advice on this site but putting your dog in the hands of a good qualified and competent trainer is the best solution.
    Agreed. If nothing seems to be working, then seeking out as much of the best info possible is what you should do. Sounds like Haglin would be a great place to start, as he's probably experienced as many dog/trainer instances as anyone. After hearing what you want & what you're experiencing, sounds like he'd know at least 1 good approach to a solution.
    "Most pheasants in South Dakota don't react too well to #5s." -The Hunt for Red Rooster

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
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    100

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    Thanks for the instructions. I have three GWP's that need time on the table. I trained my dogs for the field but their retrieving skills are sub par.
    "God help me, I do love it so!!" -General Patton

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