FF and retrieving
Quick backstory. My dog's a mutt. Love's to retrieve. Bring bumpers/sticks/pigeons/ducks back to hand. She is not FF'd. She is also a very soft dog, and low on the confidence scale.
We went out hunting for the first time ever this weekend. Early goose. Great hunting with 37 the first day and 22 the second day. Unfortunately she didn't fully retrieve a single one. She would run after it, chase the live one's down, but was totally puzzled on the retrieve. Lots of pulling of feathers. Upon lots of encouragement she would try picking it up, drag it a few feet (not always in the right direction) and set it down, then look at me like WTF? The best "retrieve" I got from her was when I ran to her, slapped my thigh, and had her carry it back with me running by her side (about 60 yards and ending with lots of praise.)
Here's my question: Would FF help this problem? She is damn near 100% on all other types of retrieves, even coming out of the water. We'll see how duck hunting goes, but from training with dead ducks she does fine. The thought of FF with a soft dog makes me nervous. She's the only dog I have for a good 3 years so I don't want to mess her up.
Thanks guys! Good luck this season!
Having a soft dog isn't a good reason not to ff. Did I understand your dog is three?
Some dogs will have trouble with geese at first because of their size.
She's 2. I got her before I got into waterfowling hence not getting a breed more suited to hunting. She's a shepherd cross, and is about 55lbs. I'm torn on if I want to take her goose hunting again this year as I want to keep it as positive as possible, but hot and heavy goose hunting isn't really suited towards training.
The 3 years is how long I have to wait until I can get another dog. Sorry for the confusion.
If she does good on ducks, I would leave well enough alone. Spend the next few years learning as much as possible about training labs.
It may help if you keep a couple of geese to train with. To get her use to something that big.
Like Wayne said geese are bigger then anything she has ever seen.
Agreed - not rocket science...think of a new experience (10 pound bird) from the dogs point of view. Train it. Sounds like you have plenty!! I tried like heck just to drop 1 for this purpose. I failed! ;-)
Originally Posted by priceskeet
I aggree with the guys on that she will learn to handle geese.
I do not aggree when you said "hot and heavy goose hunting isn't really suited towards training."
That is a great time to leave your shotgun in the truck and train your dog in my opinion. Don
FF can help with both the pickup and delivery but the confidence as well. For the most part it appears this dog just doesn't have any experience and needs training.
Geese come with a learning curve. They're big, and it takes a bit while the dog figures out how to get a grip. Experience, combined with you playing fetch with a goose you've shot will help things along.
Thanks for the thoughts guys. Heading out this weekend with a good scouting report. We'll see if I bring her along. Should definitely have some geese to work with after that...we'll see if my wife lets me keep a couple in the freezer ;)
Thinking maybe I will let her get some confidence up with ducks...maybe some pheasant. This is my first dog period so I have lots to learn. I figure that she is at the very least a good first dog since she isn't an expensive dog with awesome breeding to back her up. I'm not really out anything.