Wont pick up goose
I have a 1.5yr yellow lab that i have been training for waterfowl hunting. I took her last fall at the age of 6 months and she retrieved two ducks and one goose. The goose she retrieved was completely floating in the water so all she had to do was drag it back in the water. During the early goose season this year it was obvious that she did not know how/ or did not want to pick up goose and bring it back. I started working with her everyday on throwing a dead goose around the yard (that i have been keeping in the freezer). I began by tossing this dead goose into a pile of fallen trees so that she would have to 'pick it up' rather than just dragging it through the yard. This has been working - she is bringing it back to me everytime. I took her hunting last week and i was able to bring down two geese for her. I sent her to out to retieve the first, which was in very shallow water (no swiming required for her). She went out and nosed it but still would not pick it up. The other goose landed on land and Brooke also ran out to check out that bird but still would not pick it up. I am trying to figure out why she picks up geese in the yard but is still not picking them up in the field. I dont know if it is the difference between a semi frozen goose and a fresh bloody one....Any thoughts?
Many people have recommended that Brooke needs to be force fetched but Brooke reacts badly to negative reinforcement so i would rather not force fetch her. I know this is the most highly recommended solution but i know my dog and this is not the way to go with this pup. I began by trying to train her with a shock collar (the same as my old lab) but once again, negative reinforcement does not work.. Brooke is the second dog i have trained for waterfowl hunting (so i am by no means a pro). Brooke has everything else i am looking for: a great nose, patience, takes a line, and instictive (and is light years ahead of my old lab for her age). It may be that Brooke just needs more exposure to hunting and birds and that i am getting too impatient but any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks all in advance:)
There was a recent previous post dealing with this with a slightly different twist. You might search and see if any of those suggestions would help you.
You can teach a fetch command without the force. I have seen it but this also must be done correctly. As far as force fetching goes, you say your dog doesn't respond well to the pressure. What kind of pressure have you used? What were the circumstances? How did she react?
You just might be using the wrong kind of pressure. Also, Wayne has good advice.
I started with her with the shock collar (very minimal shock level) and as soon as i get the shock collar out she quits doing EVERYTHING - she will just go hide- she looses all interest in retrieving. I have tried the pressue to the toe (toe hitch) however, the vet that removed her dew claws did an aweful job and there is still part of the claw under the skin so she HATES her feet to be touched at all - has since the day i brought her home. I tried pressure to her ear but i fear that this will cause the same problem i already have with her feet - eventually she will not let me near her ears. The last thing i want the dog to do is to not trust me. All the training i have done and the progress we have made together has been due to praise and i can usually get her to do what i want just by changing the tone of my voice. i have recently used a whistle but it has been very minimal - if she deviates from the training, like gets side tracked when coming back to me with the dummy, i just use the whistle and that puts her back on the track of coming back to me.
Originally Posted by gdgnyc
There are very few dogs that can't be force fetched. I would suggest that you get some pro help or an experienced amateur.
Try putting the ecollar on your dog and let her play with it on for 10-15 minutes each day. Not trying to be critical but maybe you got ahead of yourself with the ecollar and didn't properly introduce it.
Are you following a training program? Which one?
Brooke, from what you describe I would re-evaluate my use of the collar. You also need to use other types of pressure. I think you have a couple of options. You can FF using other methods. You can work on a forced hold. You can counter condition the ecollar.
I have to ask if your dog might have gotten hurt while retrieving a goose, maybe a feisty cripple, tangle in some weeds, etc.?
If you would like to hear more, PM me.
Welcome to RTF Brooke!
Wow! I kinda do not know were to start.
From the run and hide dog to the dew claw line, Gosh!
Lets all just back up a bit. Most of "our" retrievers jump with glee when the E-collar comes out, as it is time to go training.
Who's Collar Conditioning program did you use to introduce your dog to the E-collar stimulation?
Do you put the collar on her every time you train or just now and again?
Were did you learn about force fetch? From a program you are following, step by step. Or from interaction with your training buddies? Did you teach the hold command at all?
What do you do when your dog runs and hides? You could be teaching her this is a good way to get out of work.
You said you were trying to use an e-collar with her without positive results. Was she properly introduced to the e-collar? Did you collar condition her with known commands, such as "sit", "here", 'kennel" so she understands how to turn the pressure off before you started into using the collar in the field? As others have asked, are you following a program and if so making sure you are following all the steps and not skipping ahead trying to "finish off" the training faster.
If you post a location, there may be a retriever club in your area and very knowledgable members who could help you with your training.
I am not following any specific training program. I am training based off of my past experience training my last lab (11yrs old) and have reading the "water dog" book for some guidence. Though my past experience with my old lab taught me a lot, the two dogs are very different. My old lab mack is head strong and aggressive - i used the shock collar with her and she took to it well. I never had a problem with her retieving birds due to her aggressive nature. Do you have a training program you suggest?
Originally Posted by Wayne Nutt
I recomend clicking the banner add at top of this page for Mike Lardy's total retriever program. Start with the printed articles vol 1, 2 & 3. Start with vol one only if you need. They are about $25 each. While there his E-collar conditioning vid is very very nice. You very much need it. And print out the flow chart while you are there. Waterdog is very old, yet still keeps pro dog trainers busy. Fixing the issues new folks give the dogs from using it.