That was uncalled for.-Paul
1. It is pretty common for young dogs to pick up and carry small ducks but often have to be forced to pickup and carry larger ducks.
2. Many young dogs will drop the bird at the waters edge and have to be forced to hang on to it coming out of the water.
So my recommendation is to re-visit ff with large ducks in the yard, then go to a nearby pond and force coming out of the water (if she drops it at water edge, pinch ear or if collar fetched do that to make dog pick up the bird and continue up the bank).
Hope this helps.
And to add . . . . If you have a smaller duck, have her heel around the yard with it. Go up and down some steps.
If you can get your hands on a live pigeon, then you have another training tool. Lots of soft mouthed dogs don't want all that 'activity' in their mouths. Maybe even use a dead pigeon first if she has never seen one.
but the force fetch re-visit needs to come as a first step to fix your issue.
Thanks Wayne. When she was a puppy, I noticed that she always picked up and carried bumpers by the end; like a cigar stuck out of her mouth. For a while, I would reposition in her mouth and make her hold it that way. She never learned to pick them up that way, and I did not see it as terribly important.
Perhaps I let a bad habit set in.
I generally don't pay much attention to an occasional cigar hold. As Howard N. has said, have you ever seen a dog cigar hold a duck.
However, never picking up a dummy except by a cigar hold seems odd.