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Thread: Dog will no retreive in cold water?

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    Default Dog will no retreive in cold water?

    I have a 15 month old lab that has been hunting all season and has been doing great. today we hunted a large, half frozen pond with ice around the edges and he just flat out would not retrieve the ducks. He really did not want to get in the water. This is not lack of drive or training so, with all due respect, those are not the answers that I am looking for. I played with a dead duck with him for a while when we where done hunting both on dry land and throwing it in the water. He was as thrilled as ever to pick it up off of the ground but wanted nothing to do with it in the water. I was able to force him to it in the water but he certainly did not want to go. Any suggestions on what we might try to get through this? I live in montana so over half of our season is very cold. Thank you for any help!

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    Senior Member John Robinson's Avatar
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    I also live in Montana, where are you? You didn't mention a neoprene vest, do you use one? If not I highly recommend a good quality, tight fitting vest. Now most dogs will drive though anything, even cold water and ice to get a duck, so the vest is mostly a safety thing to fight off hypothermia, but making him more comfortable can't hurt. The ice could also freak him out just because this is different, I assume you were avoiding the iced over section of pond.

    BTW, Welcome to the forum.

    John
    Last edited by John Robinson; 11-18-2013 at 02:40 PM.

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    I have to second the using a vest. Although I had the opposite problem. Dog would jump in the cold water on the way to train or playing with the kids. I used it to ward off hypothermia

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    Thanks guys, i did forget to mention that yes, he was wearing a vest. He is pretty lean little guy and no matter what I do I cannot get weight on him nor can the vet. I was concerned that the cold would be an issue and unfortunately, i was right. John, I am in the gallatin valley.

    Thanks!

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    Senior Member John Robinson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sageandtun View Post
    Thanks guys, i did forget to mention that yes, he was wearing a vest. He is pretty lean little guy and no matter what I do I cannot get weight on him nor can the vet. I was concerned that the cold would be an issue and unfortunately, i was right. John, I am in the gallatin valley.

    Thanks!
    In that case I wouldn't push it right now. If possible I'd take him upland hunting a lot. Even a game preserve if you can't get into a lot of birds otherwise. Get him jacked up on live birds, really jacked up. If the opportunity arises to have a pheasant land across a small arm of water see if he goes through the water without thinking about it. I had assumed, but now that I reread your post, didn't see you mention how much water work the pup received during summer. Hot weather is the time to work on water, so maybe hold off on duck hunting this season. The last thing you want is to push too hard and create a bad attitude around water.

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    Senior Member BigKahuna13's Avatar
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    Force Fetch??

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    Member DucksDogsDownriggers's Avatar
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    Thought, could the vest be causing some confusion/refusal???... The reason I bring that up is because my 19 mo old BLF had her first and only "no-go" the first time I had the vest on her for real work (not fun bumpers). I resent her and she took off real slow then turned around (popped), I sent her with a loud "back", no pressure, and that did it. I read her as being confused, not as a refusal. No issues since.

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    Senior Member John Robinson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigKahuna13 View Post
    Force Fetch??
    Not at this point around icy cold water. Work on it in better conditions and one thing at a time.

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    Senior Member BigKahuna13's Avatar
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    Agreed. A good vest is the way to go at this point. Just curious if it had been done as a part of training.

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    Senior Member jd6400's Avatar
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    Guys I'm gonna jump in here and give my thoughts.not an expert but this is something that I feel has become a huge problem.I have some thoughts on it but prefer to keep it to myself.But it is the main reason I have switched breeds for my personal gun dogs and have not looked back.As far as forcing...I really question why I should have to force a dog for something they should looove to do.Just my thoughts
    Jim Weitzel
    Proud member of Ole Roy prostaff

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