Thanks! Ill be sure to give it a try. You guys are great!
This could be totally off base--disadvantage of not being able to see the dog work--but are you sure he knows when he has done what you want? I am big on giving them a "good dog, here!" (Transitioning to "good dog" and a pickup whistle). Some dogs need it more than others, but good feedback can really help training progress and attitude. Imagine how tentative you would be if you never could tell if you were doing right or not.
If I was training this dog I'd try taking a break from pressure on the send.
There's a preference among some to keep praise to a minimum, thinking it's cool never to praise and a good dog shouldn't need it. I'd suggest treating that as an endpoint for a finished trial dog, and using every available tool while the dog is learning.
What is the dog's body language telling you? What are you telling the dog?
Also, avoid a mistake that many new trainers make IMO: Just because the dog has done a behavior correctly a few times does not mean that it was learned/trained.
"I love the rod and gun and where they take me."
What Amy says makes sense. To add to that, I had a dog here last year that was so shut down that she wouldn't move off of a whistle sit to handle, and the pressure she'd had before she came here had totally shot her confidence. I started over, with lots of happy bumpers....and on the praise end of things, I was whooping and hollering and acting excited every time she would go, and lots of praise on the way back. I looked and felt like a total dufus...but it made a huge difference for her. I let a lot of things slide because I didn't want to make many corrections, just trying to get her fired up about the work again. As we worked out way back to simple casting, I'd start doing the cheerleader thing as soon as she would start to take the cast, and you could see how it helped her enthusiasm levels....it's like it gave her confidence that she was doing the right thing. And it was always done in very short sessions of just a few bumpers...maybe three....then quit and do more later. I always wanted to let her leave a session excited and wanting more.
Chesapeake Bay Retrievers...too many to list.