Wow, a lot of good advice here. I agree that the Dokken is a great training tool and it gets the dog used to carrying something of size. Dead birds and dead birds thrown in water has worked for me too. The most important thing that I have seen written so far is don't let a young inexperianced dog get ahold of a wounded goose! They can be very intimidating and pup will never forget it! Just think of it as the dog would, "This thing is as big as me and doesn't want to go were I want to take it, I think I'll wait and see if it changes it's mind?" Then you got a problem. But only with geese.
I'm working on this with a 20 month old, 50 lb BLF as we type.
Taught her to pick up snow geese a couple of weeks ago. Been shooting some very large canadas lately.
Worked with her in the yard to voluntarily retrieve a few sessions this past week. Took her hunting today for the first time where canadas were likely. We had three birds finish and killed two, dog BROKE! Both birds were crippled, one very lively. I had to call pup back and quickly dispatch the lively bird before re-sending.
She refused both birds, even after a few sessions of voluntary retrieving. These birds are probably 15 lb, very big. I thought it better not to address the issue during a hunt so worked with her again when we came home, this time with collar re-enforcement.
Duck season ends tomorrow. Geese are in for a while longer and snows until March. Pup will not be on any goose hunts until I feel her retrieve is fully re-enforced on dead geese in the yard.
Address this in a controlled situation, not in the field.
Read the dog. My dog has a strong killer instinct, your may not.
For a dog with a strong killer instinct, a cripple is the best thing for them when they are starting out, the predator prey drive takes over.
A dog that doesn't have such or is known to be timid, be careful and take all these other guys advice.
I have a tough time finding a wounded goose in my yard. Don't get me wrong, I'd use one if I had it. It's easier to get one in the field. That said my dogs work tons of birds before they hit the field, from quail to huge domestic ducks. I think I'll keep doing what works for me.
Pictures of my then 8 month old Drahthaar with his first crane.........it was live when he hit it. Heck, he was on his first bear at 7 months old so maybe my ways ain't for the majority of folks.
IMO...maturity plays a certain role. They will pick up the goose..they just need to go through the mechanics. It's funny to watch their first goose. All you see is front and back legs of the dog when the dog comes to you. Got a good visual on that....
I like to train it in the yard and with force fetch in place if the dog baulks on picking it up and most do, I just ear pinch to the goose (belly up) and let them pick it up while walking away to encourage them to follow with it, even its a short distance. I guess walking fetch if you will.
I don't care what kind of dog, a pissed off gander who rears back, wants to fight and put a wing beat down on a dog is dangerous to the dog ,those bones on a goose wing are bad news when it comes to a flogging from a goose.
Last edited by Erik Nilsson; 01-15-2014 at 11:41 PM.
HRC- Our season never ends
"Shoot fast or shoot last"
HR UH Nilsson's on a wing n a prayer MH WCX
You shouldn't have any problems, because their genes will kick in. Enjoy and pictures are great for us to see and you to keep in memories.