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Thread: Live bird intro not going so well. Help Please

  1. #1
    Senior Member BigKahuna13's Avatar
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    Default Live bird intro not going so well. Help Please

    My five month old BLM was intro to live pigeons yesterday by yours truly. I have had pup for about a month now and have been doing puppy work "forming" him obedience wise and attempting to give him all around manners. We have been retrieving bumpers with him on a rope in the hallways of my house and in the yard. Every once and a while he gets a little possessive but I wrangle him in ad give him plenty of praise. Yesterday during intro to live birds he was pretty amped up about a flopping bird in his face. I toss bird. He runs after and proceeds to nip at its flanks under the wings and bark. After third toss he finally puts bird in his mouth and I pull him in with the rope giving plenty of praise. Today I do the same. Live bird toss. Dog chases and today just nips and nips and plenty of barking. I pull him away when this happens to end that behavior but do not know how to correct to where he want to pick up bird. BTW pup has all of his adult teeth so teething isn't an issue to my knowledge. Any help would be greatly appreciated in this matter.
    Thanks
    Ed Kern

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    Senior Member yellow machine's Avatar
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    Has the dog been force fetched?
    A cold nose feels good on a hot day.....
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    He is just a puppy. FF is to soon if I know my teething schedule. Probably doesn't have his adult teeth yet.
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    Senior Member Dustin D's Avatar
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    A 5 month old with ALL Adult teeth?

    Anyway a bird flopping in his face might not be the best approach to start off with. Try shackling the birds wings completely. Wing-Lock Method. This way he can at least smell it and then get a good grip. As he gets older and bigger he'll get more confidence and have the ability to pick up a live flapping bird.

    Once he does go get the bird and bring it back, you're done with Bird Intro. Finish your training to include FF, then FF to Birds> Dead, Frozen, Thawed, Live, Shackled....all of the above.

  5. #5
    Senior Member SCOTT C.'s Avatar
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    Actually doesn't sound like a bad bird intro! He's a puppy just make it fun, most of them have some apprehension about it at first. Keep playing with it and tossing it making it fun, its not about making him do anything right now. I just don't like them to pick at it or chew on it but no correcton really should be made other than to take it awayy from them for a bit. keep working with it and let him progress at his speed.
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    Administrator Chris Atkinson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SCOTT C. View Post
    Actually doesn't sound like a bad bird intro! He's a puppy just make it fun, most of them have some apprehension about it at first. Keep playing with it and tossing it making it fun, its not about making him do anything right now. I just don't like them to pick at it or chew on it but no correcton really should be made other than to take it awayy from them for a bit. keep working with it and let him progress at his speed.

    I agree 100% with Scott. I'd suggest getting the Bill Hillmann, Training a Retriever Puppy DVD. He gives some sound advice regarding bird exposure and introduction.

    Rome wasn't built in a day. Keep it fun, keep reinforcing desirable stuff. Don't make a big deal of stuff that's undesirable, just mold and guide pup towards the stuff you want.

    I like to intro birds by NOT giving birds to the puppy. I like to have a little cage with a couple live birds, in a place where the puppy goes daily...like the airing yard (poop and pee yard). This way, while pup is reinforcing his housebreaking, he's also getting curious and starting to desire those cool birds inside the cage. I don't give him any chance to even touch a bird til he's climbing the cage and smashing his face against the bars...and even then, I make him want it for a few sessions.

    Then, I fresh kill one and toss it for pup, assuming he's already doing some retrieves with other puppy objects...socks, balls, bumpers, paint rollers......

    Take it slow...don't expect FC performance out of a baby!

    Chris
    "Determining and applying the criteria for when and when not to use correction is the essence of the art of dog training. I make a distinction between a mistake and a lack of effort." - Mike Lardy - Volume I "After Collar Conditioning"

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    Senior Member gdgnyc's Avatar
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    Did you do dead pigeon first? It might help.

    Quote Originally Posted by BigKahuna13 View Post
    My five month old BLM was intro to live pigeons yesterday by yours truly. I have had pup for about a month now and have been doing puppy work "forming" him obedience wise and attempting to give him all around manners. We have been retrieving bumpers with him on a rope in the hallways of my house and in the yard. Every once and a while he gets a little possessive but I wrangle him in ad give him plenty of praise. Yesterday during intro to live birds he was pretty amped up about a flopping bird in his face. I toss bird. He runs after and proceeds to nip at its flanks under the wings and bark. After third toss he finally puts bird in his mouth and I pull him in with the rope giving plenty of praise. Today I do the same. Live bird toss. Dog chases and today just nips and nips and plenty of barking. I pull him away when this happens to end that behavior but do not know how to correct to where he want to pick up bird. BTW pup has all of his adult teeth so teething isn't an issue to my knowledge. Any help would be greatly appreciated in this matter.
    Thanks
    Ed Kern
    "I love the rod and gun and where they take me."

    "Do not judge a man until you have walked two moons in his moccasins."

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigKahuna13 View Post
    After third toss he finally puts bird in his mouth and I pull him in with the rope giving plenty of praise. Today I do the same. Live bird toss. Dog chases and today just nips and nips and plenty of barking. I pull him away when this happens to end that behavior but do not know how to correct to where he want to pick up bird.
    Ed Kern
    Hey '13, I'm with the others this wasn't so bad. Think of it this way..your pup could have simply ran out, sniffed the bird and walked away..which isn't uncommon, but it sure shakes a new pup owner up when /if it happens

    Listen,..when your pup starts getting vocal with the bird, simply walk over and pick the bird up..don't try to discourage, reel pup back in with checkcord, or "no" the pup off of the bird.

    You want this to be a positive interface-

    It'll stick with your pup the rest of it's retrieving life!
    Dawgs are like Savings Accounts-
    You only get out of 'em what you put into 'em.

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    Senior Member BigKahuna13's Avatar
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    Wow guys!!!! Thanks for all the input. I was a little concerned because like I said I haven't had a dog never pick one up after the second toss. I will be just leaving the cage of birds out to build up more interest and confidence for the next day or so. Then dead birds and then shackled. I really appreciate all of the help.
    Ed Kern

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