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Thread: 8 month lab grabs agressively for bird after retreive

  1. #1
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    Default 8 month lab grabs agressively for bird after retreive

    My 8 month old female Lab, Charley, has come along very nicely (thanks in part to the great advice I got from contributors on her reluctance to swim a few months ago). I'm now pheasant hunting with her and she is also doing well. She hunts close, flushes, marks and retrieves to heel. The problem is that she's so excited that she won't release the pheasant (particularly a cripple) until I nick her once or twice with the collar and then when I pick up the bird she dives back in after it, until I put it in my vest.

    In the yard, she is good about dropping dummies once at heal, but in the field with an actual warm bird, she just is a bit nutty to keep the bird in her mouth. I'm reluctant to hammer her with the collar. Anybody have some advice on the best way to handle this?

    Thanks

    Jchristi

  2. #2
    Senior Member BigKahuna13's Avatar
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    Sounds like a lot of drive with a lot of possessiveness. I am right now training a pup with these combined issues and am going to make sure that force fetch is done correctly. INMHO I would re visit some of the FF steps.

  3. #3
    Senior Member shawninthesticks's Avatar
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    Has she been FF? if so revisit it in the field with a fresh bird. If not ,that is part of the FF training ..to fetch and drop on command.
    Shawn White

    HR Big Creek Retrievers Independence Day JH QAA "Indy "

  4. #4
    Senior Member DRAKEHAVEN's Avatar
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    1 Keep the transmitter in your pocket
    2 When she comes in to "here or heal" set your gun down.
    3 Now breathe, deeply and exhale, now do it again.
    4 Give a sit command, if non compliant, bring you left hand from below and slip under her collar, repeat command
    and get her to sit by a little gentle reminder of pulling her collar upward.
    5 Once she sits, repeat step #3
    6 With left hand still holding collar, bring right hand from underneath, and stroke her from the bottom of her jaw down to her chest.
    The whole time in a low reassuring voice praise her.
    7 Place right hand on bird, tell her drop or whatever your command is and take the bird low and slow.
    8 If she is not letting go, repeat sit and a little bit of upward lift on that collar,we want to roll the bird out of her mouth, rolling back
    further into her mouth then out.
    9 VERY IMPORTANT, if you reached this point and she has not given up the bird, stay calm, she calm, your calm, breathe.
    10 Repeat process as needed until you get the bird. Let me know if your results. Any questions call me 715-220-3186
    Discipline is no excuse for a lack of enthusiasm !!

  5. #5
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    What program are you following that has you hunting an 8 month old puppy?

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the advice folks. I'm sure that deep breaths will be involved. She has a lot of talent, voltage and drive. I will definitely try the "go-slow" sit approach next time out.

    I've been following a combination of Wolters' "Water Dog" and Dokken's "Retriever Training." She retrieved more than two dozen mallards in SK in October and has yet to miss a fall on the same number of pheasants (game farms) so far this fall. I haven't done the FF yet, though I suspect I should.

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