I would like to say that you have gotten excellent advice. I would also like to add that I had experienced problems that are identical to yours. In fact identical in every aspect. The root of my problem, as I saw it, was 1) my dog is water crazy and a real firebreather and 2) taking the dog off the long line too soon and 3) addressing the problem inappropriately which allowed the behavior to continue and become a habit. I solved my problem when I retaught the here command.
You say you are inexperienced. Find a training group that can help you. Also, make sure that your obedience is solid. Teach with no distractions, add distractions, then take the behavior to several locations to generalize it.
"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."
"Prepare your dog in such a manner that the work he is normally called upon to do under-whelms him, not overwhelms him." ~ Evan Graham
“People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.”
― George Bernard Shaw
The Smartwork System for Retriever Training (link)
HRCH Brady's BlackGold Benelli "Nelli"
Blackgold's Lewd Lady "Kate"
I am out of the loop on Tees completely. please explain.
also, I took Nelli on her first hunt yesterday to see how these behaviors would relay in the field. I took things very slow and let her attitude determine the pace. I found that I need to distinguish between decoys and birds a little more. Fortunately, she knows how to use her nose well. She retrieved her first bird (a merganser) which was still alive and gave her a chase. It dove on her creating a 70 yard deep water retrieve, but she got to it perfectly. Upon returning to me, she stopped to smell each and every decoy, then proceeded to return the bird to hand. Later on in the day, nelli and I were out of the blind. My brother shot two blue wing teal in a deep pond. I brought her back to blind retrieve the birds. (no formal training on blind retrieves) she performed perfectly, swimming past the decoys and returning the birds to hand.
One thing that bothered me throughout the hunt was her constant anxiousness and whining. Is this something I should worry about? If so, how do I fix it?