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Thread: Not Bird Crazy and I am starting to freak out...

  1. #1
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    Unhappy Not Bird Crazy and I am starting to freak out...

    I have a 7 month old Lab who is coming along nicely on his obedience, but am noticing he is not bird crazy. I am throwing a wooden dowel right how with pigeon wings attach and he loves that. I then throw a dead pigeon and he runs to it. Sometimes he picks it up and brings it back and sometimes just uses his nose to flip it around for a bit, then leaves it, which causes me all kinds of concerns. I normally call him back to me and resend him at which point he usually picks it up and brings it in. I tried a live bird for the first time and there was some retrieves which were good, but there was some that he just got bored and would leave the bird to sniff and look at other things. He would run over, the bird would fight back and move around and he would just leave it and walk off, which is really starting to stress me out. I'm worried that this might not be something I can teach, worried that birds bore him and maybe that is more of a trait then training..

    anyone ever experience this, does anyone have any ideas, obviously I don't have a pigeon coop and realistically I can't work live birds daily, but am thinking Of introducing retrieving dead birds for treats, that is all I can come up with, anyone with an idea and any thoughts would be much appreciated.

    Thanks

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    has this dog been FF ?

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    Senior Member JusticeDog's Avatar
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    Nothing to panic over. The smell can be different etc. No need for a piegon coop- I find they never live long enough for all of that. One or two pigeons will do. Wing clip them. (I just pull their flight feathers, and then tie a ribbon around them). They flutter on the ground. NOTE: do not do this near your vehicle because the darn birds will go underneath the truck. (Don't ask me how I know). Kind of let the puppy smell Mr. Pigeon, and then toss it...... if the pigeon isn't moving, you can toss it along the ground, nudge it with your foot. Act enthusiastic and stupid. (eventually the neighbors will stop talking about you). If you have a buddy with a pup... two can create a little competition. Do this a few times. You will start to see a difference. Stop calling him back off the bird to "resend" him. Get with him, and get down and play with him and the bird. This is puppy stuff. Not formal stuff. make it FUN FUN FUN. Get him to LOVE the birds first... Take a back step to the puppy stuff it sounds like he missed.

    I am not sure what you mean by the bird was "fighting back"?
    Susan

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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crockett View Post
    I have a 7 month old Lab who is coming along nicely on his obedience, but am noticing he is not bird crazy. I am throwing a wooden dowel right how with pigeon wings attach and he loves that. I then throw a dead pigeon and he runs to it. Sometimes he picks it up and brings it back and sometimes just uses his nose to flip it around for a bit, then leaves it, which causes me all kinds of concerns. I normally call him back to me and resend him at which point he usually picks it up and brings it in. I tried a live bird for the first time and there was some retrieves which were good, but there was some that he just got bored and would leave the bird to sniff and look at other things. He would run over, the bird would fight back and move around and he would just leave it and walk off, which is really starting to stress me out. I'm worried that this might not be something I can teach, worried that birds bore him and maybe that is more of a trait then training..

    anyone ever experience this, does anyone have any ideas, obviously I don't have a pigeon coop and realistically I can't work live birds daily, but am thinking Of introducing retrieving dead birds for treats, that is all I can come up with, anyone with an idea and any thoughts would be much appreciated.

    Thanks
    Actually you don't need a pigeon coop just a wire dog crate will do. And you only need 2-3 live pigeons. Your pup needs exposure to live birds not dead ones IMO. I always expose the pups to live birds early (specifically live pigeons because they are small & not aggressive). Just shackle the pigeon's wings so it can't fly and toss it down where the pigeon can walk & let the dog investigate, pick-up, walk around with etc. Some dogs are slow at it, others immediately pick the bird up. Do this daily until your pup is picking up birds without hesitation. Then begin to toss the shackled bird like you would a bumper or dead bird. Once your dog is progressing there move back to dead birds and bumpers. After each session just put the pigeon back in the crate. Most pups have soft mouths and really won't harm the birds so they will last for enough time to get your dog OK with birds.
    David Didier, GA

  5. #5
    Senior Member Randy Bohn's Avatar
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    quit the obedience part of your training...read your dog...
    CHRIS ATKINSON...PLEASE don't QUIT CHANGING MY PROFILE PAGE!!

    "And if you have a golden, bring TWO towels!"

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    I appreciate everyone's comments, my dog is not force fetched as of yet, but thought i was getting close to this step, until i had bird issues, so been working on that as of late, when I said the pigeon fights back I meant it flaps its wings and tries to run away, very active.

    Obedience, I know that is part of my problem I strive so hard for perfect obedience I just need to allow him to just be a pup, I will try to get a couple live birds and try that for a while, any issue if I was to do that in his dog run or does the same rules apply don't train in his area/don't play with live birds there either

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    Senior Member BlaineT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crockett View Post
    my dog is not force fetched as of yet, but thought i was getting close to this step, until i had bird issues, so been working on that as of late,
    a dog not liking birds is not grounds for not proceeding with FF.

  8. #8
    Senior Member JusticeDog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crockett View Post
    I appreciate everyone's comments, my dog is not force fetched as of yet, but thought i was getting close to this step, until i had bird issues, so been working on that as of late, when I said the pigeon fights back I meant it flaps its wings and tries to run away, very active.

    Obedience, I know that is part of my problem I strive so hard for perfect obedience I just need to allow him to just be a pup, I will try to get a couple live birds and try that for a while, any issue if I was to do that in his dog run or does the same rules apply don't train in his area/don't play with live birds there either
    There is no real issue with it, except you are being extremely regimented with your 7 month old puppy. You just said you were striving hard for perfect obedience. I would stress to you the importance of letting a puppy be a puppy. Play with him, act stupid, get him to chase the bird. If you put him in his kennel to do it, how can you both fit and interact? You are being regimented and closed in again. He's already hesitant, so I think you have VERY strong grounds to NOT force fetch him at this point in time. To be a great retriever, the dog has to be willing to open up and run. It's a balance between regimentation and "Go." You've been doing the strict obedience, now is the time to Play....

    Also, I have seen many males that don't "turn on" until about 10 months old. relax.
    Susan

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    Hey BlaineT

    The only reason I stopped moving forward towards the force fetch was that he was hesitant on dead and live birds and that is probably and or I was thinking that he might need more work on the bird end, before I worried about force fetching him..

  10. #10
    Senior Member JusticeDog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crockett View Post
    Hey BlaineT

    The only reason I stopped moving forward towards the force fetch was that he was hesitant on dead and live birds and that is probably and or I was thinking that he might need more work on the bird end, before I worried about force fetching him..
    You are correct.
    Susan

    FC Tribute to Justice, JH "Honor"
    FC AFC Contempt of Court "Ruckus"
    Medal Of Honor, QAA "Valor"
    HRCH Kirby's High Sierra, SH, QAA "Kirby"
    HRCH Niki Snowbird, SH, QAA "Niki"
    Southland Order In the Court, QAA "Gavel" July 17, 2002- March 24, 2013
    Southland Rusty Nail - derby points, qual placements "Rusty"
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