Hey guys, last season I ran into a problem with my lab. I'll start with a little background.
My dog is 4 years old. He started his training in field trials. He is talented, not the best but pretty good. I went overseas and left him with a pro for about 12 months. He's qualified in Canada and was actually the #8 dog for Canada that year.
Fast forward to last season. We went on dove hunt, his first one. He couldn't find the doves. Even when he marked them. So, I'm trying to figure this problem out in the middle of a hunt. It seemed like he was ignoring them. Some times he would ignore them. Other times he would get the bird and spit it out. I would force fetch him on the bird and he did not want to hold it. So I didn't do too many corrections because I didn't know how to fix this. I've never heard of it. Until I started asking around.
We did a few duck hunts that year. No real issues except the fact that he's FT trained and not hunt trained.
Which brings me to here. After a little research, I've heard many labs don't like dove. The reasons have ranged from the taste, feathers, prickly feathers, or small size. I don't know why, but they all seem like reasonable dislikes from a dogs perspective.
So, I think he's showing me a little attitude. I think I need to force him to do the job. But, you don't want to have to force the dog to work. You want him to be excited about the retrieve.
Has anyone heard of this? Is there a fix?
Should I force him to hold these birds, for a min or so. How should I proceed?