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Thread: Ducks have made my dog a snob??

  1. #1

    Default Ducks have made my dog a snob??

    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?

  2. #2
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    Go back to walking fetch. Mix doves, ducks bumpers in and have him fetch them all in no specific order you may just need to re proof force fetch.
    I have never understood why you can have the best trained dogs in the world, but when you put two dogs together the act like they have a half a brain between the both of them.


    Rkk's Lady Of the Lake

  3. #3
    Senior Member badbullgator's Avatar
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    Wait, what? You have a four year old dog that spent twelve months with a pro and he is not force fetched?

    What exactly was the dog ranked number 8 in Canada as? All Age, combined all age, am all age, Q, junior? Just trying to get a feel for the dogs level of work and training?

    Sometimes dogs will blink a new type of bird, I have seen it happen on both doves and geese because they are not commonly seen by most and very few people use them in FF. The dogs that I have seen do this catch on quickly after being introduced to the birds and forced on them. Typically I have done and seen this done in the field and usually it doesn't take much effort with a well trained dog to get them to figure it out. The dog in the avatar was a HRCH/MH and blinked his first goose (no geese in Florida). Ten minutes later he was picking them up like he had done it his whole life.
    Last edited by badbullgator; 08-17-2013 at 08:21 AM.
    Views and opinions expressed herein by Badbullgator do not necessarily represent the policies or position of RTF. RTF and all of it's subsidiaries can not be held liable for the off centered humor and politically incorrect comments of the author.
    Corey Burke

  4. #4
    Senior Member Howard N's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by badbullgator View Post
    Wait, what? You have a four year old dog that spent twelve months with a pro and he is not force fetched?

    What exactly was the dog ranked number 8 in Canada as? All Age, combined all age, am all age, Q, junior? Just trying to get a feel for the dogs level of work and training?

    Sometimes dogs will blink a new type of bird, I have seen it happen on both doves and geese because they are not commonly seen by most and very few people use them in FF. The dogs that I have seen do this catch on quickly after being introduced to the birds and forced on them. Typically I have done and seen this done in the field and usually it doesn't take much effort with a well trained dog to get them to figure it out. The dog in the avatar was a HRCH/MH and blinked his first goose (no geese in Florida). Ten minutes later he was picking them up like he had done it his whole life.
    Wylee, read Badbullgator's post again! You sound like you have a brand new Ferrari but don't know how to drive.
    Howard Niemi

    You really gotta be careful about how high a pedestal you put your method, your accomplishments, your dog on. There's usually someone who's done more, somewhere. And they may have used a different method than you did! Chris Atkinson 2013

    get your dog out and TRAIN! caryalsobrook 2013

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyleecoyote View Post
    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?
    This sounds like every dog I've seen on their first dove hunt. Especially if they have not been introduced to doves earlier. Doves are hard to scent even for a dog that marks well. Lots of dropping because of the pin feathers on a dove that come out in the dogs mouth. I wouldn't of been suprised to read the dog tried to swallow one too. Doves are not ducks that is for sure. I like to freeze a few of the birds so the feathers don't blow out while doing some tune-up training in the back yard. Then off to the field.

  6. #6

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    Ok, so I know I'm going to sound super ignorant, my apologies. I'm also guessing that some of you will think it wrong for me (not very knowledgeable) to have a dog with these capabilities.


    Badbull, yes he is ff, from ducks to flip flops. I talked about his back ground because I knew everyone would say or ask about training level. He knows how to work. All of his training has been ft with ducks. I have had him out on about 5 actual duck hunts and 1 dove hunt. One of them he brought in 2 geese, never seeing them before.
    As far as rankings and what not, I'm not 100% on the system. I think a dog has to win 1 and accumulate points in order to become qualified. Or Q'd. Again forgive my ignorance. It's been about 2 years since I've even thought about FTs, I've been super busy. My job does not allow me to devote the time, training, and money id like to. Here's what he got when he was campaigning.








    So yes, I was handed the keys to a Ferrari. It's funny, that's exactly how I explain it to friends. He's super fast. I'd argue that his speed has made me a much better handler than having a slow or average speed dog.

    It sounds like we all agree, a little intro to these birds before the hunt and some ff with them should fix this?
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  7. #7
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    I have seen several dogs swallow a dove whole on their 1st intro to hunting them.
    Bert Rodgers

  8. #8
    Senior Member mitty's Avatar
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    I think Howard means that you have a super nice dog!
    Renee P

  9. #9
    Senior Member badbullgator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyleecoyote View Post

    It sounds like we all agree, a little intro to these birds before the hunt and some ff with them should fix this?
    Yes. Be glad you have a good dove spot as well. They have been hard to come by down here
    Views and opinions expressed herein by Badbullgator do not necessarily represent the policies or position of RTF. RTF and all of it's subsidiaries can not be held liable for the off centered humor and politically incorrect comments of the author.
    Corey Burke

  10. #10

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    hey guys, thanks for the advice and recommendations. In regards to dove hunts, there seem to be lots around in North Carolina. There's also bee a lot of adds on craigslist. Don't know if you've tried that yet. Thanks again.

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