After reading this thread about duck hunting and rocks, I remembered a time long ago where rocks were involved.
The internet is very cool. I did a search using "KwickLabs, duck hunting and rocks". A January, 2012 post of mine in
Mud Motor Talk (about force fetch) surfaced in the search.
If things progress really fast, the time from beginning force fetch to running simple cold blinds has been about 8-9 months
for my pups. That's training regularly about 4-6 days a week.
Then again if you attempt shortcuts and are lucky.....you might get away with what I did before I knew any better way.
Many, many years ago, I picked up a free, four year old Lab. She had never been used for hunting. At that time I had
decided duck hunting looked like fun......but I needed a dog. The best thing about this Lab was she was free.
We worked a couple of weeks on hold. Then it took another three weeks to "convince" her she had to retrieve from water.
That training was highly unconventional, but it worked. We soon after went duck hunting (first time for both of us) and I
had a pocket full of rocks. When she didn't see where a duck fell, I threw rocks and she'd "follow" the splashes. It wasn't
long before I could fake throwing a rock and she went in the direction of my arm's motion. "Voila!", she was handling on
cold blinds. I think we lost one bird in three years of hunting. I laugh about it every time the memory pops up. That was
about fifty years ago.
The convincing her to retrieve from water was....let's just say amusing.....now.