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Hi there, this is my first time on this forum. I'm pretty new to the world of hunting and dog training, but I've gotten my 1 year old lab pretty far with field training and she will retrieve anything upland related without hesitation. She got on her first grouse last week and didn't even bat an eye at retrieving it, but today for Colorado's duck opener, she wouldnt retrieve any of the ducks we shot out of the water. She marked them just fine, would swim out to them, then turn right around after getting to the duck, no matter how many times i sent her for it or even threw it in the water myself. On land, I tossed it maybe 10 yards out and sent her for it, and after giving it a good sniff, picked it up by the wing at first, then around the body no problem. so we went back to the water and I tossed it out and again, wanted nothing to do with it. Any suggestions on how I can get her to actually pick up a duck in the water, or do y'all think it'll click eventually and it wont be an issue?
 

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Hi Burgers ,
I'm not new to the forum or new to dog training , or the world of hunting , but that doesn't make me an expert.
A couple of weeks back , I took a clients dog to a group training day (It was at my place for Basic training like the usual program of heel/sit, stay, lining/casting, stop whistle , remote casting/re-call/deliver to hand with dummy/bumper on land or water ) This Guy' decides on a simple splash of a duck in water is the easiest thing in the world to get out too, and just ignores on the 'get' !....
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Burgers ,
I'm not new to the forum or new to dog training , or the world of hunting , but that doesn't make me an expert.
A couple of weeks back , I took a clients dog to a group training day (It was at my place for Basic training like the usual program of heel/sit, stay, lining/casting, stop whistle , remote casting/re-call/deliver to hand with dummy/bumper on land or water ) This Guy' decides on a simple splash of a duck in water is the easiest thing in the world to get out too, and just ignores on the 'get' !....
Not quite sure what you meant in the second half of that, would you mind clarifying the part about the duck in the water?
 

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Can't speak for the dog , or the duck . I'm sure you will get all the help you require .
 

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Hello Richburger and welcome to the retriever training forum.
Did she do this in your regular training setups when you ran water marks? Did you only use old dead birds for your marks?
If so it may be the fresh shot birds. Use live birds on your water marks in training. Be ready to correct all refusals as you would on land according to your program.
Good luck

Ken
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hello Richburger and welcome to the retriever training forum.
Did she do this in your regular training setups when you ran water marks? Did you only use old dead birds for your marks?
If so it may be the fresh shot birds. Use live birds on your water marks in training. Be ready to correct all refusals as you would on land according to your program.
Good luck

Ken
today was the first time she’s seen ducks at all, dead or alive. She was raised with upland wings zip tied to bumpers, then dead upland birds, then canvas bumpers soaked in duck scent. Actual ducks were not available to me for training purposes so that’s why this is the first time she’s seeing them. After she refused the first one, I took her off the the side in a small field and got her to retrieve them to hand just fine after she had adequately sniffed them, but back in the water, it’s a no go. It’s the strangest thing, because normally she has a super high confidence with new birds and skills, and charges headfirst into whatever I throw at her, but these ducks in the water are a serious roadblock and I’m not sure how else to move past this besides just keep exposing her to them until she gets it
 

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The dog wasn't adequately prepared for the work. No big secret here. Follow advice given above by poacher.
 

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Imho, there is no substitute for hold, force fetch and retrieving with the type of birds you will be hunting. I have seen plenty of well trained, forced fetched dogs baulk on a new type of fowl. FF gives you the tool to fix it.
 

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Imho, there is no substitute for hold, force fetch and retrieving with the type of birds you will be hunting. I have seen plenty of well trained, forced fetched dogs baulk on a new type of fowl. FF gives you the tool to fix it.
I don't get the reason to put a dog through unnecessary stress. The use of physical pressure is not the way I'd personally go about solving an issue that is purely due to lack of confidence and exposure. I would not throw a dog off a boat because he refused to jump out of it in order to go get a bird (on his first hunt from a boat). That would be my fault for not adequately preparing the dog by exposing him to jumping off of docks or ledges into water.

To the OP - I'd try tossing a dead duck in very shallow water - right at the edge of the shore. Gradually increase depth. I'd also get some live ducks to train with. Let the dog chase it on the ground and get good and excited about it... Then shackle wings and throw that sucker in a small pond for the dog to chase and catch. Even a farmyard duck will work for this.
 

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I do.
but not on ducks or birds. It has never been necessary. They all figured out that they like birds well enough through consistent exposure and training long before I started FF.
 

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I do.
but not on ducks or birds. It has never been necessary. They all figured out that they like birds well enough through consistent exposure and training long before I started FF.
I do the same.
It sounds to me like the OP's dog, like many hunting dogs, has not been force fetched. If she was, the fetch command could have been used to make her pick up the bird in the water.
Many times I have seen dogs blink on birds they have not retrieved before.

We recently got some Call Ducks to use as fliers. Jake's flier was missed completely but landed where it should have so I sent for it. Jake has retrieved many live birds but he totally ignored that call duck. He hunted the AOF for a good 3 - 4 minutes. I finally stopped him near where the duck was hiding and yelled Fetch. He picked up the duck immediately. I took a closer look at the, still live, duck when he returned. They were raised dry and the feathers were very strange for a duck, more like an upland bird. Apparently they didn't smell like anything Jake expected to retrieve.

I brought two of the live call ducks home, pulled some wing feathers and released them on my pond. One of them dove and never surfaced, call ducks are not smart. Jake and Lily had a blast chasing the other one every day for a week. Jake caught it several times, Lily came close a couple times.
 
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Tobias, You read a lot into pochers post. None of which was said or implied. Good grief.
 

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No - I didn't Wayne. He asked if I do ff - and I said yes I do. I then described more in detail that I don't force on birds because I find it to be unnecessary. Which Stan agreed with. My original response was to Btex and his statement that 'FF gives you the tools to fix it'. Some people new to training might take that to mean ear pinch or collar pressure are the 'tools'. 'Skills' would have been a better descriptor if he was referring to the dog knowing how to obey the fetch command - which can be taught with or without ear pinch and e collar.

Perhaps it is just a different perspective ---- the written word is often misconstrued, simply because we all bring our own experiences and interpretations to the discussion.
 

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why not take fresh killed duck and tease her her a bit. get her jumping, get her excited. get the call going. maybe a popper. throw the duck. maybe even deny her the retrieve a time or two or even better send another dog. odds are she'll retrieve it. if not proceed with your FF route if you choose.
 

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why not take fresh killed duck and tease her her a bit. get her jumping, get her excited. get the call going. maybe a popper. throw the duck.
That would be almost like shooting a live duck, dropping it right in the decoys.;)
 

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No - I didn't Wayne. He asked if I do ff - and I said yes I do. I then described more in detail that I don't force on birds because I find it to be unnecessary. Which Stan agreed with. My original response was to Btex and his statement that 'FF gives you the tools to fix it'. Some people new to training might take that to mean ear pinch or collar pressure are the 'tools'. 'Skills' would have been a better descriptor if he was referring to the dog knowing how to obey the fetch command - which can be taught with or without ear pinch and e collar.

Perhaps it is just a different perspective ---- the written word is often misconstrued, simply because we all bring our own experiences and interpretations to the discussion.
Reread what u posted. It makes zero sense…..”Don’t Force Fetch a dog and cause stress” ……”Yes, I Force Fetch, but not on birds” Huh???!!
 

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No one likes FF and there is definitely more than one opinion on what constitutes force fetch, but the goal of every approach is to get a dog accustomed to performing a command even when they would rather not.
 
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