Ok, so the title of the header in the post is "barking on blinds" but the description of the behaviour is all around pile work. This puzzles me (I'm easily confused!) We are also talking of a two year old, which again raises questions in my mind. Why so slow?
"Slow as compared to??? He is owned by a first time trying to train his own retriever 70yo man and is basically a lot of dog for this trainer/owner. He doesn't run FT/HT's so he isn't concerned about age compared to skill."
Has the dog ever run a genuine blind? That is one without a visible cue, without e-collar stimulus, just a straightforward send out into the wide blue yonder? If so what happens? Does it bark? Does it even go?
Yes he can run and has run 100+ yrd blinds and goes with a ton of drive, but still barks when sent (with or without wearing a collar).
My suspicion is that as Rick C suggested and Meleagris concurred, all the FTP pressure has overfaced and confused the dog and has given rise to the noise. Any adverse reaction to a retrieve at five or six feet is a prima facie case of
This isn't a suggestion for a cure, so much as a diagnostic tool ... switch off the collar, and run a few memory retrieves into a fixed spot. Then run a genuine un-cued blind into the exact same area from just a few feet, then a few yards, then a long way, and judge the dog's reactions.
Very good advice and I'll suggest that to him.
If the dog goes with enthusiasm, doesn't yap, and looks confident, then you know the problem isn't within his head on blinds. It most likely lies in the training regime; he's come to expect something unpleasant, confusing, or whatever, in a certain situation and doesn't like it. From that point on you've got something to work with, one way or another, and you can start to analyse what's going on inside him, and work out a strategy.
Just a point ..I'm not knocking you, really I'm not, but asking a serious question about this. What did the dog learn from that? How would it actually show him what was wrong and what he needed to do to put things to rights? If those painful corrections have been mis-timed or given in the wrong context, or delivered before the dogs understanding is established, it's perfectly possible that the dog has completely misinterpreted and misunderstood what he's meant to do.