Sounds like a recipe for disaster.we had dogs run straight to the the wingers a few times couple weeks ago trying to take the birds out of them. a stern "NO", and made the area really hot with the collar, "NO" got them off. casted em over to the AOF and they were good. only took once or twice to get the picture. just them trying to cheat when we had 2 and 3 wingers set up side by side for multiple dogs.
i ran some ABC drills the next day with 2 bird boys, and that seemed to help as well.
Sounds like a recipe for disaster.
You may think you solved a problem with this method, however I'm thinking you created a way bigger problem than you had. Good luck when you go to more advanced training and try to get the dog comfortable with running tight to the gunner on either marks or blinds
he is master level dog. he does like birds. he is just rusty from off season. yesterday he ran to the gun station and 10-20 yards before gun station, he turned to go to aof. he is not hunting the gun station or trying to get birds from gun stationA four year old dog that runs to the gunner on single marks ??
Brings up a lot of questions -
How many marks has this 4 yr. old seen before ?
How is the dog's eyesight ?
Does the dog like birds at all ?
Normally, at a few months of age, a retriever that has been given a reasonable number of basic/simple marks, no lionger goes to the guns. Tell us what else is going on here.