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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
I adopted my black Lab (Bella) 6 years ago when she was 4 months old. She will soon be 7. I, within the past 3 years got into waterfowl hunting. I sent her away to a gundog trainer last March (when Bella was 5 1/2). She stayed 11 weeks. I hunted with her this past season, and she did pretty well. Never going to be a champ, but at least I can bring her with me. I did more duck hunting this year. I normally do a lot more goose hunting. The few times we were out goose hunting, we shot few. She didn't want to pick up the 1st one we shot, but she did. Shot a few more, and she retrieved them. Season ended.
We went up snow goose hunting this past Fri/Sat. The first 3 we shot, she retrieved them. She even picked them back up while stretching for a few minutes after laying in our layout blinds. Then suddenly, after we shot a few more snows, she didn't want to pick them up. This continued the second day. I even today worked with a frozen duck, & she, at 1st didn't want to pick it up. Then she did. We then did 6 retrieves, all good. I then tried (later) to work with the snow goose. But again, she didn't want to pick it up. Can anyone please give me some advice as to why this happened? And how to correct it.
Thank you all in advance...
-Jay
 

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What did the trainer achieve in 11 weeks? What did he have to work with to start with?
 

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Is it just birds that she doesn't want to retrieve, does she still want bumpers?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
(Mike)When her training started, she knew: sit/stay/down/here/heel.. She loved to retrieve. I had only had her retrieve balls & bumpers..
(Bud) Yes, she still is retrieving bumpers & ducks to hand. And I have continuously worked with bumpers, and occasionally ducks.

Thx
 

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I'll let those who know more than me give you advice. I had to work my dog with a a dead goose and it took a while. It was a balance of reworking Force Fetching, teaching him where to hold it, and making it fun. It took a good while. Heck, he was even a titled UKC HR when I had to work him with the goose. My $0.02 is be patient and work him with a dead bird. Was your dog FF'ed? Kind of sounds like it doesn't want to pick them up just because. Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
the weird thing is, she picked up 3 snow geese before she stopped picking them up..
 

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Was she ever Force Fetched?
Outside/in addition to that I'd try to get her excited about birds. I'd quit the bumpers for now. Take the bird and tease her with it, get yourself excited as well. Slap her face playfully with the wings and do short tosses. Don't over do it, and no corrections. Take what you can get at each session and build from there.
 

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i would try to get some live pidgeons or something of that nature and let her chase it around the yard and really get her excited about being able to get them and bring them back to you.
 

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I have a dog that was retrieving ducks with no trouble then he got stabbed in the mouth with a broken wing bone (I watched it happen) he was then very slow to pick up the ducks and when he did he did not want to hold them for very long. it took some time to regain his confidence. it might be something happened you did not see. like what was stated above play with the dog with a snow goose if that is the only bird it will not pick up and get the dog to think this is fun. Good luck.
 

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This is a prime example of where having a solid basic training foundation helps at later stages of training. Retrievers generally love to retrieve, but many times a dog for whatever reason will decide it does not want to retrieve something. This is where spending the time on force fetch pays dividends.

Find out if your trainer force fetched your dog. If so, then revisit that first with bumpers, then ducks, then geese. Also, you may have to teach your dog how to carry a goose. Some dogs have difficulty figuring this out, so show them how to pick up the bird by the shoulder by having the dog hold and carry by the shoulder, or by using FF and aiming the dogs mouth at the shoulder of the bird.

good luck!
 
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