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A training buddy of mine is struggling with his ~5 YO male black lab. Both during training and during tests. I've seen this with a few other dogs and for some reason it is mostly dogs and not bitches so I am curious if anyone with a female retriever has this issue.

On 2 recent tests I watched 2 separate dogs fail on the last bird of the sequence (HRC Test). Both dogs either refused to let go of the bird or damaged the bird on the final retrieve. One of the dogs is a fellow who trains with me and the dog has always been sticky (holds bird in mouth when commanded release). The other dog is from a neighboring club and I have seen it run a few times and has on 3 separate tests over the past year failed for this very reason and while I won't mention the Kennels name the dog is handled by a "professional".

The one dog that I regularly train with does this ONLY on the final bird almost like he knows the difference between 3 Marks + 1 Blind?????

Suggestions?
 

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A training buddy of mine has a dog that recently gets a little sticky on the last bird at tests. We discussed it the other day and he also commented on the fact that is only the last bird. She has had some mouth issues and he is working on it. He came up with a pretty good short term solution while at the test. He found that if he atticipates the stickiness on the last bird, when she comes back with it and sits down. He starts to take the duck and then cues "Mark" like she was going to get another bird. She drops the bird and looks out. He said he doesn't like lying to his dog but it works for now.
 

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Sticky mouths are usually the product of improper or incomplete force fetch. The command to release the bird is not a suggestion, it is a command and if that command is not properly taught you will frequently end up with a sticky mouth.
 

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The one dog that I regularly train with does this ONLY on the final bird almost like he knows the difference between 3 Marks + 1 Blind?????
More likely the handler is telling him the difference. Watch the difference how a handler takes the last bird of a series vs all the others. Usually they reach down while gabbing with the judges and snatch the bird, the dog isn't told to sit, etc. I strongly suspect that over time this teaches the dog when it is the last bird and why often a way to get them to release is to pretend that there is another bird out there to pick up.

It could be incomplete force fetch but I think it is more like the handler is undoing the force fetch over the years one series at a time.
 

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drop

More likely the handler is telling him the difference. Watch the difference how a handler takes the last bird of a series vs all the others. Usually they reach down while gabbing with the judges and snatch the bird, the dog isn't told to sit, etc. I strongly suspect that over time this teaches the dog when it is the last bird and why often a way to get them to release is to pretend that there is another bird out there to pick up.

It could be incomplete force fetch but I think it is more like the handler is undoing the force fetch over the years one series at a time.


I have seen it too many times , a handler just grabs the last bird with out a sit and drop command as if they can't wait to get off the line...AND ...they are usually talking withe the judges when it is done....Just as Double haul says, "undoing ff one series at a time"...Dogs are creatures of habit...finish the job as they have been taught ......Reenforce the drop command at unexpected times during training to cement this behavior into the dogs expectations....Steve S
 

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Also could be pressure.
Seek Professiomal help.
Sometimes it just takes another set of professional eyes to see the problem.
Not easily corrected on the internet.
Sue
 

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Sometimes it is just a dog that is tired or hurts. They are thinking - "If I give theis bird to that fat white guy he is going to make me go get another one and I'm not too interested in that crap.


Fatigue make cowards of us all regards

Bubba
 

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There are many different causes of a sticky dog:
- Poor technique in taking the birds
- Poor force fetching
- Genetics
I have not seen sticky dogs from fatigue. I have seen the other three sources of stickiness. I would consult with a pro or experienced amateur
 

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FYI--the latest issue of Retrieves Online has a photo essay on taking the bird from the dog. Not really geared for this, but shows good versus bad practices.
 

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hard mouth is a very difficlult problem to solve for anyone. i have always approached the problem with the idea that it is caused by either resentment or nerves. if it is to be solved, it's through endless repetition of the dog surrendering birds after bird over an extended time frame. i can't ever remember seeing a bitch freeze on a bird, they will usually eat the thing 10 feet from the line in front of you, god and the judges. Bitches get even!!!!!!
you really need to consult a pro who has experience in this area
good luck
GG
 

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i can't ever remember seeing a bitch freeze on a bird, they will usually eat the thing 10 feet from the line in front of you, god and the judges. Bitches get even!!!!!!
You know thinking back on it, I've never seen a bitch stick on a bird either, eat them right in front of you, or decided they're taking it some place else beside to you, roll on it or dunk it a few times in the water before they bring it back YES...But all the professional freezer-stickers in my experience have been male... strange

"If I give theis bird to that fat white guy he is going to make me go get another one and I'm not too interested in that crap.
Now that sounds like a female to me, only she doesn't stick she takes the bird under the truck to eat it where you can't disrupt her ;)
 

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freezing

You know thinking back on it, I've never seen a bitch stick on a bird either, eat them right in front of you, or decided they're taking it some place else beside to you, roll on it or dunk it a few times in the water before they bring it back YES...But all the professional freezer-stickers in my experience have been male... strange
Now that sounds like a female to me, only she doesn't stick she takes the bird under the truck to eat it where you can't disrupt her ;)


I had a Snake Eyes bitch that stuck on the last bird of the derby back in the 80's and have never had a dog do it to me again....We walked back to the truck with the bird in her mouth and when ask to deliver she did...She didn't do it again.....Steve S
 

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I've never seen a bitch stick on a bird
FC/AFC Hiwood Kleen Sweep, a bitch, would stick now and then.
 

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I had a training buddy who's bitch had the sticky problem on the last bird of a test. He started working with her in training to fix it. Some people suggested having a toy or tennis ball for the dog when you get done with the last bird, so they will release the bird and plan on chasing down that toy.

What he actually did was leave a bumper laying at the truck, and cue the dog with "remember." He built up to it by dropping the bumper, saying "remember," then throwing a single. The dog would pick up the single, then he would cue "remember" and send her back to the truck to fetch the other bumper. Then he built up to doing this on doubles, triples, quads, etc.
 

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Does anyone give the dog a reason ( expectation ) to go back to the truck after delivering that last bird..? other than just get in the truck and here is some water ....Steve S
 

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I have a bitch who is a top notch freezer. Started after age 2 and has never gone away. We have tried several things, several trainers and handlers. What we have come up with is keeping the dog in the right state of mind. You must really focus on the dog to dominate her and keep her from overexcitement. Thus the theory of last bird, most handlers talk to judge loose the focus on the dog. Our dog is also a alpha female and is our pack leader. This is part of the problem, she also peees on male dogs peeee too! So females can and do have this issue. We try to keep the freeze at bay, sticky is a good day at a hunt test for a dog like her. Dawn
 

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i can't ever remember seeing a bitch freeze on a bird, they will usually eat the thing 10 feet from the line in front of you, god and the judges. Bitches get even!!!!!!
GG

When I ran my first hunt test my trainer signed me up to run one of her older "seasoned" dogs to give me experience and confidence! Well it sure turned out to be a learning experience. In the first water series she was okay, but looking back there were hints of what was to come in the next land series. First few birds on land went fine. Went to run the blind with a diversion bird. That damn dog didn't just switch - she took the blind and stood on the diversion bird about 10 feet away from the line and started tearing strips, about 2" wide and 6" long off the bird. Bones also being crunched. I stood there horrified, even as a first timer, I knew this was probably not a good thing. After several whistles, "no", "come" - and the judges just looking both horrified and amused I marched up to the dog and got dog and bird separated. Of course I was told later this was a HUGE no-no. Oh well, I guess we could have stood there until both birds were in pieces adn she had had her afternoon snack. I know better now and sure hope I am not there again, especially since I run one of that bitch's daughters now.

I would be curious to know from judges when faced with this situation again, what is appropriate actions on the handlers part. Not just the tearing apart of the bird but also for freezing. I have not seen a dog tear apart birds with such enthusiasm, just out of reach, like I had happen, but have seen several freeze. Most just walk off the line with the bird and back to the truck, but have also heard that just creates more problems.


And yes, Bitches always get even. Men - here is are some signs you are in trouble, in case you didn't know.

Text Font Organism Line Photo caption
 

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Guess I've been exposed to the wrong sort of Girls, ;) I'm usually all for equal opportunity, but on this issue I think I'll take the pass, the boys are bad enough, girls take things personal & I'd prefer to keep all my fingers attached ;)
 
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