My black lab is 11 months old and is having problems bringing birds back to me. During our September dove season he did really well in retrieving doves back to me. Now that duck season has opened, that is the focus. If I shoot a duck in deep water he will go get it and bring it at least to the bank, but not to hand. If I shoot a duck on land or in shallow water he will run out to it and bring it to the nearest bank, sandbar or island and make sure it doesnt get away but he won't bring it back. Once he gets it to somewhere safe like a sandbar, he drops it and shakes and refuses to pick it up. Then it looks like he is playing with it because I think he wants to pick it up then he spits it back out. He is really birdy in that he is really solid at marking off the barrel naturally and on that dead bird. He is on those birds instantly, cripple or not he LOVES running out and getting to them. So in deep water he will at least retrieve it to the bank but in shallow water or on land he just spits them out. He won't hold for me either. There is no doubt that he is birdy though, a good amount of drive for sure. I don't do any field trials and don't mind that he doesnt deliver to hand, but I would like a dog that would at least get the bird back to the blind. Any suggestions?
Do a search on the Trained Retrieve, aka "Force fetch". Your pup doesn't quite know the rules of the game yet!
WindyCanyon Girls, August 2014
Yeah I have researched force fetching a lot. I called a trainer in my area today that says he will force fetch my dog for about $400 and it should take about a month depending on the dog. The only thing I'm worried about is that he doesn't love fetching bumpers, he likes it, but he doesn't LOVE it. He'd rather chase birds for sure. Any questions I should ask the trainer?
Force fetch will help w/ that since it is going to teach him that "fetch" isn't obligatory. He will pick up wire brushes, keys, etc after this, and happily so, if done correctly.
WindyCanyon Girls, August 2014
Would rather see you join a hunting retriever club and train your dog yourself and have you watch some hunt tests (AKC or HRC or Nahra) to see some dogs that are actually trained.. You will be impressed with what a dog can do and if you train your dog to those standards you will have a great dog to hunt with and others that hunt with you will be impressed.
Light, "weedy" individuals are definitely incorrect; equally objectionable are cloddy lumbering specimens. Labrador Retrievers shall be shown in working condition well-muscled and without excess fat. Females should weigh between 55 and 70lbs and Males between 65 and 80lbs. Height females 21.5 to 23.5 inches males 22.5 to 24.5 inches at the withers.
HR Greenwoods Sealion Tsunami SH "Wave" born 3-9-2010
Greenwoods Amber Wave VCD2 RA SH AX OF WCX CGC "Amber" born 4-13-2005
I would assume that $400 would probably only be the bench work, and not the pile work. That is not an uncommon "price point" around here for Hold to Fetch/no Fetch for someone to pay a pro who feels competent to start pile work themselves, but not the bench work. I pretty much presume the dog has basic OB before someone takes them to a pro to start to have the bench work done. If they are talking the whole shebang, $400/30 days is way cheap and way quick.
HRCH Ellie Mae MH CGC
Justlabradors.com -- the best site for your Labrador needs.
Maybe you should teach your dog "hold"........