Jim and I love Remi a lot. I have more patience with her than Jim does and I just don't have it in me to be physical or even harsh with corrections. Jim, on the other hand, has trained gun dawgs for over 50 years and simply will not tolerate willful disobedience. To make matters worse, Remi has a very high threshold for pain and "high 5s" with an e-collar or ear pinches with various devices have no effect on her. A riding crop won't even intimidate her. She's very fortunate that Jim knows what and where his limits are and will stop corrections before crossing the line.
Originally Posted by BoatDog
Remi's yiking is purely out of excitement at incoming ducks and grew progressively worse in her season 5 and 6. It was so bad that I couldn't stand having her in the blind with me and insisted that Jim keep her with him in his blind if she was going to hunt at all. Mid-way through season 6, we were already keeping her kenneled in the back of the Jeep well away from the action until Jim wanted to use her to go pick-up "floaters" (dead ducks on the water) every so often. He'd also bring her back out right away to be sent on a lively crippled bird. Even then she gets so excited that she'd walk at heel with Jim towards the water yiking all the way. Once sat at his heel to be given a line to the bird, she'd usually yike when sent as shown in the video, and on each stroke while swimming out to the duck and back with it. She'd then be returned to the Jeep until needed again.
Jim refused to allow her to hunt with Rusty as he didn't want him to observe that behavior or the corrections that ensued. It got so bad with Remi that we tried canine prozac, homeopathic relaxants and trying the advice of several nationally known top Lab trainers ... all to no avail. She was retired last year (2011-2012 season) and is now strictly our house dawg and Rusty's best buddy. Jim did take her once two weeks ago without Rusty and although better, she still just can't control her excitement and vocalizing it when she sees a duck or Jim grabs for the gun or a duck call. She still gets a planted duck or two when we return from a hunt and that seems to satisfy her. She has apparently accepted her lot in life as when Jim gets ready to load up in the mornings, Remi jumps up on the bed in our bedroom to wait for Daddy and Rusty to return.
There is no reason for you to retire your Lab from hunting unless or until it lacks the ability and endurance to hunt effectively and without pain or danger to itself. Pre-season conditioning is vital to these large breed athletes and will assist you in deciding when old is too old to continue safely. Our Cappy was retired in 2010 at age 11 ONLY because of cancer surgery and the onset of Laryngeal Paralysis. He was generally fit and still active two years later when 75% deaf, half blind and suffering from renal failure. He had a great 13 year run.
Last edited by Rusty's Mom; 11-29-2012 at 02:41 PM.
Carrying on in their big brother's memory ...