shutting down
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Thread: shutting down

  1. #1
    scutter is offline Senior Member
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    Defaultshutting down

    I have an 18 month old yellow female. I belong to a hunt club and have been training her since she was about 4 months old. We have done a lot of field marks, and she has been in the water. Yesterday we tried to do somewhat challenging marks in the water and she would not retrieve and on the second series finally got to the point to where she would not even step into the water. she sat on the edge of the bank and would not budge. Even when we tried a short mark only about 30 yards she would not budge.

    I have never seen a dog do what she did. What do yo do when a dog shuts down and won't do anything.

    Thanks

    Benelli's buddy

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  3. #2
    kaytris is offline Senior Member
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    Take it WAY back to the very beginning with short fun retrieves, possibly using a different object like a squeaky toy or a kong on a rope. Absolutely ZERO punishments/corrections right now - if she freezes, just put the toy away and go on about your business. Huge rewards when she gets it right.

    Are you using an ecollar?

  4. #3
    kaytris is offline Senior Member
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    Poisoned Cues

    Learned helplessness - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    you said in the other thread in the hunting forum that you have had to use " an extreme amount of pressure to get any type of compliance. " and "made an extremly hard correction to get her to pick up the bird"

    I have a feeling that underneath she is a soft, sensitive dog that has given up - she's not sure what is wanted, has been punished too harshly, and has shut down (being in season may be a factor, but I don't think that is the whole picture.)

    If she were mine, I would stop all formal training, go back to basics using a reward based system and different items for fetching (and put the e-collar on a shelf for now).
    Last edited by kaytris; 07-11-2010 at 02:16 PM.

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  6. #4
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    windycanyon is offline Senior Member
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    Did you give her a collar correction in water? Had she really been adequately trained on land first for the same general concept (like land doubles before water doubles)?
    Hormones will certainly make a female weird, but how long has it been since she's been out of season? (ETA, just read your other post and see that she's not yet in).

    Definitely need to lighten up your training (or take a break altogether) to take away any and all confusion she's experienced. I think I'd go back to throwing shackled pigeons for her on land and just have fun.
    Last edited by windycanyon; 07-12-2010 at 01:46 AM.

  7. #5
    scutter is offline Senior Member
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    we have been traning her for a year. we have only been working on single marks and saturday was a single mark. No I have not given her any correction in water. Saturdays hard correction did not invovle an ecollar at all. It was an ear pinch to the bird. When I said it was a hard correction, even after going through force fetch when she decides not to comply then she refuses to even do the simplest of things and refusing to go to an pick up the bird from even a 10 yard mark was when she got a hard correction by taking her to the bird and then ear pinching her down to the bird to pick it up.

    I have been careful not to give her advanced training until she gets the basics of single marks. It is hard to explain a dogs temperement in a post. I have been training her for a year. she does like to swim and retrieve in the water. Just prior to the melt down on saturday she had been doing and awesome job in retrieving on land. She had been doing longer marks and pushing through heavy cover. Saturday's single mark was challenging but she had already gone through the water and crossed the road and started into the cover after the bird but decided that she would not proceed and came back to the line. In some ways she seems soft in that she doesn't take pressure very well and in ohter ways seems extremely hard in that she is head strong and it is almost impossible to make her do something that she simply does not want to do. IE she knows how to retrieve a hand thrown single mark from 10 yards but refused to go.

    I really don't know what to do I now have an 18 month old dog that I am going to go all the way back to FF basics and see if we can bring her through these issues otherwise she is nothing more than an expensive pet.

    Thanks

    Benelli and zoey's buddy

  8. #6
    BigBrownDog is offline Senior Member
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    Wondering if you have evaluated her soundness. Have her hips been x-rayed? Is it possible that she has an orthopedic issue causing her to be uncooperative?

    And - something about this thread saddens me. Is it typical for a dog that is a hunting companion to be simply a tool? Does her enjoyment of the activity matter? How much does your bond with this dog suffer when you are pressing her so hard to do something that she is refusing to do (for a reason you don't seem to understand)? Not an attack on you or hunting in general - just wondering if this manner of perceiving and handling dogs is the exception with hunters or if this is typical.
    Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.

  9. #7
    scutter is offline Senior Member
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    sharon,

    I belong to a retriever training club and know lots of hunters that own labs. Yes they are a tool but they are much more than a tool, they are also our companions. They stay in our homes zoey spends time in my lap watching tv and occassionally on the bed with me as we watch tv. They are our companions as well. We feed them care for them take them to the vet but also train them to enhance thier natural instincts. We also purchase expensive dogs and spend countless hours and lots of dollars and resources in training them so that our hunting experiences will be a joy for both of us. I have sever arthritis and have had both hips replaced and a neck that I can hardly move. I do not duck hunt for the sport of shooting ducks. My primary reason for duck hunting is the joy that I get out of working the dogs and watching them make an awesome retrieve. a good hunting dog truly enjoys the hunting experience and I would say that thier life is far more fullfilled than chasing a tennis ball and watching TV.

    Please do not assume that all hunters treat thier dogs like one of thier shotguns. The last part of my post said that worse case scenario she would be an expensive pet. A pet then would still be my companion and friend but would not be able to enjoy the things that a retriever is naturally bred to do, which is to retrieve birds.

    A well trained lab is a tool but so much more than a tool. Even in a non hunting enviorment and during the off season they are more of a joy to be with and to be around. a trained hunting dog is a joy for all people to be around.

    Thanks

    Zoey and Beneilli's buddy

  10. #8
    victorytea is offline Member
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    I trained hunting/field trial dogs for years and never saw happier dogs than working dogs that were doing what they were bred to do. Field trial dogs are some of the best bred and smartest dogs in the world and they are loved dearly by their owner's who spend hours each and every day with their dogs.

  11. #9
    BigBrownDog is offline Senior Member
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    Well- I never intended to cast aspersions on field dogs in general - just this issue where failure to perform seems to be making for so much conflict between owner and dog. In the other thread Scutter you did say that getting rid of her was a possibility. If that is not the case and she would be your "expensive" pet dog (remind me to tell you about my expensive pet dog) then I misunderstood you.
    Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.

  12. #10
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    GulfCoast is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by victorytea View Post
    I trained hunting/field trial dogs for years and never saw happier dogs than working dogs that were doing what they were bred to do. Field trial dogs are some of the best bred and smartest dogs in the world and they are loved dearly by their owner's who spend hours each and every day with their dogs.
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