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Thread: Retrieving help needed

  1. #1
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    Default Retrieving help needed

    I've got a 6 year old hungarian vizsla retriever and he is great at retrieving but he wont retrieve BIRDS. WE think this is because we used to have chickens. How do i train him to retrieve birds or is he to old.


    thanks



    Greg

  2. #2

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    Does he like to retrieve? Does he retrieve bumpers? If so, try tying fresh wings to his bumpers. Once he gets used to that, mix birds in with his bumpers.
    "It's the journey that's important, with experience and knowledge to be gained along the way, in the company of our faithful dogs and our good friends."
    Ralph Waldo Emerson

  3. #3

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    He is older, but you can still train him with the right methods and person. Chickens won't matter, birds are birds.

    Has he ever been force trained?

    Good luck

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    Quote Originally Posted by wtrdog1 View Post
    He is older, but you can still train him with the right methods and person. Chickens won't matter, birds are birds.

    Has he ever been force trained?

    Good luck



    What do you mean by force trained?

    thanks

    Greg

  5. #5
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    Default Teaching an older dog

    My humble opinion is that you may save some time by having a pro or experienced amature take a look at your dog. I've been working with some rescued retriever and retriever mixes with ..mixed results.
    If the dog has a drive to retrieve and gets excieted with birds it's a start. How you go about "forcing" or better yet training a controled retrieve starts there. Force was a term used to condition a dog to pick up and hold an object. Since most hunting dogs are bred to hunt they have a prey chase drive, love birds and it was just managing how they do it. They would retrieve anyway and "force" isn't necessary, training the proper way to fetch is.

    Force for dogs that dont retrieve naturally is a process to apply enough pressure by discomfort to condition the dog to pick up an object and bring it to you. If that is your dog he may never enjoy hunting and neither will you.

    I started changing the way I taught a controlled retrieve when I tried the tradional "forced" retrieve on my newly adopted 3 year old Lab. She could not take it either by temperment or previous bad experiences. She wasn't birdy enough but by deviating from the traditional training and stealing some ques from agility trainers, she's now retrieving birds in a controlled situation but it's taken months of confidence building.

    I knew she had some retrieving desire because she'll retrieve her Kong for fun and she'll launch 20 feet off of a dock to retrieve a bumper. (Top jumper in August 22 DockDog event!) I think something bad happened in the early yard work somewhere.
    I've been out of AKC field trials for a few years but I don't think traditional force, force to a pile or direct ecollar pressure to fetch is necessary if the dog is hot to retrieve. With my hot field bred lab Lucy I use the retrieve as reward. You want him to want the bird. I haven't had much luck with a dog with zero bird drive. If I had come to that conclusion 20 years ago I'd have saved a lot of money.
    www.alaskadognews.com

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    I had a similar problem transitioning my pup from bumpers to birds. I add scent to the bumpers now when I use them. I just take the toys away and use a real bird (frozen) for non-retrieves in the garage the first couple of throws to get the attention on the bird. Then we go for a walk with me carrying the bird stopping occasionally teasing her with it and no retrieves. Then back to the garage and this time the anticipation of playing fetch takes over and the dog does what she is supposed to do. The key is no distractions and watch the dog to know when to stop.

  7. #7

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    Forcing is just another part of the training process. Of course, some dogs require more force training than others and if your dog is not birdy, then it really won't matter. Just have fun with the dog and let him handle what he can.

    I have force trained all my dogs, and I can assure you they are up before I am on hunting day.

    Its like all other training methods, if you don't know what you are doing, then let the pros tackle it. Like e-collar training, it takes much experience and if not done correctly, can ruin a dog.

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    Default force training

    My lab had a difficult time transitioning from bumpers to birds. I decided to force fetch her and had no problems after that. I didnt have a table to get them on like I see it explained in the books. I ran a piece of rope about 3 feet off the ground across my garage. I attached a 1 foot pice of rope that slid the length of the rope and attached that to her collar. I took a new paint roller and started her force fetching with that. The books said use something other than a bird or a bumper. You dont want her associating discomfort with the things she is supposed to retrieve. I started by ear pinching her and holding the bumper right infront of her face and gave her he command fetch. As soon as she went for it I'd let off the ear. If she doesnt go for it keep the pressure on and put the roller in her mouth. As soon as it went in her mouth I let off the pressure and gave her lots of praise. After she got the hang of it I started slowly increasing the distance that the roller was placed in front of her. I did this with her 2 times a day for about a week. After the week she would fetch anything I told her to. This may not be the method everyone uses but it worked great for me and my dog. She got the hang of it pretty fast. Good luck!

  9. #9
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    A 2 part article by John & Amy Dahl contains some very good information & pictures covering force fetching without the e-collar. The links are http://oakhillkennel.com/library/force/force1.html and http://oakhillkennel.com/library/force/force2.html

    Butch Goodwin's website (Northern Flight Retrievers) has several useful articles too - http://www.northernflight.com/articles.htm I've also heard very positive things about his book "Retrievers ... From the Inside Out : the Ultimate Hunting Retriever", and not just from Chesapeake folks!

    Karen

  10. #10

    Default live birds

    Quote Originally Posted by wtrdog1 View Post
    Its like all other training methods, if you don't know what you are doing, then let the pros tackle it. Like e-collar training, it takes much experience and if not done correctly, can ruin a dog.
    I dont entirely agree, retreiving improperly does do damage but can be reversed later on. I believe its all about getting out with your dog having fun making mistakes along the way seeing what does and doesnt work. As far as your problem goes I suggest to get a live duck from the pet store raise it and sacrifice it right before it learns to fly but can get some height then drops. Get your dog all excited have a freind holding the ducks once your dog can hardly contain itself have your freind throw the birds in the air and let your dog go. Your dog should be so excited it should forget entirely about the feel or the smell and just retreive how it was taught. Also this can be done with live pigeons I dont know where they are sold but I remember my brother got two pigeons and did this.

  11. #11
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    Default piegon trap

    You can get a pigeon trap from Cabelas for about 60 bucks. There are enough hungry pigeons around here you can get a few here and there for training. Call the city police in the area you are planning to do it to make sure you are legal first. I checked with State Troopers before I started and got the green light.

  12. #12
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    Default A wing and a Prayer by Butch Goodwin

    butch goodwin article from the retriever journal. The may help you get the idea of what to do to over come his issues with birds.

    Northern Flight Kennels have a host of Butch's RJ articles.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by labhunter907 View Post
    I dont entirely agree, retreiving improperly does do damage but can be reversed later on. I believe its all about getting out with your dog having fun making mistakes along the way seeing what does and doesnt work.
    Getting out with your dog is important, you really don't want to be experimenting while out hunting. It is not a controlled environment, and bad habits that you will have to correct later on could result.

    Re-teaching can get old and frustrating if you are not careful. Make sure you know the dogs abilities and limitations as well as your own.

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