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Thread: oh boy what do i do!

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    Member 900fusion's Avatar
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    Default oh boy what do i do!

    ok so here it is i have an 11 month old male lab, ive been training him all summer land and water, i use black and white dummies, i took hime out the other day for the first time to see how he would react to guns and dead birds, now here is where the problem lies..... he will retrieve the dummies with no problem (with dead wings attatched) but when i sent him on a down bird in the water, he did as directed and went after it, but after he got to the bird he decided that it was a threat and started barking and attacking it like it was a danger to him, after about the 5th time of sending him back out to retieve it he fianally brought it back, but continued while bird in hand bark and try to bite it, now like i said its not like he doesnt know the scent because of the wings i have on my dummies. has anyone ever encountered that, and any help is greatly appreciated thanks. by the way he did retrieve one other which he did the same exact thing.
    -Tight Lines & head shakin

  2. #2

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    Have you practiced on land? Try and do things on land before doing them in the water.

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    Member 900fusion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 900fusion View Post
    ok so here it is i have an 11 month old male lab, ive been training him all summer land and water, i use black and white dummies, i took hime out the other day for the first time to see how he would react to guns and dead birds, now here is where the problem lies..... he will retrieve the dummies with no problem (with dead wings attatched) but when i sent him on a down bird in the water, he did as directed and went after it, but after he got to the bird he decided that it was a threat and started barking and attacking it like it was a danger to him, after about the 5th time of sending him back out to retieve it he fianally brought it back, but continued while bird in hand bark and try to bite it, now like i said its not like he doesnt know the scent because of the wings i have on my dummies. has anyone ever encountered that, and any help is greatly appreciated thanks. by the way he did retrieve one other which he did the same exact thing.
    hes been training on land since he was 5 months old
    -Tight Lines & head shakin

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by 900fusion View Post
    hes been training on land since he was 5 months old
    With a bird? Try a live pigeon on land too.
    Last edited by wtrdog1; 09-10-2009 at 20:03. Reason: add

  5. #5

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    " i took hime out the other day for the first time to see how he would react to guns and dead birds,"

    Not a good idea.
    Right off .... never try to combine two lessons into one. Gets very confusing for your pup. Even if you could combine lessons... you at most would want the pup to be rock solid on one while introducing the other.

    Next...I don't look for reactions. Doing so resembles testing. I don't want to find out if my dog is gunshy. I want to condition him or her to it. That gunfire is related to good fun things. Such as retrieving and birds. This is built up over time and repetition. Gradually and from a distance at first.

    As far as introducing birds. You will have to get him fired up about retrieving birds. Tease him with it. Having him reaching out for it in your hand before you even throw it out away from you. Some times I may even use a pole with the bird swinging from a rope attached to the end. Make it dance all over the place and have the pup leaping and chasing after it across the ground.
    I start off with all my young dogs on a long line. So that ultimately they will finish the retrieve all the way to me...even if I have to pull them into me. Once they are along side I don't take the bird from them. I simply hold there head up using the long lead so they can't fling the bird around. Most dogs will drop the bird. That's fine for now. I will again use the lead to hold there head up away from it once they drop it to the ground. I do this so that the dog doesn't get into a bad habit of playing keep away or other prey possessive behavior. They learn that I'm not going to snatch it away and they feel comfortable about being around me with a bird in their mouth. They dropped the bird and my hands weren't involved. Later in the future I will force fetch these dogs. That will teach proper handling and delivery.

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    Member 900fusion's Avatar
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    awesome, i appreicate it, when the guns went off he focused his attention to where they where pointed, so then i knew he wasnt afraid of the sound, i figred he wasnt because in the fairbanks/moose creek area we use to shoot off alot of fireworks/morters, and he was always out there. but def going to try some of the traing techs you gave me. once again thank you, just one problem do you think it is too late for some of that stuff
    -Tight Lines & head shakin

  7. #7

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    No. It's not too late. It's better to take your time to do it right than to rush. Being in a hurry will leave gaps in your training. These gaps will come back and get you later down the road. Primarily in the lines of obedience.
    If your dog is already looking out down the barrel....that is good.
    Now..if you have some help it would be nice to have someone throw a retrieving item for you at a short distance. Preferably with out live ammo. Point at the thrown item as it goes threw the air. Then send your dog to retrieve. You can buy "blank" shotgun poppers from Sportmans to shoot if you wish. But I would start with out it. So your dog can learn to mark off the barrel easier without the distraction of the boom. There again.....breaking down your lesson so you aren't teaching two things at once. Making it easier for fido to learn.

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