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mouthing birds, not retrieving


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My 5 year old GSP retrieves sticks, dummies, frozen birds, etc... but when I shoot birds over her she will typically go up and mouth them, then spit them out.  I think she likes to give them a coup de grace...then isn't really interested in them.  It's weird that she retrieves everything else, except for fresh birds. 

 

I have done some light/very basic force fetch training with her in the past, but not anything serious.  I'm sure this is the answer.  I'm just curious why she would retrieve everything except fresh birds.  Any thoughts?

 

Thanks,

Trevor

 

 

 

 

Rosie.jpg

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9 hours ago, LabHunter said:

 

 

I have done some light/very basic force fetch training with her in the past, but not anything serious.  I'm sure this is the answer.   

 

Thanks,

Trevor

 

 

 

 

Rosie.jpg

Me thinks you have answered your own question. As for accidental behavior of retrieving all the other stuff something was missed in her development as a pup,

The pup probable was happy to retrieve all those items early and so there was no thoughts that FF was necessary and Boom at Five yrs, You will have a battle on your hands.

Best of luck that's all I have.

 

Hal

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My buddy trained the identical problem into his GSP. Never FF'd and hunted the dog this way for 4 seasons. Now he is interested in the dog retrieving. Told him I had no idea how to fix it in an older dog so I will be interested in seeing responses to this issue. One thing for sure is it will take a lot more effort than for a youngster. 

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Don't go haphazard with the FF process, if you don't want to do it thoroughly I'd suggest just training the hold. Use several objects, including a fresh bird. Start with just getting the dog to hold thr bird for a second and work to extend from there to eventually carrying it around walking at heel. Praise, praise, praise.

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Yep, you guys nailed it.  There have been a lot more sticks than fresh birds in her life....and she is a strong natural retriever of things that are not fresh birds so I never looked at FF too stronly.  When I do shoot a number of birds...such as on the dove opener, she typically does start retrieving them after a while. 

 

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Might not work if she's inadvertently been well conditioned to not retrieve game, but we've gotten a number of dogs over that hump by "priming the pump" with a few retrieves of an oft retrieved object from heel, then subbing a bird in that same scenario.  Lots of praise, no pressure.

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4 hours ago, Rick Hall said:

Might not work if she's inadvertently been well conditioned to not retrieve game, but we've gotten a number of dogs over that hump by "priming the pump" with a few retrieves of an oft retrieved object from heel, then subbing a bird in that same scenario.  Lots of praise, no pressure.

Thank you Rick, I will definitely try that!  Much appreciated.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Another thing to try is jealousy it’s a powerful motivator for most dogs 

 

get a buddy with a dog that’s a solid retriever and send it for the birds at the same time

 
and hold can be taught at any age see Maarchers thread

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 11/22/2020 at 9:03 PM, LabHunter said:

My 5 year old GSP retrieves sticks, dummies, frozen birds, etc... but when I shoot birds over her she will typically go up and mouth them, then spit them out.  I think she likes to give them a coup de grace...then isn't really interested in them.  It's weird that she retrieves everything else, except for fresh birds. 

 

I have done some light/very basic force fetch training with her in the past, but not anything serious.  I'm sure this is the answer.  I'm just curious why she would retrieve everything except fresh birds.  Any thoughts?

 

Thanks,

Trevor

 

 

 

 

Rosie.jpg

I have the exact situation with my 1 year old setter/ GSP mix......   I am determined to get her to consistently retrieve birds I have shot.  I reached out to a pro trainer and the price was way more than I can afford so very interested in the replies here !

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12 hours ago, rufftrout said:

I have the exact situation with my 1 year old setter/ GSP mix......   I am determined to get her to consistently retrieve birds I have shot.  I reached out to a pro trainer and the price was way more than I can afford so very interested in the replies here !

 

Your best bet is to study literally thousands of You tube Clips on the subject of FF.  It is an activity that you have to watch begin learning how to do.

and after you have done it you will understand why the Pro you reached out to quoted you the price of doing the work for you.

 

Here is a good clip to start with My Friend Evan Graham has 100's of clips training Retrievers 

 

 

Hal

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 11/23/2020 at 5:42 AM, Hal Standish said:

Me thinks you have answered your own question. As for accidental behavior of retrieving all the other stuff something was missed in her development as a pup,

The pup probable was happy to retrieve all those items early and so there was no thoughts that FF was necessary and Boom at Five yrs, You will have a battle on your hands.

Best of luck that's all I have.

 

Hal

 

What age do you typically do force fetch/formal retrieving training with a dog?

 

I'm having similar issues with my 8 month old GSP pup and live birds.  I have temporarily stopped bird work and have been doing retrieving sessions with him with a frozen pigeon after building some momentum with a bumper.  After a few sessions I have gotten him bringing me the frozen pigeon as reliably as the bumper, but when a live bird is reintroduced he just wants to pin it down and play with it.  It takes quite bit of collar pressure to get him to pick it up and bring it to me and I don't like that because I don't want to discourage him.  He also has some bad mouth habits.  He has always had a poor sloppy grip with large or hard objects.  Things like plastic bumpers or the frozen pigeon he drops frequently and acts like he can't figure out how to get a good grip on them.  He does the same thing with live birds.  I was just getting ready to introduce gunfire so I could start shooting birds for him.  He's already fired up about hunting and pointing birds.  I feel like I should correct his bird handling before moving on and developing bad habits.                     

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Hal Standish
13 hours ago, RedL said:

 

What age do you typically do force fetch/formal retrieving training with a dog?

 

I'm having similar issues with my 8 month old GSP pup and live birds.  I have temporarily stopped bird work and have been doing retrieving sessions with him with a frozen pigeon after building some momentum with a bumper.  After a few sessions I have gotten him bringing me the frozen pigeon as reliably as the bumper, but when a live bird is reintroduced he just wants to pin it down and play with it.  It takes quite bit of collar pressure to get him to pick it up and bring it to me and I don't like that because I don't want to discourage him.  He also has some bad mouth habits.  He has always had a poor sloppy grip with large or hard objects.  Things like plastic bumpers or the frozen pigeon he drops frequently and acts like he can't figure out how to get a good grip on them.  He does the same thing with live birds.  I was just getting ready to introduce gunfire so I could start shooting birds for him.  He's already fired up about hunting and pointing birds.  I feel like I should correct his bird handling before moving on and developing bad habits.                     

 The earlier the better. Once the baby teeth are gone the process begins. At that age the process doesn't even look like force, though for My own personal dogs do not get flyers or birds shot for them until the  trained retrieve is finished and dog are delivering to hand. The lil dog in my icon was done by 18 weeks of age and has a a presentation delivery. It is a thing of beauty.

Have done a boat load of 8-12 month old GSP's. The longer you wait and more hunting you do with dog the more intense your training sessions will be. So get'er done now this winter, It is great winter time training activity.

 

Short Vid a compilation of different dogs working on delivery...

Brad there a very short screen shot of a Bench bred English Cocker along with other breeds at work

 

 

 

Hal

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WMassGriff

What Hal says! And remember its a methodical process don't skip steps.

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Hal Standish
42 minutes ago, WMassGriff said:

What Hal says! And remember its a methodical process don't skip steps.

 

Exactly! When you think your done training, your not, Continue training! Our 8 and 12 yr old Field Champion Spaniels still get some tutoring every day.

Evan Graham in his work shops and seminars always ask this question of the attendees.. "When does the training of a dog stop"? The correct answer is never Your never done.

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  • 2 weeks later...
1971snipe

Good thread.  Between my surgery, covid, and other excuses, my setter pretty much missed any training since last year, and this season at 4 yrs old she's not retrieving.  And if I'm not right there when she finds a downed bird she will give it a good chew, drop it, then take off to continue hunting.  I'm definitely going to begin force fetch training and keep it up.  I agree with those that said you're never really done.  

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