Retrieving issues

George

New member
Hi all, just picked up Gus from the trainer yesterday after being there for 3 months. He is about ten months old right now. The trainer said that he did well great nose, quarters, responds to whistle commands, and retrieves. The only hiccup that I would like to work on with him involves the retrieving. I guess he has no problem finding the downed bird and bringing it back, but once he does come back you really have to grab the bird out of his mouth he doesn't seem to want to willingly drop it. Not sure if this is just a puppy faze or what. Would appreciate it if someone could give me some direction. Thanks.
 

jonnyB

New member
My 6.5 yr. Golden still prances around/struts and doesn't want to give.

A little electric reminder is usually all that's necessary. Your puppy may be too young for stimulation?

Patience, he'll eventually drop or give it up, although it may take some time.

Does he hold on to a training dummy? That's a good place to start and reward him often...
 
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Gatzby

New member
Hi all, just picked up Gus from the trainer yesterday after being there for 3 months. He is about ten months old right now. The trainer said that he did well great nose, quarters, responds to whistle commands, and retrieves. The only hiccup that I would like to work on with him involves the retrieving. I guess he has no problem finding the downed bird and bringing it back, but once he does come back you really have to grab the bird out of his mouth he doesn't seem to want to willingly drop it. Not sure if this is just a puppy faze or what. Would appreciate it if someone could give me some direction. Thanks.
I'd suggest talking to the trainer first not us internet clowns! I assume you spent some time with the trainer before taking him home. How did he act then? My guess is you are grabbing at the bird way to fast, slow down, calm down, relax, and pup will do the same.
 

bobman

New member
first you should never allow him drop it, he should give the bird to you when you reach for it, if you allow him to drop it he'll drop a pheasant and the damn thing will try to run off lol

now how to fix him

have him sit holding the bird, you kneel next to him and gently grasp his collar with your left hand and just pet him no talk just quietly hold him, don't reach for the bird right away. After quietly petting him for about 45 second seconds or so reach for the bird command "give" if he doesn't give it to you just keep petting him (don't talk at all during this process the only command he will hear is "give")

make him stay there for another minute a try again, command give, if he gives willingly praise and send him on, if he still holds the bird just keep petting and repeat in another minute or so

eventually he will want to go more than he wants to sit there and hold the bird ( that's why your left hand is securing his collar)and learn he isn't going anywhere until he gives you the bird, once he learns that he will give you the bird on command
 
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westksbowhunter

Active member
Hang on people. First we don't have any idea as to what the training program was. Was the dog force fetched and collar fetched? Give us the run down of the specific training program and what the dog learned while at school!

And as far as the dog being to young for collar stimulation, that is false. If the dog was indeed force fetched and collar fetched, then by all means, talk with the trainer on how you need to apply e-pressure.

A good trainer also trains the owner when the dog is picked up! That is the only way to get your money's worth.
 

Gatzby

New member
A good trainer also trains the owner when the dog is picked up! That is the only way to get your money's worth.
Bingo!

Also the trainer knows this dog better than anyone including the OP. If there is a problem with his training (I doubt there is) give him a chance to fix it first. Heck who knows what he was even hired to do.

I kind of feel like the trainer is being thrown under the bus even though he isn't named in the post......
 

bobman

New member
well you can use force and get it done or you can change the dogs mind with a little effort

see when you force a dog to do anything he doesn't want to do he's always doing it because he's avoiding a reprimand. There's always going to be a need for repeating the lesson when he again decides he wants to do something you don't want him to do.

now if you can use a little psychology to make him decide he actually thinks it's his decision and wants to give you the bird the problem goes away forever.

Same thing works with little kids FWIW, if you want a child to pick up his toys or get ready for bed now you've given them a choice and empowered the child ( in his mind lol ) to make his decision and do what you want. Because they now think it's their idea.

If you can make a dog believe in his mind that what you are wanting is what he also WANTS to do the resistance disappears forever.
 
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George

New member
Not throwing the trainer under the bus at all. I am very pleased with how my dog turned out. Not every dog is perfect, I just figured that this could be something that I work on. It's not even a huge issue, just something small that I figured could become a nuisance in the field. I'm going to try some yard work with dummy and lots of praise. See how that goes, thanks for the advice.
 

Gatzby

New member
Not throwing the trainer under the bus at all. I am very pleased with how my dog turned out. Not every dog is perfect, I just figured that this could be something that I work on. It's not even a huge issue, just something small that I figured could become a nuisance in the field. I'm going to try some yard work with dummy and lots of praise. See how that goes, thanks for the advice.
I'll add another piece of advice. Small problems, or gaps in training do tend to manifest into bigger issues. Deal with it now before it becomes ingrained behavior. It's going to be easiest to fix today, harder tomorrow and so on. Trust me I've put on blinders and ignored what seemed like a minor issue and then worked my ass off to fix it later!
Honestly I'd call the trainer, he knows the dog best and can give you the best advice on how to deal with it.
 
well you can use force and get it done or you can change the dogs mind with a little effort

see when you force a dog to do anything he doesn't want to do he's always doing it because he's avoiding a reprimand. There's always going to be a need for repeating the lesson when he again decides he wants to do something you don't want him to do.

now if you can use a little psychology to make him decide he actually thinks it's his decision and wants to give you the bird the problem goes away forever.

Same thing works with little kids FWIW, if you want a child to pick up his toys or get ready for bed now you've given them a choice and empowered the child ( in his mind lol ) to make his decision and do what you want. Because they now think it's their idea.

If you can make a dog believe in his mind that what you are wanting is what he also WANTS to do the resistance disappears forever.
Here is the bingo!
 

goldenboy

New member
Listen to Gatzby! He knows his stuff and his advise is spot on. Talk to the trainer before you try and "fix" the issue. My guess is if the dog was at the trainer for three months the trainer has a grasp on the dog, its quirks and what he does to get the proper response. i am guessing it is in the way you are receiving the bird from him. Something is different and the dog isn't sure of what he should do. Simple phone call or a visit might go a long way!
 

westksbowhunter

Active member
Yea that's what my plan is. I appreciate the advice, I'll let you guys know how it turns out.
None of my business, but since you posted, I am still curious as the what the training program consisted of. What did the dog learn and what was the emphasis of the program?
 

westksbowhunter

Active member
first you should never allow him drop it, he should give the bird to you when you reach for it, if you allow him to drop it he'll drop a pheasant and the damn thing will try to run off lol

now how to fix him

have him sit holding the bird, you kneel next to him and gently grasp his collar with your left hand and just pet him no talk just quietly hold him, don't reach for the bird right away. After quietly petting him for about 45 second seconds or so reach for the bird command "give" if he doesn't give it to you just keep petting him (don't talk at all during this process the only command he will hear is "give")

make him stay there for another minute a try again, command give, if he gives willingly praise and send him on, if he still holds the bird just keep petting and repeat in another minute or so

eventually he will want to go more than he wants to sit there and hold the bird ( that's why your left hand is securing his collar)and learn he isn't going anywhere until he gives you the bird, once he learns that he will give you the bird on command

Wouldn't it be easier if you taught the dog to hold before trying reinforce him to do something that he has not learned yet? You want him to sit and hold but we don't even know the level of it's obedience yet! You want him to sit and stay and then hold before teaching the obedience commands? Not wanting to start a debate but the dog has been through a program with a trainer for 3 months. This needs to be handled with the owner and the trainer and sticking with what the dog has been taught not forum members trying to fix something with a dog that we know nothing about.
 
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Gatzby

New member
first you should never allow him drop it, he should give the bird to you when you reach for it, if you allow him to drop it he'll drop a pheasant and the damn thing will try to run off lol

now how to fix him

have him sit holding the bird, you kneel next to him and gently grasp his collar with your left hand and just pet him no talk just quietly hold him, don't reach for the bird right away. After quietly petting him for about 45 second seconds or so reach for the bird command "give" if he doesn't give it to you just keep petting him (don't talk at all during this process the only command he will hear is "give")

make him stay there for another minute a try again, command give, if he gives willingly praise and send him on, if he still holds the bird just keep petting and repeat in another minute or so

eventually he will want to go more than he wants to sit there and hold the bird ( that's why your left hand is securing his collar)and learn he isn't going anywhere until he gives you the bird, once he learns that he will give you the bird on command
Really what you are suggesting is shaping a behavior much like clickers and treats. While I am a strong believer that shaping behavior is a great method for some trainers and some dogs I don't think it's sound advice in this case. In order for your method to work You are assuming the dog will remain sitting and not drop the bird or chomp on it. I would be surprised if either of these assumptions are accurate with a young dog. If the pup doesnt sit relatively calmly and hold solidly I can't see this working. You will spend all your time fighting these issues and diluting what you are trying to achieve.

PS I still teach "parlor tricks" to my dogs using a clicker and treats while we are bored in the winter. But when it comes to there real job I am 100% a FF advocate, while I prefer attrirition to pressure I will use pressure when ever appropriate!
 

bobman

New member
no need to be so adversarial I am well aware there is definitely more than one way to train a dog, I simply offered a proven method that doesn't require force.

Most hunters won't follow through a FF routine, especially on a resistant dog, so I like to offer an alternative that they can feel good doing.

to answer the questions from above

the problem is not getting the dog to hold, he's already holding, he is refusing to release if I read the OPs post correctly

the dogs already trained to a point that would indicate he knows sit, so he will sit

your left hand is firmly holding his collar so that is why he won't run off, infact that why this method works, young dogs always want to move on. You don't let him until he willingly gives.

I've been training labs and pointing dogs since the late 60s both personal dogs and for other folks. I quit training other folks dogs in the late 80s. I maintain a string of 8-12 personal dogs and have for the last 38 years or more. My point mentioning this is simply that i do have a lot of personal experience working with problem dogs and this is a common problem especially with pointing dogs.

The technique I offer above doesn't use treats or a clicker and it works well because the dog makes the connect that the release means he get to have more fun hunting. And it won't mess up a dog like someone that will not got through a FF routine.

It's slower and takes patience and it's pleasant and simple understand and to do, few people find force fetch training pleasant.

This technique is really more useful and aimed for upland type retrieve work where a dog wants to get back to the hunt, but this is a pheasant hunting site.

I was trying to be helpful.
 
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Gatzby

New member
no need to be so adversarial I am well aware there is definitely more than one way to train a dog, I simply offered a proven method that doesn't require force.

Most hunters won't follow through a FF routine, especially on a resistant dog, so I like to offer an alternative that they can feel good doing.

to answer the questions from above

the problem is not getting the dog to hold, he's already holding, he is refusing to release if I read the OPs post correctly

the dogs already trained to a point that would indicate he knows sit, so he will sit

your left hand is firmly holding his collar so that is why he won't run off, infact that why this method works, young dogs always want to move on. You don't let him until he willingly gives.

I've been training labs and pointing dogs since the late 60s both personal dogs and for other folks. I quit training other folks dogs in the late 80s. I maintain a string of 8-12 personal dogs and have for the last 38 years or more. My point mentioning this is simply that i do have a lot of personal experience working with problem dogs and this is a common problem especially with pointing dogs.

The technique I offer above doesn't use treats or a clicker and it works well because the dog makes the connect that the release means he get to have more fun hunting. And it won't mess up a dog like someone that will not got through a FF routine.

It's slower and takes patience and it's pleasant and simple understand and to do, few people find force fetch training pleasant.

This technique is really more useful and aimed for upland type retrieve work where a dog wants to get back to the hunt, but this is a pheasant hunting site.

I was trying to be helpful.
I'm sorry if I came off adversarial, that was not my intent. I may have painted with to broad of stoke.

As far as the OP is concerned the best answer is getting in touch with his trainer first. "Reinventing the wheel" at this point makes very little sense. That is why I said I didn't think your advice applies in this case. My guess is the OP is grabbing at the bird in to much of a hurry and shotgunning commands like "sit, hold, drop, give, and here" as nervous chatter. With the number of dogs and handlers you have been around you have seen this many times. Calming down and shutting ones mouth fixes a lot of line manner issues.

And I will say again I don't doubt your method will work, I also agree that pressure is unlikely to be be the fix for a "sticky" dog early on. "Sticky" can be a tough nut to crack if allowed to become habit. Once it becomes a habit then pressure might become the only answer and it isn't pleasant for anyone.

Call the trainer, meet with him is step one.

After all this has been said none of have seen the issue, none of us know what the dog has been trained to do. Everything I have said could be complete crap!!

I'm moving on, we have open water finally, all the good dogs are coming north for the summer. Time to be training before the trial/test season starts in a few weeks.
 
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