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Joined: 12/30/2005
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Lab will not pick up dead pheasants

I have a female Chocalate Lab who is 1yr 2 months old who will not pick up dead pheasants she will find them and just look at you to come and pick it up. However if the bird is wounded and she needs to track it down and it still is alive she will pick it up and bring it to you. How can I get her to pick up the dead birds and bring them to me. I've even played with one of the dead birds kept throwing it and to try to entice her but all she does it goes by it a smells it and walks away.

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Location: Antelope, Ore
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Lab will not pick up dead pheasants

Does she do this with anything else? What have you been doing for retrieve training and how long are the session's? What are you using for a retrieveing buck?

Here's a though. You said she'd chase a wounded bird and bring it back? Well simulate a wounded bird. Tie a light cord to the dead birds feet and just as she get's there start pulling it away from her, QUICKLY, and other than "fetch" just once, don't talk to her. Don't let her look at it but a moment and get it moving. If it works, keep it up a couple weeks then don't pull one. Then right back to pulling them for several befor not pulling again. Create a routine where she doesn't know when it might run (get pulled) off. What you want to do is teach her to pick it up right now and hold it. If she spits it out after she get's it, start pulling again immediately as tho she'd dropped a cripple and it's getting away, again, DON"T TALK TO HER, just pull like hell! Keep all this stuff in fairly close quarters so you can handle the cord the bird is on. What you'll be doing is playing the part of a crippled bird, which she does do right! Don't do it a lot every day, just two or three times and put it away. She doesn't decide when to quit, you do!

I'm feeling my way thru here so bear with me. Don't always pull the bird straight toward you. Have a stake driven into the ground that you can loop the cord around prior to throwing. That will allow you to make the bird run away from you. Several stakes would be better. Now, keep the cord up fairly well so if she drops the bird you can react and pull quickly. But don't get it so tight it pulls on her mouth. Feed the cord in and out thru your hands. It will take some getting used to, working the cord, but you need to make her believe the bird is getting away. And remember, don't coach her, let her firure it out. That mean's, tell her fetch then SHUT UP!!! Your job as the bird is to get away, her's is to catch you, a job she's already doing.

Otherwise the only answer may be forced retrieve training. Done right she'll survive it and you'll never know it happened. Sounds worse than it is but, it is punishment training.

Let me know how it works.

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Joined: 12/30/2005
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Lab will not pick up dead pheasants

Does she do this with anything else? Does the same with Goose and Duck if is isn't moving in the water she swims to it and then lets it lay there we thought it was that she was only 9 months old and her first time duck hunting or any hunting
What have you been doing for retrieve training and how long are the session's? With the dummy with scent about 15 to 20 minutes, then we switch to a chong to play fetch she has lots of energy we have to burn for being on the small size of 75lb you would think it wouldn't take that much to tirer her out but we get tired before her
What are you using for a retrieveing buck? A dummy that actual looks like a pheasant or duck can't remember the name brand made out of neafoam with scent.

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Lab will not pick up dead pheasants

I just noticed, your new here. Welcome aboard!

Try what I suggested. Remember that what your going to be is a bird getting away. Don't try to out think her, think on her level. She is not letting live birds go, only motionless ones. Good luck and let me know. If you run into a problem just stop and get back here. Will send you a PM.

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Lab will not pick up dead pheasants

Sounds like she needs Force Fetch. There are many good books on how to go about Force Fetching a dog, my advise is to go online, and buy a book or two and read up on it!

Good luck!

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Lab will not pick up dead pheasants

Welcome to BGH Alex.

I don't think that's what she needs yet. Shes not refusing to fetch everything, just the dead birds. So she does fetch. What she seems to have is no understanding that she should bring back the dead bird also. I will say this, if I had a lab it would be forced right from the start. But also unless your prepared to go all the way with force retrieving, it could do more harm than good. It is punishment training and while fairly easy to do it's also easy to screw it up. The dog then pays for the trainer mistakes.

Where a lot of people get into trouble in retrieve training is to relate it to the birds only. Early on they don't insist on the puppy doing it right so the pup does what it wants. Thats teaching the wrong things. I knew two guy's years ago in Mont. We all had labs. One guy trained his lab on retrieving dummy's only and never turned it over to birds. First bird he shot the dog refused to pick up. He went out and smelled it several times then left, it was'nt his dummy. We had to go to the house and get my dog. The other guy trained his dog on decoys. First trip out, yep, dog went after a duck and brought back every decoy the guy had. Never did get the duck. The point here is you have to pay attention to what you are training your dog and at some point, move on to birds. Retrieve training is best done with a buck, not a bird, a wing or a dummy with a wing taped to it. Those things have nothing to do with "Fetch". Fetch means to pick a certain object up and hold it in your mouth. The first step in force training is to make the dog hold the buck in it's mouth. The next step is to have it drop its head and take the buck from your hand. Next is to drop its head and pick the buck up off the table. From there it learns to take a step and pick it off the table. You do the whole routine then start over with a frozen bird. Whole thing again and you switch to a fresh killed bird. It is not a matter of fecth or I'll beat you up.

Play training to retrieve is the best for the majority of people but they sometimes make mistakes or try shortcuts that cost them later.

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Joined: 12/30/2005
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She pick up a dead bird and brought it back

I had success on my last hunt and I didn't do anything to but used the commands I was training her with. When she was close to the dummy I would say find, find, find and then say bring, bring, bring in the most happy voice I could as she loves and I mean loves to hear that happy voice. When ever I would just yell at her her feelings would be hurt for a long time, never had a lab whose feeling would get hurt so easily, well anyway then when she was getting close I start dancing around another show of happines and she brought it right to me and was she happy when she put it in my hands and I start to wrestle not with the bird just playong on the ground with her another game she likes. This was on the last bird, I shot five, she brought it back over 60 yards, since this was my last bird I shot I hope next time I will not have to the same routine and I can lessen my happiness, cause the guys where sure laugh at me and my antics. Every time I go out it is a learning experience for me and fun time for her.

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