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getthegat
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Hi, any ideas why my labby cross is struggling to do a clean retrieve of pigeons? She will retrieve a dummy or tennis ball or frizby, does it first time every time. Will sit and wait for the command to fetch and will drop to a command of "dead" She's done a few retrieves of pigeons out of a ditch, though it took a lot of encouragement. She always goes straight to the dropped bird, but will only "snuffle" it, as I call it, getting just about all the feathers off, then looses interest. She sits beside me whilst I shoot, watches and even spots the birds before me sometimes. Fairly certain she even knows the word pigeon. I know people say pigeon feathers can be a put off for some dogs, could this be the reason? Any ideas much appreciated.

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In my opinion the dog is too young to really be out working, they reckon a dogs ears can't cope with gunshot till 9+ months so even at 12 months I wouldn't fancy firing a shot so close to the dog's ears at that age esp in the close confines of a hide.

 

Pigeon inside tights, or dummies with wings tied to them, dummies with fur on them, anything to get the dog's mouth used to different textures etc, then move on to cold pigeons.

Even if u can get some duck/teal of someone as there ideal as the feathers are so tight and don't fall out, pigeons can be murder for young dogs thou.

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Dog needs to learn to turn them over and grab across the back. In a young dog without an older one to show it the ropes, it is up to you to show it.

 

Start with pigeons on their belly and get her to pick them., then once confident, have them on back and show her how to turn them over and have her pick it up.

 

You may need to hide a treat under the first few to get her into the idea of moving it about on her own.

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All good intel guys. As for the age and ears issue, I shoot a moderated 20 gauge. Hopefully this is less harmful. Unfortunately I've never seen a single squirrel on any of my perms; virtually no trees? We have a duck sized dummy which she loves practicing retrieving and is very good with it. I'll try a couple wings attached to it and see the result. No birds about at the moment though.

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On ‎04‎/‎02‎/‎2018 at 22:39, Stonepark said:

Dog needs to learn to turn them over and grab across the back. In a young dog without an older one to show it the ropes, it is up to you to show it.

 

Start with pigeons on their belly and get her to pick them., then once confident, have them on back and show her how to turn them over and have her pick it up.

 

You may need to hide a treat under the first few to get her into the idea of moving it about on her own.

Never heard of a dog needing to turn a pigeon over before.

I think the dog is too young, and requires more training. I wouldn't take a dog shooting that wouldn't retrieve what it is there for.

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