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landy george

Retrieving from water

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My lab's just over 2 now & he's come a long way over the off season.

Just one thing I'm having problems with & need help.

When retrieving a shot bird from water he doesn't want to come back. He wants to just splash about & play with the bird, the only way I can get him to come back is start walking away.

That's easy to do when on land but when out on the marsh I'm not going to be able to do that.

Any advise would be grateful otherwise I'm going to be doing a lot of walking.

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He is only young and obviously not yet ready, it's probably best not to rush him, his schedule may not match your own. Do you need to go back to basics?

  1. does he come when called on land?
  2. Does he come when called on land with a bird?
  3. Does he come when called from water without a bird?

maybe practise all of the above with lots of praise for successes, before going back to birds in water.

Practise 1 & 2 until he's bomb proof, progress to 3 then again, in water with birds, starting close then further away.

If he's not ready this season he will be for next with the right kind of patience and training

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52 minutes ago, martinj said:

He is only young and obviously not yet ready, it's probably best not to rush him, his schedule may not match your own. Do you need to go back to basics?

  1. does he come when called on land?
  2. Does he come when called on land with a bird?
  3. Does he come when called from water without a bird?

maybe practise all of the above with lots of praise for successes, before going back to birds in water.

Practise 1 & 2 until he's bomb proof, progress to 3 then again, in water with birds, starting close then further away.

If he's not ready this season he will be for next with the right kind of patience and training

1,2,3 Yes, now he does but at the beginning of the year he didn't.

He's learnt a lot over the summer at training with the wildfowling club.

You're probably right, it looks like he's enjoying himself too much to come back to me & as I walk away he doesn't want to left behind.

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sounds as though you have done a lot with him and are making good progress. You want to use him this season but he's not quite there yet. If you rush him you risk development of bad habits which could last a life time so it's a tricky one.

It's a good thing that he wants to be with you, you can use this to your advantage. Our two working cockers are similar, when they were younger and if they were straying too far and not coming when called, my wife would just hide behind a hedge or whatever and toot the whistle. The dog would panic and come running back to find mum, this reinforced the recall command.

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get right on land, if you already have , when a retrieve is presented in water after the dog has retrieved ,   blow your recall whistle and run like hell  as fast as you can away from the dog into the distance  or hide behind a hedge  , crouch or lie down , so your dog has to find you,  rather than mess about,   and loads of fuss, when your dog finds you / hide and seek after a retrieve  

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On 05/09/2019 at 08:43, landy george said:

My lab's just over 2 now & he's come a long way over the off season.

Just one thing I'm having problems with & need help.

When retrieving a shot bird from water he doesn't want to come back. He wants to just splash about & play with the bird, the only way I can get him to come back is start walking away.

That's easy to do when on land but when out on the marsh I'm not going to be able to do that.

Any advise would be grateful otherwise I'm going to be doing a lot of walking.

What kind of training did you do in water? Did your dog bring dummies back from water or from across water? If you skipped this part, and just hoped he would retrieve dead game from water "on the job" then I would expect you to struggle.

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Yes he's done dummy retrieves from & over water no problems, he just gets excited when it's got feathers. 

He has got better since the start of the season & he's getting the message when he's playing on the other side of the fleet.

Just keep calm walk away & he'll come back with it.

 

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