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Any ideas?
Sep 14th, 2020 at 10:22pm
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Any suggestions please members would be much appreciated for my two year old Lab Bitch.
She is as keen mustard, has a great nose and went to and found every shot duck including woundys on land, swamp,ponds, etc but frustratingly never Retrieved one. For the life of her she just can’t get her mouth around them. She retrieves packed socks, duck wings, sticks, balls all day long but can’t pick up a duck.
Any ideas would be much appreciated. Cheers

  
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Micky Duck
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Re: Any ideas?
Reply #1 - Sep 15th, 2020 at 4:03pm
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well I ve been pooh hooed before for saying it...but will do so again.
my first bird dog was taught to retrieve with black birds on back lawn.
pigeons or plovers are in-between size.....
will she retrieve tennis ball from water???
keep a whole duck of two...smaller hen or better still a spoonie and do bait n switch in back yard when she really keen on the retrieve of whatever else you using....
of take her to professional who will probably force retrieve her eg place duck in her mouth and hold it there..... Ive done that too.....much prefer it to be dogs choice to do it...but if told to do it...do it they must.
you say she found every woundie etc...I take it you then picked them up?????
when playing retrieve DO NOT accept ANYTHING less than delivery into palm of upturned hand....none of the drop at feet BS....none of the chuck it at you then turn and wait for it to be thrown...squat down with hand out and DONT GIVE IN.... when placed in hand..pat and then throw again....
theory being duck will be same as any other object.... also take turns with other dog...and keep calm.
good luck and keep us informed.
  
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Re: Any ideas?
Reply #2 - Sep 15th, 2020 at 6:45pm
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Had the same thing with a male black lab, big boof head had heaps of drive but won't pick up. Then before I found a cure I shoot a possum 1 night next to a pond and the possum landed in the pond. Dog went in and I thought here we go, he will f#ck around trying to push it around. But instead the dog realized he could not piss around while swimming in deep  water so he picked it up. Problem solved after that.
  
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Re: Any ideas?
Reply #3 - Sep 16th, 2020 at 9:20pm
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Thanks you two for the replies. To answer your question, we definitely picked up all woundys.
A lot of tips there, most I don’t practice.  Haven’t tried a tennis ball on water but will now. Speaking of water it isnt unusual for her to swim around in very deep water for up to ten minutes pushing a duck around and around!
At the end of the day I guess we just have to keep trying.
  
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Re: Any ideas?
Reply #4 - Sep 17th, 2020 at 7:55am
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very deep water......if you havent already,invest in a neoprene jacket for her...not only keeps them warm(sometimes too warm) but helps keep them afloat....they swim pretty much level wearing them,just DONT have it on dog if any chance of entanglement or stick poking into opening on front...dog could end up trapped..... awesome for work on lake.
  
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Re: Any ideas?
Reply #5 - Sep 17th, 2020 at 7:57am
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point I was looking at with woundies.....DONT pick it up...make dog bring it to you.my old bitch took more than a year to pick up bird off dry land...because the boss will do it... then we clicked and never looked back.
  
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Re: Any ideas?
Reply #6 - Sep 29th, 2020 at 5:04pm
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Try taking her out with an older dog that knows the ropes and let her watch a few retrieves and swim along with the other dog for a couple easy retrieves then let her have a go on her own.
  
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Re: Any ideas?
Reply #7 - Oct 8th, 2020 at 9:37am
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Thanks thebomb , however she’s spent hours with three different good labs swimming and following them to and fro from birds.
She’s close, but not quite. As in has no trouble retrieving a frozen water fowl “smaller than a mallard” each night before her dinner.
  
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Re: Any ideas?
Reply #8 - Oct 10th, 2020 at 7:39pm
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so...take her dinner to water.....retrieve off land...retrieve out of water..then get dinner...dont retrieve from water...dont get dinner.
MAYBE.....
  
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Re: Any ideas?
Reply #9 - Oct 15th, 2020 at 9:16pm
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No problem at all to retrieve the “smaller” bird any where, any time you like. Once again, it’s  just the full size mallard she can not pick up or get her mouth around
  
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Re: Any ideas?
Reply #10 - Oct 29th, 2020 at 7:49am
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Only other thing I can think of is something wrong with her jaw that she can’t get it around a duck,but in saying that my old spaniel /foxy cross was tiny but would retrieve Canada geese on the lake grabbing a foot or wing whatever she could get hold of,looked hard case as most of the time couldn’t see her just the dead goose moving through the water towards me.
  
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Re: Any ideas?
Reply #11 - Oct 31st, 2020 at 5:49pm
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lol our recently departed cocker spaniel was the same.... would grab goose by neck or wing and start paddling like stink...hopefully in right direction of shore....
CAN your dog carry something larger???? so next time you doing the fetch thing on back lawn keep upping size of object you throwing....my old bitch used to carry a heavy seat cushion if asked..that thing was about 4" high and weighed a good 10lbs  .if you can get dog used to carrying larger object I suspect your issue will simply disappear.
  
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Re: Any ideas?
Reply #12 - Nov 9th, 2020 at 6:00pm
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Thanks Mickey Duck, like the idea of the cushion, I’ll try any thing.
  
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Re: Any ideas?
Reply #13 - Nov 16th, 2020 at 7:15pm
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The dog in my avatar was a great retriever,he even retrieved a Sika hind I had shot caught on logjam from the ngaruraro stream in kaimanawas saved me from getting my boots wet..
  
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