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Need Help Training A Duck Dog

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  • Need Help Training A Duck Dog

    I'm having trouble getting my dog (almost 3) to bring any downed waterfowl back to me or to even pick them up. I got him to retrieve 3 birds his whole first season, but will not since then. I'm looking for advice on how to get him to not only pick up the ducks but also bring them back to me repeatedly. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

  • #2
    Is the dog going out to the birds and ignoring them or just refusing to move? In either instance, Force Fetch would fix it. If you do it yourself be sure to follow a guide and err on the side of too little pressure until you’re sure of what your dog can take. I tried it with my Boykin and screwed it up and added too much pressure to him and he shut down, so I just trained him with a “natural retrieve” turning the whole thing into a game. He doesn’t have the style of a dog that was force fetched, but he gets ducks and brings them too me and for me that’s good enough.

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    • #3
      What breed of dog is it? If it is not a Labrador Retriever or similar breed, it may just not like the cold water.

      If it IS a Lab it may not be accustomed to retrieving in the water. For that I suggest spending lots of time with it in the Summer when water is fun. Get in the water with it and have fun swimming to train it strong swimming skills. Do lots of retrieving so it knows you want the stick or decoy on every retrieve. Most retrievers do this by instinct so if yours isn't a retriever breed you may never get what you desire.

      If the temperature is colder than about 10 below zero, even many Labs are reluctant to go in the water because their fur freezes instantly upon exit from the water and makes them heavy. Don't ever force your dog into the water in extreme cold as they can freeze over like a block of ice.

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