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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

Quick hunting question for you all. I never had the chance to train my now 3 yr old female V for bird hunting- I'm more into big game, and there are not really the opportunities for birds in my area.
Long story short, I am now getting into duck hunting. The other day I knocked down my first duck. Ruger pointed it on the way down, ran for it and found it in seconds, but would not pick it up to retrieve (in her defense, it had a bit of life left in it). She was somewhat interested in the duck, but not over the moon.
The next day I got a much smaller duck- same thing, she found it in seconds, but would not pick it up to retrieve.
She retrieves all other things (toys, etc) no problem, but she's not fond of the real thing.

Any hints on how I can get her more interested in retrieving real game? Is she too old to train now?

On the plus side she has no fear of the gun at all.

Thanks all
 

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Hey Ruger ... I don't think Ruger is too old to teach how to point. A friend of mine has a GLHP and it was giving trouble retrieving after 3 years ... so he sent it to someone to teach it how to point - problem solved. I actually took my V to this same lady at 9 months and she gun broke him, got him e-collar trained, pointing (well sort of) and retrieving (well sort of). I'm in a similar boat as you. I want my V to retrieve birds w/o wanting to play with them. I am taking him to another trainer to work on the pointing and I'm working with him on the retrieving - bought a bird docoy/dummy this weekend - teaching him how to carry it properly.

I will keep you in the loop with any progress I make.

G
 

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Discussion Starter #3
right on- thank you Tree.

if you can tell me what types of techniques your trainer used, it would be totally appreciated. I tried the trainer birds when Ruger was a puppy, but more just to play fetch. The pointing thing is not so much of a deal with me, as I rarely go after upland birds with her.

Can I ask what type of bird you are after

Thanks a ton for any help!
 

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Hey Ruger,

up here (Ontario, Canada) - Rio has been on pigeon, chukar, and pheasant ... no grouse yet.

fortunately, he has 1 season under his belt and has been introduced to birds, so mouthing a bird (trainer) softly isn't an issue ... just need to correct him once he realizes we aren't playing catch.

my technique is pretty basic. I put him on a 30 ft leash and have him heal beside me. Then I throw the trainer about 10-15 feet and have him retrieve it on command. I will graduate to doing it on the e-collar once he has the hang of things. I will spend 10-15 minutes a day on this (not too intensive). In sum, the behaviours I'm working on individually are, heal (with a sit), stay, fetch, and leave it - while maintaining focus and eye contact. Our next step will be taking it to a field where he needs to use his nose to find the trainer in taller grass. In the meanwhile, I have him working on his nose with pigeons a couple times a month (with a lady who trains dogs for the field).

A few pics from his last session on pigeons.

G
 

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