View Full Version : Is she a worthless cause?

06-17-2003, 12:40 PM
I'd like to hear some opinions on this dog:

I had a guy give me a 2 1/2 year old chocolate lab almost 3 months ago. First of all, I had to build her a special pen because she tore up the chain link one. The guy never trained her. She only knew sit when I got her. Now that I've worked with her I'm not sure if I'm being influenced by my shorthair.

My shorthair is an incredibly awesome dog! Whenever I let her out of her pen she is ALWAYS running looking for birds. The dog never stops thinking about hunting. This choclate (Jill) shows little interest. She will rarely get out in the water and swim on her own. Normally when she does swim she is following the shorthair (Abby) who is an excellent swimmer and will even retrieve ducks.

Jill isn't much on retrieving. She will fetch, but won't always bring to hand. I've started working on force fetch with her, but it is like she is very stubborn and don't want to do what I show her.

I had Jill out the other night and took the shotgun. I had her sit and watch me. I swung on 2 birds flying by and fired. Now these were just chit birds and I wasn't shooting at them, I just wanted to see how she would react. She would only kind of cower and tried walking away. I tried her on a blank gun when I first got her and she paid no attention to it.

I'm not sure if all of this is due to her age and the previous owner not working with her or if she is just stubborn like this. I was going to breed her if she worked out good, but now I'm not sure. I had thought about breeding her and keeping a pup to see how the pup did, but now I'm not even sure if its worth my time.

If it was your dog what would you do?

06-17-2003, 03:32 PM
I would get some help from a pro or a knowledgeable amateur and work with her a little more. DON"T BREED HER!!!!! Not all is lost but you need to start over training her as she was only 6 months old. Taking her out and shooting a shotgun right beside her was a bad idea. She should be slowly introduced to gun fire after she has had all her OB and is retrieving well. Force fetching now may be a poor idea, sort of like putting the cart before the horse. Try and get her OB done pat first and then built up her retrieving desire. If she is doing well and shows promise then start with the force fetching. Remember introduction to gun fire should be a slow drawn out process.

06-18-2003, 08:39 AM
shootem has some great points, I had a yellow lab when I was young that started out just a pet and then I started duck hunting so I decided to train it, and she turned out to be a good hunter, but I didn't break her in properly to the gun fire and opening day with 4 guns going off in a blind was enough to make here semi gun shy, that is a shame when you get a good lab and she is gun shy, one thing that works for me is beeting pots and pan's from a little distance while they are doing something they enjoy, like eating scraps or just eating in general, and if you decide you don't want to hunt her, it is still always good to have a OB trained dog, you might even look into some OB schools,

but I also agree I wouldn't breed, but I don't know much about this dog either.

Good luck were there is a will there is a way.:Art:

06-18-2003, 02:41 PM
This was not her first introduction to gunfire. The previous owner had introduced her to gunfire and I have fired a blank gun around her numerous times (from at a distance to right next to her) and she showed no adverse affects to the gunfire. When I was shooting the shotgun she wasn't directly next to me, she was about 10 feet away as I stepped to the side so she would not be right next to me.

As far as being OB trained, maybe I was a little harsh by saying she only knows sit. She will sit, stay, come, whoa and will heel 50% of the time. Like I said, she will retrieve, but won't retrieve to hand and will either drop the object sometimes before she gets to me or can be easily distracted and drop the object and go do something else.

I've never had to train a dog to retrieve. Every dog I've ever seen or hunted with have almost all retrieved naturally. My shorthair was started on force fetch early (can't remember exact age) and had not even had a bird shot for her yet. Force fetch was completed in less than 2 weeks and if I point at something and tell her to fetch now she will pick it up. She will now retrieve ducks, but won't retrieve geese. Not sure why, but I would guess she is intimidated by their size as she is no more than 40 pounds.

How do you "teach" a retriever to retrieve? Sounds kind of like a common sense thing. If it is a pure bred retriever that is worth anything then they should retrieve naturally and you should only have to work with them on force fetch and the finer points. Just like with a pointing dog...you shouldn't have to teach them to point, they should do that naturally and you should just have to work on holding points and other stuff.

I think I know exactly what to do with this dog. I think that thinking this through on here has helped make up my mind.

Hey Casey, you know of anyone with some GOOD pups for sale???? :Rich: