View Full Version : Retrieves bumpers but not birds?

Gander Bander
07-30-2003, 02:56 PM
I have an 8 year old Chessie that has been professionally trained.
She started her training at 8 months. As a result I ended up with an excellant duck dog...but starting at age six she started to not want to retrieve duck or geese during hunting season. She used to do great. She would mark birds well, waited till I sent her, honored other dogs retrieves and delivered to hand. Presently she retrieves bumpers with no hesitations although in the marsh she now lazily marks and when I send her out to retrieve birds, she goes out to them only to sniff the bird and then proceeds to ignore them begins sniffing around and exploring the immediate marsh. Only with great encouragement will she fetch the bird.
Now to be fair to her I have to admit that for the last couple of years our trianing sessions have all but ceased. My bad!:ST:
Can any of you guys that train professionally or that may be avid amateurs lend any advice! As I am pretty frustrated! :CL:

07-31-2003, 07:30 AM
At what age/ages was she professionally trained? If it was recently, I'd send her right back to that trainer with a few choice words, and of course no more money.

Has the dog been force fetched? I think that would have solved the problem before it started, but if she has been force fetched, then I'd say take her through a refresher course.

From what I've heard, this needs to be handled a little differently with chessies, because of the different temperment, but I've never owned a chessie.

You may want to take her back to a trainer to put her back through force fetch. Preferably one that has experience with chessies. If you don't want to go that route, I'd at least see if you can get a pro to walk you through doing it yourself.

Woods and Water
07-31-2003, 07:46 AM
I have owned both labs and chessies and have never ran across this situation....I would have thought the dog had been trained when it was young becouse you said she was doing fine.You say your training has almost ceased but do you hunt often?I agree with above was she FF?Maybe after these things are ansewered some of us here can help..

Gander Bander
07-31-2003, 12:15 PM
Thanks W&W and chcltlabz

She was trained at the age of 8 months.
Yes, the technique of force fetch was used.
She hunts about 15-20 times a season.
She was very stubborn during her initial training.
It's like the dog has lost the desire to retrieve birds.
Now anything artificial is another story.
Oh, here's the weird thing,
When we get home and I get the birds out to clean
she'll nipp a them and tug on birds being carried and
if I toss birds at home she is all over 'em. Sounds to
me like a refresher coarse in force fetch could be the


07-31-2003, 12:25 PM
That's what I'd do, but spend a lot of time force fetching with actual birds. I would start off with bumpers, but you can probably move to birds pretty quickly.

I'd also spend a lot of time on force to pile, especially with birds.

An e-collar might be helpful for force to pile so the dog doesn't get used to being able to ignore commands when you aren't within reach of her.

Good luck

07-31-2003, 01:27 PM
you have it right a refresher course on force fetching is what is needed. just get back into the mode that you are going out and working with her and keep it up and she will be fine. :Rich:

Woods and Water
07-31-2003, 07:47 PM
Well I would agree with the reintroduction to the FF training,if she was trained ealrier in her life this should not take to long but if she has devolped an attitude just be consistant and shell come around.It sounds like she may just be trying you and seeing what she can get away with...miss independent...hehehe!!

Good Luck!!!!

08-01-2003, 04:24 PM
Lets do this a little different. Get some barn pigeons ands start shooting live flyers for her, a lot of live flyers. I would even let her obedience go for a little bit. Get the prey drive and retriever instinct to kick into high gear. Then when you have her higher than a kite on live birds start to demand the perfect obedience and the immediate pickups and delivery to hand. You may have to revisit force fetch which there is nothing wrong with, a lot of retrievers need tuning up in this department every now and then. Let us know how the training is going!

Gander Bander
08-04-2003, 11:58 AM
Thanks to all of you for the suggestions!!

Gordon - :TT:

08-04-2003, 12:16 PM
I would follow shootem's advice and get more live fliers on her, and maybe a refresher on ff, getting into a training schedule every week just might snap her out of it, chessies have a very good memory I am sure she didn't forget the ff sesions, I think the answer to your question was in your first post to be fair to her I have to admit that for the last couple of years our trianing sessions have all but ceased. My bad Try and get out at least 2-3 times a week and at least do a little training, I would rethink the choice words to the trainer like chckltlabz suggested, few years layoff on training tends to get them a little lazy, good luck

Woods and Water
08-04-2003, 01:33 PM
Keep us posted on her progress......good luck!!