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At first, Mocha did not want to retrieve it. She was used to canvas and rubber bumpers. But she finally caught on. Its held up longer than anything else. I injected it with duck scent to get her interested.

 

She finds the weak spots on the rubber bumpers, the ones with the nubs (for lack of a better word) and chews the ends completely off. I had not payed that much attention to one bumper, threw it out in the water for her and I watched it sink. I was a little pissed because her hard mouth is something we've worked on. So I let her look for it for a while before I gave her the "No bird" signal. I doubt that that really taught her anything.

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I have some of these and they work great, smaller ones for pups are a little better for their small mouths. You can also tie-wrap wing clips from ducks, geese or pheasanst on your canvass dummies to give them scent and the feel of feathers in their mouths.

 

Another little tip is to keep your dummies in a feather bag, take your wing clips or breast feathers from ducks or geese and put them in a burlap sack and add your dummies and even tennis balls to the mix to help scent them. You will really need that scent once you start blind retrieves. I do the same for my dummies that I propel with a dummy launcher.

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Yeah, I know Sdk, but it was $22.99 for the little one, and $24.99 for one 3 times as big, plus he is growing so fast that he'll be plenty big in a month. Nice article though.

 

I've got one question though, how does a dog go from retrieving like a champ, to being scared of retrieving in a few days? He was doing great for a few weeks, then he started getting worse, keep away, wouldn't leave it, wouldn't bring it back and just chew on it. And now, he will run in the other direction when I throw a dummy, what happened? The only thing he will go for is a smelly goose wing, but he won't bring it back. He will not retrieve at all with a check cord on either, if there is something on his collar, he won't do anykind of retrieving. Its been frustrating.

 

Someone told me I might be pressuring him to much, but I work on basic obedience 5 minutes in the morning, 5 minutes at night, (he is doing great at that by the way) but I don't get it. And how do I put scent in the dummy? I've got a bottle of duck scent, do I just inject it with a needle?

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Yes, you just inject it with a needle.

 

As for his regression - he's a baby, dude. He wants to play and have fun, not go to school. Were it me, I wouldn't expect a whole lot out of him, but the time you do spend with him I would try to ensure that you are having fun with him and that it's a positive experience for him or you could instill some fears into him.

 

I am "no" sort of expert though, so take what I say with a grain of salt.

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Another little tip is to keep your dummies in a feather bag, take your wing clips or breast feathers from ducks or geese and put them in a burlap sack and add your dummies and even tennis balls to the mix to help scent them.

 

Great idea.

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I no expert either but sdkidaho is right about having fun. Don't push him so hard. I'd not do any retreives for 2 weeks and see if that didn't help. That's what a trainer told me when my puppy started keep away. Also when you do retreive throw the bumper where the pup has to come back by you. Everything I have read said absolutely no more the 3 retrieves per session so great desire to retreive is built. Just have fun and bond with him now. There will be plenty of time later for serious work. Just my 2 cents for what it's worth.

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I know not to push him, I've been trying to keep it fun. I think I figured out the reason why he is scared of retrieving. While he was playing keep away, I threw a bumper towards him so he would drop the other one, it hit him and made him whine. Thats when he stopped the retrieving. I'm really hoping I didn't instill fear of the bumper, but it is anything I throw now, tennis balls, bumpers, wings. He will look at it, then run in the other direction.

 

What exactly is playing with a hunting dog? I'm not supposed to play tug-of war with any toys, he isn't allowed to bite me which he does when we play around on the ground, I'm not sure exactly what playing is. This is my first hunting dog, so I don't know a whole lot. Playing with my other dogs is fetch, tug-of-war, stuff like that, so I'm not sure what to do. I take him to the river a lot and let him run around, he plays a lot with the other dogs, he's doing great in obedience too.

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You pose a very good question about what is playing with a hunting dog. You are correct in biting and tug-of-war are not allowed. To me just time spent with him to bond is mostly what I did. It's great that you take him out running and if you have a place swimming is a lot of fun for dogs. I try and let mine run several times a week and just rip and romp. Then like today I was short on time so it was serious work time for about 20 minutes plus a couple of fun bumpers at the end of the training session. I wouldn't think you hurt his retreiving permanetely when you accidently hit him with the bumper. I hit Rascal hard the very first time I ever threw the Doniker and it didn't bother him after a few minutes. If it were me I would forget about retrieving for a while and work on his obedience. I glad he is doing so well with it. When he does start retrieving again really praise him and build up his confidence. He will be fine.

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I really hope so, and I will stop trying for 2 weeks, I would hate if I caused a problem. I spend just about every hour of the day with him, and he sleeps on my bed too. Sometimes I'll have to go somewhere without him so I leave him in his kennel for 1-3 hours, but that is the only time I'm not with him. He comes to work with me, town, home, all that good stuff. He still isn't taking to water to well. He doesn't like to get more then his feet wet. But when we go to the reservoir this summer, he'll probably have fun swimming with me. I'm not going to push him though.

 

Thanks for the help guys.

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If you have another dog that likes the water take them together and he will follow it in. If not find somewhere you can wade out a few feet and coax him in. He will get use to it. It does not hurt to leave them in a crate for 2 or 3 hours or more as long as it is inside. It sounds like you are doing everything you need to be doing. Keep it up and he should be fine.

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Kind of on the line with what laidback is saying you might just want to stick with the disipline training and make the retrieving part secondary, my lab didnt retrieve worth a dam for months before it started to take very slowly. You will see the results your looking for come in baby steps and at times you think he has somthing mastered and later you see he doesnt - all part of the process.

 

Playing can be just time together, taking a walk and letting him do what he wants to do within reason, even throwing tennis balls or sticks around. Basic disipline is a must before anything else works. Sorry if this seems a little chopped up, it has been a few year since I worked with a puppy.

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Well, he's back to retrieving. He was really exited the other day, wanted to do something. So I took the tennis ball he was playing with and threw it, he was on it like a hawk. He loved it. I'm only doing 3-4 retrieves with it, making it fun for him. I'm not making him come to me, or making him leave it. When he drops it near me I just pick it up and throw it again. I haven't tried the dokken duck or the bumper. I'll stick with the tennis balls for now.

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