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    A little frustrated

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    Pro Hunter

    Joined: 05 Jan 2007
    Posts: 320
    Location: Denver, CO

    PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2016 8:00 PM    Post subject: A little frustrated Reply with quote

    I have an older lab and she is a beast of a hunter, I can take her any where and she will hunt until she collapses if I let her. She is one bad mofo chasing any upland game. She does well with waterfowl, but I just don't hunt waterfowl all that much, but I love hunting grouse, quail, dove and pheasant.
    She is getting up in age where she will be on a pitch count this year, as she will hunt until she literally can't walk.

    So last year, I decided to get new blood, and I bought a puppy from a breeder in MN with great lineage. I have had her in training for 3 months off and on this past year, getting her ready for pheasant this year. However after hunting dove with her, she doesnt have the drive. She gives up and rests or doesnt want to leave the truck, or stops hunting and walks behind you in the field. And this wasn't even doing the walking we do for pheasant.

    I did knock a few down and she retrieved them, but I just dont get the fire that my other dog has/had. Im chalking it up to age right now, but what can I do to get her going. I have been for the past month, every chance I get taking her into a open CRP field and hiding wings for her to find. I praise her when she brings them back to me. However this last weekend I was out scouting fields, and decided to take her with to see how she does with me walking behind her. She had rookie mistakes, like chasing after a running bird, but after one field that was it, she would go in front of me, but then wanted to run back to the truck. I would call her to me, but then she'd mill around definitely no interest in hunting. and of course the tone of my voice then made her think she was doing something bad. So I just gave up and took her back to the truck.
    Once back to the truck, she was running and jumping all over the place, which made me more mad, as she seemed like she was tired, but wasn't tired enough to go nuts at the truck.

    Maybe she got bored? age? I dunno.. any help or advice? did I get a dud? haha maybe I just needed to vent to fellow hunters that may have had the same experience with their dogs, and give me hope things will get better.

    I do bumper train her almost everyday.
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    Ol Blu
    Pro Hunter

    Joined: 29 Sep 2004
    Posts: 294
    Location: Devil's Backbone

    PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2016 3:33 PM    Post subject: Grain of salt.... Reply with quote

    By no means an expert, but half way to a century and rarely haven't had a lab by my side... So will only speak to experience.

    Dove - had a nice lab when I was a kid who hated to retrieve dove, but was a driver with quail and pheasant. Dove make for a messy retrieve with the feathers coming off easily and it bothers some dogs. Lived in NM at the time, so hundreds - maybe more retrieves of each - he would get dove but clearly never excited about it.

    As to drive - get her out with some experienced driven dogs like your older lab. My current "ol Blu" turned the corner at about 10 months when there was a little competition in the field - both working and retrieving.

    Hope these aren't too sophomoric and help at some level. Good luck and I'm sure she will come around.
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    Pro Hunter

    Joined: 01 Jan 2006
    Posts: 836
    Location: Erie, CO

    PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2016 9:57 PM    Post subject: Reply with quote

    I too am no expert, but I have been working with a trainer all summer and my dog Ruger as made tremendous strides. He has drive just appeared to be lazy at times. As the trainer explained to me: Force Fetching reinforces the "Drive" or "Push" and makes the dog work for you. So when you say fetch, he/she actually knows there is something he/she is supposed to do. After forcing Ruger his drive steadily improved to the point now if a mark drops you can visibly and audibly hear him want to go. Might be something worth looking into.
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    Pro Hunter

    Joined: 05 Jan 2007
    Posts: 320
    Location: Denver, CO

    PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 7:46 PM    Post subject: Reply with quote

    So took her out opening weekend, with my older lab and my brother-in-law's GSP. I had prepared myself to be annoyed by her, and was ready to be ok with leaving her in the truck. To my surprise she rose to the occasion. She had her nose down, was hunting scent trails and never did she tire while walking a field. She hunted through thick stuff like a veteran dog, and although she didn't have a flush and a retrieve she never gave up. All I wanted was her to have the drive to get out and hunt with us. She did that, and I was very pleasantly surprised. She still has a bunch of learning to do, as she is still a pup, but she did great. Thank goodness.

    Ol Blu you were correct, getting her out there with some experienced dogs is what she needed. I cant wait to work her again.

    Thanks guys.
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    Pro Hunter

    Joined: 15 Apr 2013
    Posts: 462
    Location: Larimer County

    PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2016 1:51 AM    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Enjoyed that dialogue and the fact that things are looking up for you and your pup. In the meantime, I'm googling "how to take 'drive' molecules from one dog and pass them on to another." Nothing useful yet. My boy Rocket is the most driven retriever I've ever seen. In his case, it's genetics (KB Kennels in Pierce, Kevin and Barbara). I know how to train a dog, but his drive is so obviously in his blood it's riidiculous, and makes my job a no brainer. All that said, I had a tentative female choc many years ago...very smart, very sweet, and very tentative. She, too, thought the truck was a better place to be than the marsh or the field. When she turned 3 she did a 180. Something clicked and she became a monster good hunting partner. I didn't do a thing. It was all her. She taught me the lesson of patience and persistence as a hopeful trainer/owner. Keep us updated and best of luck!
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    kevin eskam
    Pro Hunter

    Joined: 15 Jul 2010
    Posts: 258
    Location: pierce, Colorado

    PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 1:09 PM    Post subject: Reply with quote

    "Birds make a Bird Dog" is a true statement. the more birds the dog gets on the better they become. They learn from the birds, I go through roughly 2000 chukar and pheasants in a year training for the Bird Dog Curcuit, and it pays off tremendously in the wild bird fields. Except for pointers, wild birds for pointers is beyond the best as they learn not to push or crowd a bird so that it takes flight. Always learning.... Kevin

    JDK and Rocket cheers
    HRCH Satins Jumpin Jedi MH
    HRCH 4x GMPR KBs Snakey Jake of Poudre River MH
    HRCH 4XGMPR KBs Right to the Point IKE SH
    HRCH MPR KBs its Showtime Star JH
    HRCH KBs loaded to go Allie SH
    HRCH 2XGMPR KBs Blazen White Thunder SH
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