question about dog picking up live birds


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By chad80 - 8/12/2013 12:23:36 PM
i have a female blk lab she has been through ob ff running singles  and short blinds with hand signals but my question is this. i took her to our first hunt test sunday and they launched the bird she front footed  right to it but when she got there she just smelled it and came back. She did this twice. i have worked with her on frozen birds before and she had no problem. The only thing i can think would be diffrent is they kill the bird that morning so they are fresh. i dont know where to go from here any help would be great thanks
By ducker - 8/12/2013 3:55:25 PM
Most hosting clubs sell off many of their dead and live birds after the hunt tests are over.

Next test, look into buying some freshly killed birds, or live birds and ring their necks, and throw them for your dog.

Don't try to force her to hold it. Instead, get her excited about it then toss it a short distance. Once she picks it up, give her the "hold" command and try to get her to deliver to hand.

After a few successful tosses lay it on the ground and command "fetch". She should pick it up.
By Swamper - 8/12/2013 7:51:18 PM
Going through force fetch without live or freshly birds?  Did you do the ff?  I would go back to ff and work it with real birds.   The advice given above is also a good practice. 
By Mark B - 8/12/2013 9:44:23 PM
Both suggestions are good. Because you stated no issues with frozen birds, I would try ducker's suggestion first hoping to kick in the dogs natural prey drive. I'd be shocked if that didn't work since thawed birds were not an issue. If it didn't work but not knowing your FF  process you used, FF is your next option, unless someone jumps in with other thoughts.  

I had an issue once with Sunday water series at a hunt test. The birds are sometimes in tough shape after two days being water logged and pretty ugly especially if its been hot out. The dogs exit the water and spit the bird out - and i don't blame them but ..... I had to thaw some birds and waterlogged them keeping them around until you had to stand up wind or gag. I then set up water marks or blinds enforcing the retrieve and hold. At a hunt test I still hold my breadth until that bird is in my hands on the water retrieve if the birds are getting soggy and rank. My point is if your training for hunt tests, try and anticipate about whatever you might run into and train for it. I've seen dogs "blink" a live shot flyer finding later that 1/2 the bird was shot away. 

Good luck. 
By chad80 - 8/13/2013 7:37:01 AM
thanks for all the help guys i really appreciate it
By Swamper - 8/13/2013 9:34:45 PM
Mark B (8/12/2013)
Both suggestions are good. Because you stated no issues with frozen birds, I would try ducker's suggestion first hoping to kick in the dogs natural prey drive. I'd be shocked if that didn't work since thawed birds were not an issue. If it didn't work but not knowing your FF  process you used, FF is your next option, unless someone jumps in with other thoughts.  

I had an issue once with Sunday water series at a hunt test. The birds are sometimes in tough shape after two days being water logged and pretty ugly especially if its been hot out. The dogs exit the water and spit the bird out - and i don't blame them but ..... I had to thaw some birds and waterlogged them keeping them around until you had to stand up wind or gag. I then set up water marks or blinds enforcing the retrieve and hold. At a hunt test I still hold my breadth until that bird is in my hands on the water retrieve if the birds are getting soggy and rank. My point is if your training for hunt tests, try and anticipate about whatever you might run into and train for it. I've seen dogs "blink" a live shot flyer finding later that 1/2 the bird was shot away. 

Good luck. 
Mark.       You must have been at 3 rivers last month.   I was helping to fling birds for the juniors on Sunday and nearly Ralphed on a few of them.   Sage couldn't spit those rank waterlogged  corpse quick enough when he hit dry land. 


By Mark B - 8/14/2013 3:18:46 AM
Mark.       You must have been at 3 rivers last month.   I was helping to fling birds for the juniors on Sunday and nearly Ralphed on a few of them.   Sage couldn't spit those rank waterlogged  corpse quick enough when he hit dry land. 


Swamper, I was down at senior. With over 50 dogs we were still going at 7 on saturday and sunday was a long day. My issue with my girls came back when I ran junior too. I passed back then but it was nerve wracking as I was politely trying to convince my dog to pick the bird back up. My next go around I made sure my ff training included birds and soggy ones for water marks. So far, while I have had other challenges to work on getting thru senior, both girls seem to have the message to hold and deliver to hand. 

I worked a station after i ran and my biggest fear was that i would get low on birds and the flies would zone in on me!!!! 
By ducker - 8/14/2013 6:14:24 PM
Sounds like the FLRC is in good hands.

Guys like you two are the backbone of great clubs.
By Swamper - 8/14/2013 8:23:40 PM
Mark B (8/14/2013)
Mark.       You must have been at 3 rivers last month.   I was helping to fling birds for the juniors on Sunday and nearly Ralphed on a few of them.   Sage couldn't spit those rank waterlogged  corpse quick enough when he hit dry land. 


Swamper, I was down at senior. With over 50 dogs we were still going at 7 on saturday and sunday was a long day. My issue with my girls came back when I ran junior too. I passed back then but it was nerve wracking as I was politely trying to convince my dog to pick the bird back up. My next go around I made sure my ff training included birds and soggy ones for water marks. So far, while I have had other challenges to work on getting thru senior, both girls seem to have the message to hold and deliver to hand. 

I worked a station after i ran and my biggest fear was that i would get low on birds and the flies would zone in on me!!!! 
Sage got a pass also but I had to beg just a little to pick up that final afternoon bird and hand it to me.  We are going for our title leg at the September test at 3 rivers. I'll be whacking the live birds in the AM for fellow junior dogs. Great way to get in a little warm up duck shooting!  :)
By Mark B - 8/14/2013 9:15:05 PM
Good luck. Ill be down at senior hopefully getting my final passes. 

Ducker, sent you pm. 
By Swamper - 8/15/2013 5:16:51 PM
Good luck to you also.  Maybe we'll get a chance to meet at the ribbon ceremony.