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I have a lab about 2 years old. He will play fetch all day long and retrieve dummy's no problem. I have even put a goose wing on the dummy and he has no problem with that. But in the Field he will not pick up birds. He marks them great but when he gets there he will smell and bite a little but not pickup. How do i break this problem? A little more info we have free range chicks and hes be thought to leave them alone is this my problem?
 

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You need to force fetch train him. It is probably not something you will be able to do yourself, unless you do a LOT of research and are a good trainer. Take him to a professional if retrieving to hand is important to you.
 

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I think you've got it with the free range chicks. Free range chicks and hunting dogs don't mix.

Before you get into forcing him, try making birds fun for him. Get a fre
shly killed pigeon, quail, etc., excite him with it by teasing him and waving it around him and trow it short distances. Try even putting the bird on a line so when the dog runs for it, you can twitch it a little. If all that fails, you'll have to force him.

I'd also keep him in a kennel or the house so you aren't yelling at him over the chickens.
 

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Have you followed a program and fully trained your dog, other than FF/CC? If not, might as well pick a program and start from the beginning. It's less than useless to train jumping from one random task to another.

FF/CC is critical A. if you expect your dog to rertieve on command, B., as a tool to correct if (not when) it refuses, and C., so you have a tool to maintain control when the dog is away from your side.

Until your dog is FF, it views retrieving as a fun game to be done when, how, and if it feels like doing it, not a task to be done quickly & sharply upon yoiur command...
 
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