Imagine that you own a fantastic English Springer Spaniel. He is your spunky sidekick who goes everywhere with you. He was also your loyal pheasant hunting buddy, but you have recently moved and longer go hunt pheasant. A new friend recently introduced you to duck hunting! You decide that your spunky Spaniel could do the job of retrieving ducks just as well. After months of hard work, you join your friend and his retrievers on your first hunt of the season, and to your delight, your Spaniel keeps up with the big dogs and looks absolutely stunning and proud of himself while he does it.
With their propensity for birds, their energy, intelligence, willingness to please, and desire to work, Spaniels make great hunting dogs. Their small size means that they take up less room than bigger dogs and eat less food every month. Although they are traditionally used as upland flushing dogs, many springer spaniels also do well retrieving birds such as ducks. Your energetic Springer is undeniably eager and up for the challenge.
Training a dog to retrieve ducks involves more than just bringing you a bird if you want him to accompany you. Your pup must be responsive to your commands, comfortable in the water, confident around gunfire, able to remember where a bird has fallen, and able to retrieve a bird. It will take time to teach your pooch all of this.
When choosing a check cord, choose something that can slide through the grass easily without getting caught. The basic difference between a long leash and a check cord is that check cords are designed to be worn as drag leashes and therefore do not contain handles on the end and are typically woven or made out of fabric that can slide easily along the ground. You can also purchase check cords that are made out of polyurethane and will float, but be careful while using any type of confinement in the water. You have to be vigilant not to let the rope get caught on anything and potentially drown you or your dog.
I have been and got a duck and started with the birdy method above, molly has loads of energy and loves chasing birds around at the local park. she will retrieve a tennis ball at home in my yard but not in wide open spaces as there are better things for her to do (run).
long story short she will reluctantly go pick up the duck wing then drop it and run to her kennel as if she was in trouble. I found a narrow piece behind my garage so she had no option but to retrieve it to me, this was successful and I gave her lots of praise and as soon as I stopped patting her she took off back to her kennel. im not sure whats bought this on but I was after some advice to sort this before is becomes a bigger problem, any advice would be greatly appreciated
Hello Daniel, Is the wing still frozen while she is returning it? If so, it may be uncomfortable in her mouth, and need to be thawed better first. You may want to freeze the wing and put it away for a while, then work on just building up her drive using bumpers, lots of energy from you during retrievals, less formal training for a bit while building motivation, and possibly a feathered flirt poll - just to encourage chasing something with feathers on it - don't let her start tugging on it though. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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