Dog won't range outThe problem i have is this. i have a black lab 2.5 years old.. hes a great retreaver, and has a good nose, but the problems is when flushing he doenst go very far away from me. and mostly wants to follow me. thru the field. I have not pushed the heal command, but he never leaves my side any further than 25 ft. and that takes some prompting.. I have had some success after much prompting to "get the birdy" in that he has found birds and flushed them. but for some reason he will not leave my side. and when he does only a limited distance and then back to my side.. Please help I need some techniques to train him to hunt and flush in the field.. tips on correcting this behavior of staying by my side, and things to avoid doing that may be creating this behavior.. please help It is tough to say if the behavior you describe is the result of training or breeding.
Some dogs will hang around their handlers because they are afraid to make a mistake. Others are naturally inclined to this behavior, still others are simply lazy or out of shape.
Make sure your dog is in good physical condition first, then try training the dog with some planted pigeons or quail. Pigeons are good for this work as they are relatively easy to buy or trap.
Take the bird and tuck it's head under a wing and gently pull back on it's legs until you feel it relax. Hide a few of these sleeping pigeons in a field of tall grass and then walk you dog out into the field. If the dog smells the bird, he will investigate and either catch the sleeping bird, or the bird will awaken and fly off. In either case the dog will start to learn that if she searches she will find a bird to flush or catch.
This may help awaken her interest in flushing. Be aware that if the dog is genetically predisposed to hanging around with you, this training will be of little benefit.
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