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Old 10-07-2015, 04:20 PM   #1
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Default Getting dog to pick up geese





On Saturday We shot the first geese over my 1.75 yr old lab. After retrieving teal all morning She ran to the first goose and stared at it. I went up to her and with a little convincing she finally grabbed it by the wing . There were 4 geese dropped at once in close proximity in ankle high water so maybe she was a little confused . She is great on ducks and I was excited to finally drop a goose for her. Has anyone experienced this and have any tips on getting her to pick up geese ?
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Old 10-07-2015, 04:41 PM   #2
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Default Re: Getting dog to pick up geese





Try having her retrieve one while swimming since they are basically pulling a floating object. You can call DNR in Des Moines and order a band, put the band on the goose, and then you can legally train with it. When done, hang it with a fan on it to dry and throw in freezer. Should get a few uses out of it. They will be able to explain the laws, pretty sure it will count as bird in possession until disposed of. This way you can teach retrieving a goose in a more controlled environment.
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Old 10-08-2015, 12:11 AM   #3
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Default Re: Getting dog to pick up geese

Buy the goose dummy for training.. Just gotta get them use to the extra weight..
https://www.everythingsheddog.com/de...ucts-g100.html

Last edited by Team 1hd; 10-08-2015 at 12:45 AM.
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Old 10-08-2015, 08:02 AM   #4
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Default Re: Getting dog to pick up geese

Force fetch! Or "trained retrieve."

Just "force" her to hold the goose. I've seen some dogs balk at picking up a goose too just because it's such a large bird.

If she picked it up by the wing, you've got no issues ahead of you. She just has to figure out the best way for her to pick them up, which for a lot of dogs tends to be by the wing/shoulder/neck area. Like I said, you can help her out by getting the bird into her mouth so she can "see" how to do it!

Good luck!!
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Old 10-08-2015, 12:59 PM   #5
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Default Re: Getting dog to pick up geese

My lab had the same problem. Started out dragging them thru the water but eventually found ways to do it better. It just takes time and patience and lots of retrieves. Good luck.
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Old 10-08-2015, 03:11 PM   #6
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Default Re: Getting dog to pick up geese

Ive got a large black male that doesn't have problems with geese but my neighbor hunts with 2 small females and in the offseason he uses the Dokken Goose dummy and starts taking lead strap weights and duck taping them to the dummy as the dog gets used to the weight to condition her for picking up heavy birds. Not the fanciest or most complicated technique but it works incredibly well.
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Old 10-08-2015, 03:17 PM   #7
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Default Re: Getting dog to pick up geese

My lab only goes around 57 lbs she did drag her first goose up the bank backwards we played fetch with JR.High footballs so she learned to open her mouth more and we went to Dokkens goose decoys as well not a issue anymore.
Best of luck and it just takes a little extra time
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Old 10-08-2015, 03:41 PM   #8
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Default Re: Getting dog to pick up geese

Also keep praising them for picking up the bird. My pup at 6 months would go sit next to a Canada. Then took him out for spring Snows and he learned that the geese were no big issue. After that he started picking up Canadas.
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Old 10-08-2015, 06:14 PM   #9
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Default Re: Getting dog to pick up geese

Like Dean said I believe it a size thing and not so much a weight issue.
Water hunts are good way to introduce geese to a dog, although I rarely get the chance to hunt geese over water anymore .
My present dog is on the smaller side and probably a little on the softer side. Yet she gets it done. On a group hunt if multiple birds are down ,I let her get the first couple and then have the boys help her .
Good luck , it's a great feeling when you get to watch what all the work was for.
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Old 10-08-2015, 09:19 PM   #10
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Default Re: Getting dog to pick up geese

A few years ago my lab picked up a goose with a little life left in him! It's toe nail went between her lip and teeth, took about 30 stitches and a crazy ass vet bill to repair her. She would freak out when the geese on our pond would honk at her. Last year I finally got here to retrieve one, it wasn't pretty by no means. A little over a month ago I decided to put her back on the bench and started force fetch all over. Best thing I could have done! I put a lot more emphasis on the goose.

A huge thanks to the guys from EIHRA for all the advise!
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Old 10-09-2015, 10:57 AM   #11
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Default Re: Getting dog to pick up geese

Quote:
Originally Posted by mharrington View Post
Try having her retrieve one while swimming since they are basically pulling a floating object. You can call DNR in Des Moines and order a band, put the band on the goose, and then you can legally train with it. When done, hang it with a fan on it to dry and throw in freezer. Should get a few uses out of it. They will be able to explain the laws, pretty sure it will count as bird in possession until disposed of. This way you can teach retrieving a goose in a more controlled environment.
Do as above. The goose dummy doesn't get them used the the wings and feathers etc. I have a goose and some snow geese in my freezer I use on a regular bases. May have to do force fetch with it once or twice to enforce the retrieve.

After I used the goose in my freezer a few times my lab doesn't hesitate to grab a goose now. He only drags the really big ones a little once and awhile.

Build those neck muscles!!
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Old 10-09-2015, 11:09 AM   #12
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Default Re: Getting dog to pick up geese

Not every dog is the same in hunting drive, best way to fire them up as pups and to make them real birdey dogs is to use live birds when training them!.My BLACK lab was retrieving geese and ducks at 6 months old big NORTHERN geese not little ones, but in the end dogs will be dogs.
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