The Countryman's Weekly

Gundog Training

Gundog Training
November 30
07:06 2021

Achieving retrieving perfection

By David Mazey.

WHEN I ask people if their dog retrieves nearly everyone replies that they go out and pick-up something thrown out, but whether or not they return it to the handler is another matter. However, a retrieve is not, in fact, a retrieve unless the item has been presented to hand. So, in nearly all cases the answer to my question is no.

Why does a dog go out with purpose, pick-up the dummy or ball but then fail to return it to the handler? Some show no intention of returning, making a fine show of careering all-round the field; some come part-way back and then veer off and circle around the handler; and some come close to the handler only to stand there waiting for a game of chase, or drop the retrieve as if expecting the handler to throw it again.

Whichever it is, this is not, by definition, a retrieve.

There could be many reasons such as in his pack mentality he sees this retrieve as his prey. He may be confused as to why he should bring it back to you, after all it could be his dinner, or even more likely, it belongs to the rest of the pack and in particular the alpha bitch for the puppies.


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