Dog won't flushI have a 21/2 year old golden who refuses to flush game birds. She picks up the scent and returns to my side. She retrieves very well and chases down game birds and retrieves to hand. When she was a little over one year old a trainer shot a quail over her head and she shut down. I found a trainer who took her for 12 weeks and she came home flushing (with an occasional blink) retrieving as well as I would ever expect. I hunted a game farm all winter with her and I was pleased with her performance.
This fall we returned to the game farm and she wouldn't leave my side. I kicked a few birds up and she chased them down and retrieved beautifully. If I planted a few bumpers with pheasant wings attached, Sadie will quarter into them really well. if she kicked a pheasant up by accident and I shot it she would find and chase the bird and deliver to hand.
She's a wonderful dog and worth any effort it will take to solve this problem.
I would give this dog a lot of clip wing pigeons. One thing I can't help but ask. Did you teach this dog to heel at a early age? In some cases I have seen dogs that the owners say they are shutting down. But really the dog may not be having luck finding birds or the dog is tired, then the dog goes to heel. In both cases try tossing in clip wing pigeons just in front of the dog. First when she is looking then when she isn't. She needs to have more success in catching birds to make her want to dig them out.
Have two helpers give you a hand. Have each one of them take a pocket full of birds. Start her quartering into the wind and between the helpers. the helpers can shake the birds and make noise to get her to quarter proper. Then have one toss a bird in front of her. Take it and praise her. Start her out again and have the other side toss one in. If she likes birds at all this should jump start her into flushing again. let us know how it goes.
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