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7 month old setter retrieve?

I have a E. Setter pup that is 7 mo. old that I am very excited about. I began working with her on captive quail four weeks ago. Her progress has just been great. She holds a staunch point. I have recently been working with her on wild birds as well as pen raised pheasants at a state preserve. She backs my older dog beautifully, and comes to me when called. Every time I put on my coat on or pick up the car keys she thinks she is going to get to hunt and goes crazy.

I want to teach her to retrieve. I have worked with her on dummies and frozen quail in the yard with a blank pistol. She does fine with that. In the field she just mouths the feathers and goes off to hunt again. I have put together a training table in the Delmar Smith , Jim Dobbs fashion. I have tried to teach hold by placing the gloved finger in her mouth just behind the canine teeth. She is comfortable on the table, but will have nothing to do with the gloved finger or a hardwood dowel. I have been very gentle and conservative. The last thing I want to do is be heavy handed. Can anyone give me advise as to how to get past the initial "hold" step in this process? Any other advise would be appreciated. Thanks.

I would suggest you "lighten up on the force training" for a while. You have an exceptional PUPPY, and it might be good for you to step back and let him/her be THAT for a while. It sounds like this pup will make an outstanding gundog; let him do his thing for a couple of months and you might be surprised, by the time he is 12-14 months old, retrieving comes perfectly natural.

Ted Wigglesworth
Houdini Llewellin Setters

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