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FF: training with an e-collar? II

I have a hunting lab that is very birdy and loves to hunt. I have just started in hunt test with him he past his first two started stakes and don't feal it will be a problem passing his next two. To get his started title. After that we will be stepping up to the next class in which the dog must deliver to hand. I have force trained him myself and have accomplished this pretty well he delivers to hand on upland test's and on water test but if he has to cover over 10 to 15 feet of land before he gets to me he will drop to shake when he starts to do this I give the HOLD! command but he drops it any ways.Then picks it up and finishes the task. He knows he is doing wrong but it is easy to get away with it when I am a few steps away. I do use the E-coller on him in training sessions and very seldom have to use it should I give him a zap when he drops it being that he knows it is wrong or is there something else I should try. Thank you for your help. JOSH

Sounds like you have a nice pup there. I do not know how far you went with the force fetch or what method you used, and how old your dog is knowing the answers to these questions might cause my answer to be somewhat different. Based on the information you have given me I will answer your question.

Do not use the collar to make the dog pick up a dropped bird. With the e collar timing is critical and if you use it when the dog has dropped the bird and you dog has not been conditioned to this and does not understand, you can have Terrible results. The dog may think the bird did it to him and be afraid of birds. I would go back to force fetch with the dog, spending a lot of time doing water retrieves with him. Starting at the water edge and encouraging the dog to hold as he leaves the water. If he drops the bird I would re-enforce the force fetch with the method you used to force fetch him.. I would continue to back up on land, having a thrower tossing the bird. Each time he dropped it I would go out to the dog and re-enforce his hold. I would do a lot of training without the e collar. This will let the dog know that he has to pick up and hold the bird all the way in weather he is wearing a collar or not. It does not take a dog long to become test wise, knowing he can drop a bird and there is nothing you can do about it.

Kim Moses
Hunters Marsh Kennels

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