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A:

The first desire for any keen hunting dog is to find live game and in the wild it would be to satisfy hunger.

Obviously, with domestication and training that inherent wish is controlled.

However, the desire to eat is also the reason why a dog retrieves game to take back to its pack. Not making sure the retrieving instinct was nurtured to the highest degree in training before introducing steadiness to live game is probably why you are now experiencing a problem.

Your bitch must be taught to retrieve any object you wish on command and at present, if she wants to, she can get away with disobedience.

The object in her mouth must be the sole way she can earn praise. Teach her to hold something in her mouth and reward her for it.

Once she is grabbing consistently for one object, then begin the process again with another until you are using cold game and finally fresh.

On no account continue her hunting until the problem has been cured. It may take weeks but it will be worth your patience in the end.

The rest of this article appears in 24 January issue of Shooting Times.

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