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I own a 17 month old Chesapeake Bay Retriever. She upland hunted for me last year at 5 months with an older dog and she really did a great job for a young pup. This summer I spent alot of time working with her and we hit the fields flying in September. In early October she came down with Cellulitis(Puppy Strangles) and was pretty sick for about six weeks. In mid November my vet thought she was well enough to start hunting again but suggested starting out slowly. Since mid November we have hunted two to three times a week and while she still has a great nose and can find the birds, her overall desire, level of excitement or "birdieness" is really lacking and when I push or encourage her a little she becomes even more reserved and has even frozen in the field. If I don't encourage her, she will cover ground thoroughly but at a snails pace. Prior to getting sick, this dog was a real field machine and was very keen on finding, flushing and retrieving birds. Any suggestions on how to increase her desire to hunt or birdiness would be much appreciated. I know it is not her health by the way she chases and retrieves training dummys and balls around the house. Thanks, Dave
 

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I would send her after some clipped wing birds.

Strat off with pigeons and work up to some hardier birds.

tom
 

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Yea I would agree, let her find it on her own in the field, bump and chase, catch if she wants. If she catches just praise her for the retrieve, if she was here, I would do a bird today then skip a day or two, then a bird. Dogs will read off your tone, and your body language, it is just a nother day in hollywood, smile with her and there is no other place you'd rather be, don't rush don't hurry, just get her in the bird area, and let her work. Thanks Jonesy
 

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Blunder probably has forgotten more about dogs and dog training than I'll ever know, and Tailcrackin supports his advice, so I certainly won't counter it. What they suggest can't hurt and may well help.

I still wonder, though, if your pup has completely recovered or is suffering a degree of fatigue that wouldn't be as apparent playing/retrieving at home. It may be that she just doesn't have the horsepower right now to go full tilt. What has your vet said? It may be that a few more months may show you a great change in her stamina and drive.

Good luck and keep us informed.
 
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