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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I would greatly appreciate any help with my problem.

I have a 2 year old chocolate lab in her 2nd season of hunting. She has her junior title and has completed advanced hand signal training. I could not be more pleased with her marking, retrieving, obedience and hand signals.

She is also great around the family and 10 month old. She is very calm and spends most of the day sleeping on our bed. For the most part, we couldn't be happier.

However, I am becoming very frustrated with a MAJOR problem that doesn't seem to be getting better with age. My dog is so "geared up" in live hunting situations that she is incessantly whines with the anticipation of birds. I noticed it on our first dove hunt two years ago, but thought she would grow out of it with time. Unfortunately, this has not been the case. She has been on over 75 hunts and the whining has no gotten any better with time. It is especially annoying when I am duck hunting with a group.

I asked my trainer (Rody Best) what to do and he gave me a few things to try, but all have been unsuccessful. They were as follows:

1) get some energy out of her before the hunt by throwing bumpers, etc.
2) have her close to you so you can put your hand around her muzzle and forcibly tell her "quiet" (which she knows) when she begins whining
3) use the e-collar in a similar way to correct her when she whines combined with the word "quiet".

None of these techniques have been remotely successful and I work on them EVERY hunt. It is getting to the point that I don't want to even take her anymore, even though she is the main reason I duck hunt.

After studying her, I don't think if she knows she is making these sounds… like it is almost a tic. She is just so excited she can't seem to help it. Also, she has never whined during training sessions, so I can't work on it anywhere but live situations.

I am thinking about trying to give her a Benadryl before the next hunt to calm her down. Thoughts?

If anyone has any suggestions, I am willing to listen and try. PLEASE HELP!!!!

Thanks,
 

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My 5 year old black lab does the exact same thing and it has continued to get worse as he gets older....( i think the more he learns the more fired up he gets is why it gets worse)

I know it is annoying but I personally don't mind it too much it just tells me how amped up he is to go....I can sit beside him and tell him "quiet" and it gets somewhat better but as soon as he is released on a retrieve he whines the whole way to pick up the bird...


Just think how fired up you would be if you only got to do the thing you were made to do 10 times a year

Just my opinion but if you find something that works let me know
 

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I hate to be the bearer of bad news but you may not be able to cure this problem if the steps your trainer has given you have not worked. I have a BLM that is 7 years old and he whined alot when I first started hunting him. He is better now (thank God), but when he was younger he whined really bad at the start of a hunt. He only seemed to shut-up after he made a few retrieves and there was not any amount of correction I could give him to quiet down.

Personally, I think whining is a trait some dogs are born with because everybody I know that has a vocal dog in the blind can not cure it very easily, if at all. In fact, 2 of my friends that also had Labs (a BLM and the other a CLF) had issues with their dogs actually barking. They were very good in training, steady, and had no issues with marking/picking up ducks but just barked almost the whole time somebody would call or they would see birds working. It got to the point that it wasn't just annoying, they actually flared ducks. Both dogs got replaced.

Good luck.
 

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Cast & Blaster
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My dog wines a little but its usually from inactivity or she sees some bird and gets upset I'm not blasting it too... the kingfishers give her fits! I always take a bumper into the field to relieve her energy. I also sit right next to her and pet her every few minutes and praise her. She's much more vocal then my 10 month old lab so we'll see after a few more hunts how the little one does compared to her big sis.
 

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I had a chocolate lab that wined like you would not believe. I try everything from beating/e-collar/squeeze his mouth as hard as I could along with a dozen un proven methods that would be frond upon with no success……. The only time he would not wine is when he was retrieving birds. The wining stopped when he ran away at eight years old.

Don't lose your cool a hit them in the snout with bare hand…… IT HURTS
 

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Im guilty of owning a whiner too.... 6 seasons of it.... no stopping in sight....

It bugs me really bad too... but I have also never heard of a "cure" that worked. I only take her when I hunt alone or with a family member that can handle it. My buddies hate it, so I just leave her at home when they come. Sucks, but I ran out of options.

She's a CLF as well.
 

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Electric Chicken
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Benadryl?

Where did you get the idea of benadryl? That sounds like it might work. I've got a four year old black lab that whines all the time. Hell, he whines when he's going out to retrieve a bird. The only time he's truelly quiet is when he has multiple birds to pick up on water. I took him dove hunting this year and he didn't whine at all, but, he got to retrieve my limit and my brothers limit of birds so he was busy the whole time. Please post up the relust of the benadryl test, I'll be in the blind on Saturday and would love for it to get a little more peaceful.
 

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SeeingRed,
Here's something you may want to try.

Take a freshly killed bird, (even better, a shot flyer) and fire off a popper from the field, and a round from your gun, while the mark is thrown. Make your pup sit a 10 count. with another dog at the line.

If she makes a sound, or moves her feet AT ALL. command "SIT" and "NO BIRD". Then let the other dog pick up the bird. DO NOT LET HER PICK IT UP!!!

Now, have the gunner move to another spot, fire a popper, throw the mark. then fire another pop. Same scenario as before. It may take many NO-BIRD marks to get her to understand.

IF SHE MOVES or MAKES A SOUND-NO BIRD!!! IF SHE STAYS STILL AND NO SOUND-Send her.

I hope this helps.
BTW:Rody is a helluva trainer. Her basics should help with this drill.
 
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Mello Yellow
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whining

I used to field trial shorthairs, and while I didn't have any whiners I did have some that were just on fire to go. I found the best way to make them more focused and relaxed was to run them for a while before I began. Not so much that they will be to tired to hunt, just enough to knock a little wind out of them and make them more concious about their energy expenditure. If that doesn't work I find duct tape sticks very well to dog lips.
 

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Squeelers

I've got a chocolate that's got all the tools, does a great job, and she's my wife's "baby". I personally hate chocolates. As with most of them, shes got a flaw, hers is whining or vocalizing, not just in the blind, but anywhere.

Around the lodge we control it with a bark collar, it does the trick and when we remove it she'll do ok for a while but the whining or vocalizing always returns.

For the blind, I have to light her up with the collar on every hunt. A good whack or two on #6 and then maybe a few "nicks" will usually do it. Because of the assocation with the bark collar, it seems to work well, it's fast, and that's all I care about.

I have also found that keeping her "blind" during the hunt eliminates a lot of stress. Sure, I'd love for her to see the birds hitting the water, but she is unable to handle their approach, more at times than others. She is a great working retriever and is getting to be hell on blind retrieves mostly as a consequence of not seeing the marks.

That's my two cents. I'm sure others here have better ideas, this is what has solved my problem.

Double K
 

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I had a guy I hunted with years ago that had a whiner / barker in the blind. One morning before the hunt he pulls out a hot shot. He says, "I got something for him this morning. He starts that whining and I'm going to let him have it". We all met after the morning hunt and he came back with a hankerchief wrapped around his hand. We ask him what happened, He says, "I should have bought a longer hot shot. He bit the ***** out of me". We all got a pretty good laugh out of that one.
 

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hahahahaha..... that might have just made my day...

I was blessed to not have a barker thank goodness....

Im wondering how the Benadryl test went???

I have used Benadryl too calm her down during stitches (homemade.... yikes), but never to prevent hyper-whining....

I wonder if it is heriditary (sp)? I hunted behind her momma and her daddy but I dont remember them ever making a peep
 

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Cut 'em!
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*chuckles

Sometimes a post like this just helps to make you thankful lol. My dog isn't highly trained.....or terribly disciplined. I've never asked a whole lot of him in fact. Sometime when folks are talkin hand signals and hunt tests I kinda hang my head.

But he will sit there and be quiet. I know that's not any help with your problem seein.....guess your post just made me appreciate what I have lol.

The flip side of that is........the Jazzer gets to make about 30 hunts on a slow year.
 

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*chuckles

Sometimes a post like this just helps to make you thankful lol. My dog isn't highly trained.....or terribly disciplined. I've never asked a whole lot of him in fact. Sometime when folks are talkin hand signals and hunt tests I kinda hang my head.

But he will sit there and be quiet. I know that's not any help with your problem seein.....guess your post just made me appreciate what I have lol.

The flip side of that is........the Jazzer gets to make about 30 hunts on a slow year.
2 of my favorite dogs to hunt with have no training what so ever.... they are flat out retrievers.... no signals, no nothin.... they sit, retrieve, eat, sleep, and repeat. They make their own little stack of birds where they want to....

They both somehow maneuver themselves onto a stump or submerged log and sit there like a rock, when all of our other "trained" dogs require dog stands and whine and such.... haha

Its amazing that they can sit there and never flinch... they look so uncomfortable.... and they are so still and quiet that you forget they are even there!!!

Now, if they dont see a bird fall or on doubles/triples, its gets a little hairy and thats when the blinds come in handy and the other dogs shine....

Sigh.... one day I will have the best of both worlds....
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
**********UPDATE***********

I may have found a fix! My dad and I hunted in Brookshire this morning. I gave my dog a benadryl when I woke up at 5am. She was still full of energy, but I think it calmed her down just a little. No trembling in the blind in anticipation of birds and her whining was off by at least 80%!!!!

Now it probably didn't hurt that we had our ducks in 45 minutes, but I think we made some MAJOR progress. Also, she marked and retrieved all 12 birds shot along with a token Snow Goose. Going to try it again this weekend and will post results.
 

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Have you checked the effects of extended Diphenhydramine use in dogs???

Might want to hit the vet up for some info....

Most will prolly frown upon it, but ask for information and studies on it...


I know its OK short term, but am not sure about daily use.


PS... congrats on a good hunt and great dog performance....
 

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**********UPDATE***********

I may have found a fix! My dad and I hunted in Brookshire this morning. I gave my dog a benadryl when I woke up at 5am. She was still full of energy, but I think it calmed her down just a little. No trembling in the blind in anticipation of birds and her whining was off by at least 80%!!!!

Now it probably didn't hurt that we had our ducks in 45 minutes, but I think we made some MAJOR progress. Also, she marked and retrieved all 12 birds shot along with a token Snow Goose. Going to try it again this weekend and will post results.
seriously? :mad:

i'll keep my mouth shut.
 
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