How many times have you seen young dogs try to pick up a decoy when sent to retrieve a duck on his first live duck hunt? I have seen it many times, and I opine that it is a direct result of the trainer failing to properly introduce the puppy to decoys during training on both land and water.
As soon as the puppy has been properly steadied and is making satisfactory retrieves, I add decoys to the mix. Lay out a half dozen or so decoys on the training grounds, back off a few yards, throw a dummy on the other side of the decoys and send your puppy to retrieve. At first, the puppy will stop and investigate the decoys, but this activity soon fades, and he will run through the decoys and make the retrieve. Then put out decoys in water and repeat the retrieving sequence. As on land, the puppy will normally investigate the decoys and then get on with his business of retrieving the dummy.