A Brief Guide To Training
If your dog is only retrieving part of the way in to you, it may be because he is either not sure of what you want from him, or he may be reluctant to part with "his" bird. Nagging or coaxing him to come to you may result in his dropping the bird and then coming. The best way to encourage the dog to make a complete retrieve is to turn and walk away without saying anything to him. As the dog comes by you in an effort to move to the front (as a good bird dog is supposed to do) reach down and take the bird from his mouth. Then praise the dog.
Some Gordon Setters feel that their job of finding the bird is more important than the retrieve. If it is an easy retrieve, in open cover and no difficulty, the dog may bring it fairly close to you, drop the bird and say, "there, now get it yourself, I'm busy", and go off after another bird. This dog will always bring the bird to you if it falls in heavy cover that you could not handle yourself, such as briars or a heavy thicket, or if the bird falls in water (the dog does not expect you to walk on water, and probably suspects that you can't swim, either). It is probably not worth the trouble of nagging, coaxing, or otherwise making a fool of yourself to get the dog to retrieve all the way. If he thinks you are that helpless as a hunting partner, he may give up on you completely!