Thor's Continuing Education - Page 2 - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-05-2018, 06:26 PM Thread Starter
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"My dogs have never had pheasants."


Many have shown up to our hunt tests in this situation. It was customary for our club's hunt test to do pheasants on land and ducks on water. Trouble affording pheasants lately. And our local game bird guy recently lost ALL his pheasants to disease. Anyway many dogs that hadn't ever had pheasants had a problem.
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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-06-2018, 06:16 AM
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that's nuts, pheasants are cheaper here than ducks but last less so in the end probably more expensive I guess. We shoot a pheasant flyer at least once a week and boy does it improve marking!

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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-06-2018, 12:42 PM
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that's nuts, pheasants are cheaper here than ducks but last less so in the end probably more expensive I guess. We shoot a pheasant flyer at least once a week and boy does it improve marking!
"... and boy does it improve marking!"

Please explain.

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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-06-2018, 01:42 PM
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"... and boy does it improve marking!"

Please explain.

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Can I guess that pheasants have less smell, so the dogs have to mark better to where the bird falls? That's my guess.


~ Stacey with Lucy and Riot, missing Hunter, Reilly, Tiger and Pennie
Wiseman Wildfire Grayling Fish On CD RA JH SHU WC "Lucy"
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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-06-2018, 04:39 PM
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winner winner chicken dinner! And yes, Lucy has had a pheasant! I introduced it to her, remember??? And the first pheasant flyer he got was with someone on this forum and because of lack fo smell Proof hunted for 2 hours. no we helped him out after an extensive hunt. Now a hen drops in the cover and he's got it figured out! Amazing how quickly they adjust to new birds.

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post #16 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-06-2018, 05:51 PM
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winner winner chicken dinner! And yes, Lucy has had a pheasant! I introduced it to her, remember??? And the first pheasant flyer he got was with someone on this forum and because of lack fo smell Proof hunted for 2 hours. no we helped him out after an extensive hunt. Now a hen drops in the cover and he's got it figured out! Amazing how quickly they adjust to new birds.

Ack! Thanks for doing that with her. She turned up her nose at that pheasant, it really shocked me. Every other bird of any kind she loved. Then the pheasant, wow I was not impressed. Now when I read the NRC blog, I look for where they place the hen pheasants, since they smell the least.


~ Stacey with Lucy and Riot, missing Hunter, Reilly, Tiger and Pennie
Wiseman Wildfire Grayling Fish On CD RA JH SHU WC "Lucy"
Thistle Rock Kicking Up a Fuss CD RA WCX ** "Riot"
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post #17 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-06-2018, 06:58 PM
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Was fortunate to go to a pheasant shoot this past Saturday. Were they high on "dog cocaine"! Each had two piles of 20-30 birds.
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Rose Bud - Golden Retriever (June 2012)
Darcy Bud - Flat Coated Retriever (June 2009)
Belle Bud - Golden Retriever (December 2014)
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post #18 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-15-2019, 08:57 AM Thread Starter
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I worked Thor at a Continental Shoot this past weekend, small shoot---450 ducks. I always look to work one aspect of basic training. This time it was honoring. I shared the stand so it afforded me the opportunity to work on honoring and steadiness (OK, could have been just a little closer but hey, first time.) Thor never broke, even while the working dog retrieved a duck about 15 yards from right in front of us. I also was checking on whether or not the upland hunting affected his retrieving work. Didn't look like it.


Also, comparing Goldens' work to other retrievers---I have seen many other breeds run right over birds and it happened at this shoot too. Thor and his co-worker Golden did not.


Temperature was probably 20 deg or less at the time. I had sent Thor on a very short blind, a bird that fell just on the edge of a small stand of trees. Cold temps+dry air=bad scenting conditions. Saw it in action. Of course Thor got the bird but I can't say that once he was on top of it that he scented it immediately. Hen mallard.


All together my stand partner and I retrieved about 40 birds. OK, our dogs retrieved about 40 birds. It was a great day. In addition to having a great day we got to talk to the preserve owner and talked a little about how field trials used to be run---on salt marsh, in cranberry bogs, etc on Long Island. Again, great day.

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post #19 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-12-2019, 09:41 AM Thread Starter
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This past Sunday we did another Continental shoot. It provided more learning opportunities. Thor went into some brush and flushed out a wounded duck. The duck went out onto a frozen pond. As Thor went after it he was breaking ice. Interesting to watch. It was his first time doing this. Then later we went after a cripple in a pond, not frozen. There was a chase, as Thor got within inches the duck would dive. He finally dove after it and got the duck.



We had a good day. Too bad it was pouring rain all day but we had a good time.
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post #20 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-13-2019, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
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On Monday we had another shoot. I am very happy with Thor's progress. He has become skilled at locating birds for which he only sees a small arc of travel because of hills, ridges, and trees. He also is getting better at chasing swimming cripples. One shooter recorded Thor diving and swimming underwater to get one swimming cripple. He needs just a little more experience with this.


Small comment: It would have been nice to have trained with shackled ducks. I am a member of four retriever clubs, one for 35+ years, the others for 10 years. Nobody uses shackled ducks at their training sessions. I guess no need to, not allowed to use them at hunt tests and field trials. With two gunners and instructions to sluice every bird a dog will very rarely encounter swimming, diving cripples. However this scenario is encountered while hunting. (Not when I shoot.)
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