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Discussion Starter #1
Well Tito and I took "Donald" out of the fridge this afternoon and took the smelly, rancid mess out to play for a little while.
I was so impressed with him yesterday that I decided to challenge him a little bit. So I had my daughter park him on a stay about 50 yards from me, and then I whipped the floppy bird about 20 feet out into the soybean field.
I'd consider it "moderate" cover, it was heavier than where they were running the master hunter tests yesterday (labs) but I could still see him pretty well in it.
So, he came flying over to find the duck, and bounded thru the field, doing that bouncing that's just so darned cute.
Now here's the thing....he got the duck every time. We did it 4 times, my throwing it a bit further into the field each time. But I'm certain that he was LOOKING for it, not smelling for it.
Is this something that I need to address, and if so, how?
 

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the party's crashing us
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NO!!!!!!

"MARKING is of primary importance"

not

running round until you find it

If your dog is landing on the bird with cover that is GOOD

In fact I was going to suggest after seeing your photos that you start by throwing him marks in SHORT cover to ENCOURAGE him to use his EYES not his nose!!!

Goldens have amazing noses. You will never need to work on him using his nose MORE. What you will need to stay on top of is using his EYES to accurately mark the fall so when he gets to the area he needs to do very little hunting to find it!
 

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Okay now I read your post a little more carefully. If the dog was not running directly to the bird but rather going to the area and then putting up a hunt for it -- then again, with such a novice dog you need to work in SHORT cover so when he gets to the area he will immediately find the bird and not put up a huge hunt.
There is a fine line here in that you want the dog to be able to put up a hunt and not give up before finding it, but the ideal is the dog marking it so accurately that he has to put up just a small hunt to find it, if at all.
So while your soybean field will be great for practicing in cover, definitely find a mowed field you can practice marks in too.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
He was going to the approximate area (it's a big ol' soybean field) and then putting up a hunt for it.
So I should leave it alone for now, and practice in shorter cover, too? (they'll be mowing down the fields soon, LOL).
 

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They get it
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K-9 Design pegged it, as always!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
ah, that just sounds too easy ;)
I was thinking of tossing it into the CORN field, LOL :p:

then again, with such a novice dog you need to work in SHORT cover so when he gets to the area he will immediately find the bird and not put up a huge hunt.
There is a fine line here in that you want the dog to be able to put up a hunt and not give up before finding it, but the ideal is the dog marking it so accurately that he has to put up just a small hunt to find it, if at all.
So while your soybean field will be great for practicing in cover, definitely find a mowed field you can practice marks in too.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I probably should have mentioned that I also was throwing the duck onto the other side of a 3 foot high berm with trees on it....kind of hard to explain, but there's no way he could have seen exactly where it fell from where he was.
I was thinking he was supposed to use his NOSE!!!
Maybe I am rushing him a little?????
 

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Discussion Starter #8
and THAT is exactly the type of advice I need, now I have somewhere to head!
Thanks!


-the ideal is the dog marking it so accurately that he has to put up just a small hunt to find it, if at all.
.
 

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We have ten acres of alfalfa, short cover. Bring your duck out and let's toss it around. Actually, if we're lucky we might be able to bag a pheasant.
 

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We also have a creek running thru our property to practice water retrieves. Too bad my dog doesn't like water.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
depends on how thick it is..or when it was mowed..might actually be heavy cover....when ours gets long you could lose a sow in it!


We have ten acres of alfalfa, short cover. Bring your duck out and let's toss it around. Actually, if we're lucky we might be able to bag a pheasant.
 

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the party's crashing us
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Hey Barb (it is Barb right? I can't keep typing "Tito's Mom" :)
That duck is gonna get to the end of it's usefulness pretty soon - you do have bumpers, right?
 

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The alfalfa has been cut and baled twice this summer, because of the stupid weather we didn't get a third cutting. Next to it is twenty acres of corn, if the weather cooperates that should be out in the next month or so.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yes, it is Barb!
I do have 2 bumpers. Well 3 if you count my dock diving one, but it's different.
and I went out and bought myself one of those foam type (dokken?) ducks with the hanging head, that you can inject with duck scent. Oh, and a whistle.
AND I have a $100 Cabela's gift card....what else do I need????
I'm thinking that duck is already almost to the end of my tolerance for it, LOL!


Hey Barb (it is Barb right? I can't keep typing "Tito's Mom" :)
That duck is gonna get to the end of it's usefulness pretty soon - you do have bumpers, right?
 

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Whoa, $100 on cabelas -- well you need to send it to me and let me spend it --- bwaahaha
Well if you are looking to buy dog training equipment buy yourself some black & white plastic bumpers - either 2" or 3", IMO they are the most general purpose ones you can get for a beginner dog.
I never use dokkens, really never thought they did too much.
Lemme give you one piece of advice : even though they are cool do NOT buy a camo lead for your new field dog -- it's camo, when you drop it in 2' tall grass, you will NOT be able to find it ever again!!! Learned that the hard way! Go for orange instead! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
First I gotta tell you about the gift card, LOL.
Our county lets us pay our real estate taxes with a Discover credit card for a pretty small service fee, $38 to be exact.
My RE taxes are about 14K a year (scary, huh?) and Discover gives me 1% back on it, so I get $140 from Discover. I figure I come out ahead about $100 by putting it on the credit card.
Cabela's is a Discover partner, so for every $20 in Discover cash back, you can get a $25 Cabela's gift card! Thus I ended up with $125 in Cabela's gift cards, of which I still have $100. Cool, huh?
ANYway, I digress.
Question....why white and black, and why not canvas? The 2 I have are orange canvas :doh:.
About the Dokken, the guy at Gander Mountain (who hunts with 2 labs) told me that it's the best thing out there for getting your dog used to swimming with a duck in his mouth. Guess I had money burning a hole in my pocket that day so I bought one. Was he wrong?


Whoa, $100 on cabelas -- well you need to send it to me and let me spend it --- bwaahaha
Well if you are looking to buy dog training equipment buy yourself some black & white plastic bumpers - either 2" or 3", IMO they are the most general purpose ones you can get for a beginner dog.
I never use dokkens, really never thought they did too much.
Lemme give you one piece of advice : even though they are cool do NOT buy a camo lead for your new field dog -- it's camo, when you drop it in 2' tall grass, you will NOT be able to find it ever again!!! Learned that the hard way! Go for orange instead! :)
 

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Barley & Mira's Mom
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The color of the bumper is so the dogs can see it better, especially important for marking. Black bumpers for light backgrounds, white bumpers for dark backgrounds, and with half black half white you can usually see it either way. Orange is hardest to see, and typically used for blinds. I like rubber better because they are easier to clean. I have 2" and 3", but use the 3" more.


If you are doing hunt tests getting a duck call would be good too.
 

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Uhhh yeah, do not throw orange bumpers. They are orange because dogs are colorblind and that shows up as neutral to them, so they cannot see it as well. The whole point of having a retriever is for him to SEE the bird fall in the distance and run and find it.
Orange bumpers are used for training blinds where the point is the dog did NOT see it and must rely on the handler to guide him to the fall.
That orange is so cool that people fall in love with it and want to buy that. Hence, even the "water retriever" toys like Kongs and such are orange! How dumb, the dog can't see it! But the buyers who don't know any better love that orange!
Sammy is exactly right, the half black half white bumpers show up the best in all backgrounds.

As far as dokkens go, seriously, do you think you are fooling the dog that that is a duck? What about that makes the dog think it is a duck? A floppy head? Does he think his stuffed toys are ducks? They look more like ducks than a dokken does. Again, these sell because the owners like them. They are expensive, hard to store and smell after a while. The only time these are kinda useful would be during force fetch, when you need to train the dog to pick up a variety of objects. A coke can or paint brush would be just as useful. Can you tell I'm not a fan?

Canvas bumpers get moldy, smell and get so waterlogged they sink.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
guess I'm a sucker...the guy at the store told me they were good for teaching a dog to swim with something that size/weight in his mouth.


As far as dokkens go, seriously, do you think you are fooling the dog that that is a duck? What about that makes the dog think it is a duck? A floppy head? Does he think his stuffed toys are ducks? They look more like ducks than a dokken does. Again, these sell because the owners like them. They are expensive, hard to store and smell after a while. The only time these are kinda useful would be during force fetch, when you need to train the dog to pick up a variety of objects. A coke can or paint brush would be just as useful. Can you tell I'm not a fan?

Canvas bumpers get moldy, smell and get so waterlogged they sink.
 
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