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Finley and Banshee's Mom
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi! Hoping some of you guys can give me a little advice. About 2 years ago someone gave me a dead duck so I could see how Finley would handle it. They told me to drag it around, shake it, ect basically to try and entice her to take it. Which I tried, 2 different days and it's been in the freezer ever since. She was all over it, very excited about it, but would not take it. I'm thinking it's time to take it out, give it anther shot and get rid of it if she won't take it.

I read through some old threads after doing a search for frozen birds. I have no expectation of trying to put a hunt title on her, she's 5 and 1/2 and all we've done is obedience. But I would like to have fun with it, if she'll take to it. She seems birdy, but I think she'd rather it be alive and kickin. She loves to stalk all birds, and has caught a blue jay. Also proudly brought me a baby bird that likely fell out of nest or something. (Thankfully she didn't kill it, although my reaction was not the best to encourage picking up birds lol.)

With my next puppy (not for many years down the line though) I would like to do both hunt and obedience. So I thought I can give different things a try with the one I have now. Hopefully she'll like it. From reading different posts it sounds like I wouldn't need to defrost this thing. Any suggestions on trying it again with my frozen bird? I keep reading about bumpers. Will any bumper do, plastic ect or do you guys have suggestions? I think our pet store sells some but are plastic. I also saw a link that showed a bumper with a pheasant pelt wrapped around it. I'm so tempted to buy it. Also noticed something called a Dokken? I'm curious why the bumpers and not birds. Seems like bumpers are first??

This is all just for fun, and maybe pick up some knowledge for the next one. I've never been to a hunt or field trial but do love to see pictures of these beautiful dogs soaking wet with a bird in it's mouth. I'm taking a few days off from work in September specifically to watch the trials at our nationals. Luckily it's close to home and I can't wait. Thanks for any suggestions!
 

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You need to partially defrost it- at least I do mine- the dogs are not keen on picking up a big 4" block of dead duck, but a more pliable critter is quite exciting. Others' mileage I'm sure is different but if duck was intact when frozen(no big holes in him) you'll probably get 3-4 short thaws out of him.
 

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the party's crashing us
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OK a few tips...
Definitely defrost it. Dogs don't typically like picking up a block of ice which is what your bird is going to be, straight out of the freezer.
To defrost I just put it on the garage floor the night before I train and it is fine by the morning

Dogs who show interest but unsure what to actually DO with the bird are pretty easy. Tell the dog to sit, open their mouth, put the bird in, hold your hands gently over their muzzle so they don't spit it out right away, and tell them they are a good dog. Ask them to hold it about 5 seconds then "out" Generally a few times of this and they start to figure out you're supposed to pick it up. Then throw the bird as far as you can, let the dog chase it, and when he gets to it, call the dog enthusiastically. Half the dogs will be like, Oh crap I gotta figure out how to pick this thing up before I come back --- and they will -- the other half will probably run back to you, glance at the bird, and again be a little clueless with what to do. Walk out to the bird with them, again have them sit, put the bird in their mouth, and now try to get them to walk with the bird then run after you as you jog away. Once they figure out they have to pick it up and hold it, there's no stopping them. Best of luck!

Edit: About Bumpers
The bumpers with feathers wrapped around them, Dokkens, bird-shaped bumpers, etc etc are all a gimmick and waste of money
Buy regular 2" x 12" WHITE plastic or canvas bumpers and just play with the dog with them
Don't buy orange
 

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Finley and Banshee's Mom
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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you both! That's exactly how we started with the dumbbell and her articles, so in my mind this shouldn't be too far of a stretch. I'll let you know how it goes :).
 

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Good luck. Over the past couple years I have an arsenal of bumpers 2x11; 3x11 dokkens, canvas and plastic. Dokkens are a bit expensive and obviously I have expensive dogs as they all prefer to pick the dokken before they get the other bumpers. In the winter time the other plastic bumpers tend to get very hard. The dokkens are better as they do not get hard. So I use mostly the canvas and the dokkens in the winter.

As far as the bird in the freezer; I would personally introduce the dog to a fresh shot flyer first.
 

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Not sure where you're located in Deleware, but have you checked out First State Retriever Club and attend one of their training days? If you do have a bird dog & you have a solid foundation in obedience, why not play the hunt test game? I agree w/ Claudia, if you can get your hands on a fresh bird all the better.
 

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Not sure where you're located in Deleware, but have you checked out First State Retriever Club and attend one of their training days? If you do have a bird dog & you have a solid foundation in obedience, why not play the hunt test game? I agree w/ Claudia, if you can get your hands on a fresh bird all the better.
Never look at location - you are right! Also I assume the PVGRC is not that far.
 

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Finley and Banshee's Mom
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Discussion Starter #8
I had not seen the first state retriever club. Thanks for the info, I will look into it! The PVGRC is quite a distance. We went there for our CCA, a little over 3 hours one way for the location where the event was held. She does like birds. Will she retrieve em? I don't know. She does have a solid obedience background. She also has an owner who has never done any of this stuff before. Hunt test games...I maybe completely wrong on this. My thought is I don't have a clue at this point how to get started. The dead duck she wouldn't take, as much as she appeared to want to....and now she's 5 1/2. I think if this is what I wanted to do, I should have tried it from the beginning. And I just want to have fun with her. So, I'll defrost my duck and see what happens. I'm also going to send an email to the first state retriever club. Thank you all!
 

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GRCA National Specialty will be in your backyard in a few months! You are so lucky! There will be several different field events to watch and volunteer for. I've found that volunteering in whatever capacity really helps me understand what's happening. It has also helped me meet people. Here's the link to the website with maps and schedule of events: 2017grcanational.org
 

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With Her 3 Goldens
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Where in Delaware are you? We're just across into PA from Newark/UD. If you are nearby let me know and we'd be happy to help you get started if you're interested.

Edited to add: I am REALLY bad at rechecking posts on here, so if you are interested you can email me ([email protected])
 

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GRCA National Specialty will be in your backyard in a few months! You are so lucky! There will be several different field events to watch and volunteer for. I've found that volunteering in whatever capacity really helps me understand what's happening. It has also helped me meet people. Here's the link to the website with maps and schedule of events: 2017grcanational.org
Also, at the 2017 Specialty there will be a "Field for Newbies" seminar hosted by the GRCA Field Education Committee; in addition to several FEC members, there will be other experienced field folks who will work, one-on-one, with the handlers and their dogs. This is not a demonstration of advanced work some dogs can do, instead this is an opportunity for folks who have either zero or limited field training knowledge/experience to play in the field with their retrievers.

*** Fresh ducks will be provided. ***

The first Newbies seminar was held in 2015 and it was hugely successful and a TON of FUN for the handlers, the dogs, and the folks working with them (there was an article in the GRNews about the seminar). [There was not a seminar held in 2016 due to the lack of a suitable forum.]

There is no need to sign up, you just have to show up with your dog.

I encourage everyone to join the fun at the seminar!

I believe that the time and place is (or will be) posted on the website.

FTGoldens (feel free to PM me if you have any questions)
 

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Finley and Banshee's Mom
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Discussion Starter #12
Wow! Thanks to all who have posted since I was last on here! Sorry I went so long without responding. I used to check in with the forum every day and have become a slacker.

So here's the update. We went to a field training day with 1st state retrievers. (2 weeks ago) I reached out to them through Facebook and mentioned our duck. I was told someone there would be able to give me pointers so I decided to keep it in the freezer where it remains today. I also did not buy any bumpers or anything else, as they said there would be plenty there for us to try.

This training day they were only using bumpers. I introduced her to 2 and 3" plastic bumpers in the parking lot and we did a few short retrieves while on leash. They showed me how to sit in a blind with her and told me to give her cheese when a gun would fire, although the noise didn't phase her, except to notice it.

When it was our turn they had us walk maybe 1/2 the distance to the blind from where the bumpers were being thrown since it was our first time and they wanted her to be successful. A man was with us, using a walkie to communicate to the guy in the blind. I explained that this was a first, and he asked me if she can retrieve anything lol. (which was understandably a good question). I asked how is she supposed to know what I want her to do, (I thought I should mark it with my hand as we do the gloves in OB). Anyway, he told me not to point, but to say "Mark!", and that she would naturally look in the direction of the gunfire and then see the bumper go down. I truthfully thought she might go 10-15 feet away and probably turn and look at me waiting for more direction as to what I wanted. But just as he said, she watched that bumper go down, and I sent her with "Take it!" And off she went! She searched for that 1st bumper, didn't find it, but kept looking. So the man throwing the bumpers gave a "HEY HEY HEY" and threw anther one. She got it and brought it right back. Then we went to a different blind the other direction and did it all over again.

We stayed for their picnic but had to leave before they did the water retrieves. Bottom line it was SO MUCH FUN! We both loved it! The next training day won't be until October. (They have a hunt trail in Sept.) I'm planning to join the club and participate as much as we can. We are going to nationals. I had thought I'd leave her home for the hunt portion (wanting to watch and learn) but after reading the responses here, maybe she'll be coming along for the seminar. Thanks again everyone!
 

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Finley and Banshee's Mom
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Discussion Starter #13
Also, at the 2017 Specialty there will be a "Field for Newbies" seminar hosted by the GRCA Field Education Committee; in addition to several FEC members, there will be other experienced field folks who will work, one-on-one, with the handlers and their dogs. This is not a demonstration of advanced work some dogs can do, instead this is an opportunity for folks who have either zero or limited field training knowledge/experience to play in the field with their retrievers.

*** Fresh ducks will be provided. ***

The first Newbies seminar was held in 2015 and it was hugely successful and a TON of FUN for the handlers, the dogs, and the folks working with them (there was an article in the GRNews about the seminar). [There was not a seminar held in 2016 due to the lack of a suitable forum.]

There is no need to sign up, you just have to show up with your dog.
Sounds perfect for us! Thanks for the info!
 

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Finley and Banshee's Mom
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Discussion Starter #14
Where in Delaware are you? We're just across into PA from Newark/UD. If you are nearby let me know and we'd be happy to help you get started if you're interested.

Edited to add: I am REALLY bad at rechecking posts on here, so if you are interested you can email me ([email protected])
So nice of you! We're in southern DE, but do go to Newark for show n go's with WKC so definately driveable. As you can see I'm bad with checking the posts here too. September's going to be busy for us, but I will email you! Would love to meet up, thanks again!
 
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