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I read Loisiana's post about getting decoys which inspired me to ask the forum--- How have you introduced your dog to decoys?
I would like to see if you are doing what I am doing. I do believe that there are some thing that you can do to prevent problems.
 

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My pup was introduced to them at a training day. I have real ducks and geese in my yard and the geese like to run after Jige hissing at him. So I took him up tothe decoys so he would know that they were not going to chase him when I sent out after his dokken.

As my boy has gotten older he is better at just going around or through the real geese in the yard to get his dokken or real dead bird.
 

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What did you do to make sure puppy Bawaajige didn't get hurt by a goose?

I do like the idea of showing him that decoys won't hurt him.
 

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The geese dont hurt any of the dogs just run at them hissing. The geese had been tormented in their first home by dogs. My dogs are taught to leave the fowl alone.

I have decoys that I set out from time to time in different places that I train BaWaaJige. It helps with distractions. No I have not done any water decoys yet.
 

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Bad you is right! :--appalled:
Well, were the decoys on land or in water? And how did your dog react?
(I'm tempted to ask what will you do with your next dog?)
Land and water. She was fine on land, but had to check out the decoys in the water. At which point she almost forgot her mark--that was hard just standing there silently but she figured it out and passed.
 

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My pro just tossed them out and let Tito figure it out for himself by putting marks (birds) near them.
One thing he has said (the pro, not Tito, lol) is that he's surprised at how many people train in water with decoys near the entry point, but not near the exit point. He lines the whole side of the pond with them, and also will sometimes put them every 10 yards or so up the channel on channel swims.
 
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What I do is meant to prevent a problem that I might have to solve later on so my method may seem a bit overkill but here it is.

1) Place decoys in my yard. Walk dog through them, let him sniff, pickup gets a no.
2) Throw a bumper beyond the decoys, run dog through them.
3) Throw a bumper into the decoys for a retrieve.
(All done in the yard.)
4) Set the decoys up in the same pond I use for introducing puppies to water---gradual slope, hard bottom. The decoys are set WITHOUT THEIR LINES. I don't want a puppy to get tangled in the lines and I don't want to use a pond with a muddy bottom where the puppy might have to run through muck. If that happens, the puppy may associate decoys with unpleasant water. Throw a bumper beyond the decoys for a retrieve.
5) When I do use decoys with lines, I set it up so that there is enough space for the dog to run through them without getting tangled.

Of course, birds are used when appropriate.

A similar sequence is used for land use decoys.

I always keep in mind that not all goldens are outstanding in the water. I like to initially build confidence and give the dog lots of success. I don't think I needed to do all of this with my current dog but I consider it way to not create problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
My pro just tossed them out and let Tito figure it out for himself by putting marks (birds) near them.
One thing he has said (the pro, not Tito, lol) is that he's surprised at how many people train in water with decoys near the entry point, but not near the exit point. He lines the whole side of the pond with them, and also will sometimes put them every 10 yards or so up the channel on channel swims.
Thank you for your input. I have never rigged for a hunt that way so it never occurred to me to train with decoys near the exit point. I will now train for it. Thanks again!
 

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I threw some out out in the yard and walked the dog on leash around them. When the dog went for one I told him no with a collar pop. Took less than a minute for the dog to get the picture, never had a problem with decoys on land after that. My dogs haven't seen decoys on water yet, but when I finally get to use them I'll probably just set them out there and hope for the best. I don't really have much pond water access, so there is a good probability I might be bringing the decoys out to the beach one day. :uhoh:
 
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The other thing I like to do with decoys once my dogs are comfortable with them is place them in a field where the dog cannot see them from the line--such as behind a strip of cover, or in a cove past which the dog must swim. I have been to a number of tests where this sort of decoy placement was used and it did distract dogs who were not as committed to the mark, or who did not want to make the big swim. It is more of a concept you will see at SH, but I did see the land scenario in a Junior test. It can really provide suction on a shoreline blind...
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The other thing I like to do with decoys once my dogs are comfortable with them is place them in a field where the dog cannot see them from the line--such as behind a strip of cover, or in a cove past which the dog must swim. I have been to a number of tests where this sort of decoy placement was used and it did distract dogs who were not as committed to the mark, or who did not want to make the big swim. It is more of a concept you will see at SH, but I did see the land scenario in a Junior test. It can really provide suction on a shoreline blind...
Thank you. Again, something I haven't encountered and I will be sure to work on this. I am certain that this would distract my dog. In a hunting situation, my dog sees me place the decoys. In the situation you mention I could see that the decoys would be a surprise.
 

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I think Gabby first saw them when we took Quinn to meet the trainer for the first time. He had them in the pond, my dogs took a swim, didn't even look at them. Since then we had done a few practices where they put them out. Once she retrieved the decoy (smaller one) instead of her bumper, I think she thought it looked like more fun. Normally she ignores them.

The first hunt test we did they had goose decoys out on land. It was the first time she saw land decoys. They put one behind the blind so the dogs could see it there first. She didn't care. Except when the winger did not work on her second bird, we retired to just behind the last holding blind again, so they could get it fixed, she saw that decoy and hit it with her paw trying to send it to the next county. I think she was saying "get this piece of plastic out of my face I want my REAL duck!!!" She was vocalizing too. Pretty darn funny.
 
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Discussion Starter #15
I wanted to add that when I set decoys for a hunt test, I put out maybe a dozen black duck decoys and then on the outside of the black ducks I place a pair of drake pintails. You would be surprised at how many dogs are pulled to the pintails because of the white. Something to train for.

Also, I do not set this up to fool the dogs. This is the setup that I use when hunting.
 

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That is a really fun part of training. Good for some laughs. I set out a half a dozen on land and run a mark just short of the them. Then through them and let him check them out (fun part). If he tries to pick one up NO him off of it. Back or fetch to the bumper. Repeat it several times.
Water is really fun because they look a lot different in water when they are eye level with them. Half dozen or so close to the bank where the dog has to go through them to get a bumper or bird (set your line where they have to come back through them to get to you,move if you have to get them to come back through them). Bird would be preferable if you have access. Give a mark on the other side of the decoys then increase distance. I go to the other side of the pond and throw a mark where he has to go up and out through the decoys (Try to set this up where they have to come back through the decoys and try to teach them not to go around them). Repeat a couple of times then a couple in the decoys. Doesn't take em long to figure it out.
 

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Winter had seen decoys before. However, in one Junior test she still felt the need to cruise very slowly past a line of decoys on her return and give each one the a good look.
 
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