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Chessie
09-12-2003, 11:03 PM
I`ll begin by saying that I know very little about training dogs. OK, nothing to be truthful. So here is my first question. How does the dog make the connection from bumper to bird? Is this instinct? Can I expect the dog to do that without any help? Do I need to get some birds? I just bought a younger dog so thanks. I will be buying some training material.

JK
09-13-2003, 01:47 AM
chessie...did you get a chesapeake?

your dog will figure the dummie/bird reletionship out later. right now concentrate on getting your pup crazy about dummies...i mean crazy. a bit of advice that has been given to me by some very reputable trainers on early birds is this...get a dead bird (pigeon, duck, goose etc...) and drag it around in front of pup like its alive to get pup excited. once he begins to "stalk" it...toss it out in front and let your pup shred it. then take it away and dont let him have another bird until he gets to more advanced field work. this proceedure will do several things...1) it will set the predator instinct in pup early. 2) it will leave an everlasting impression for the scent of a bird 3) it will create excited association with a bird and probably several other intuitions.

i use those plastic nylon zip ties to attach dove, duck, and goose wings to dummies during the transition time. once pup has a solid handle on the basics of retrieving i begin to implement these wings. i more or less throw one in there every so often, but not too much. if pup would rather eat the winged dummies, back off to plain dummies. he will catch on soon enough so dont panic.

hope this helps.
jake

yallerlab
09-13-2003, 09:40 PM
I've used cable ties to fasten a wing to a bumper
as well and it works. I would be leary of letting the
pup shred the bird, though. Hard mouth and bird
eating problems are a nightmare. Force fetch may fix it, but I think it's best not to have the problem in the first place.
The wing trick and storing bumpers with fresh loose feathers
works great. Also, this season when you wind up with a bird too
shot-up to eat, freeze it and use it for training. Promptly
put it back in the freezer and you can get many sessions out of it.

If you're not going to force fetch, don't even think about letting
the pup tear up the bird. You know what they say about
opinions, though...:BM:

JK
09-14-2003, 02:03 AM
true...but, as long as you FF your dog properly then hard mouthing is not a problem. i knew i would get a response that rejected the idea of shredding a bird, so i causiously wrote that in my last post. at first i was skeptacle about this approach as well, but once i took the recommendation and tried it myself i gained lots of confidence in the training program that i was and currently use. most things puppies do when they are young are corrected through formal training. correcting one thing is no harder than correcting another. it all takes time. letting the pup shred once as a pup does not create a bad habit. it merely unleashes the predator instinct. IMO the hardest part of retriever training is bringing out the most in a dogs energy level, yet harnessing all that energy into an organized program of etiquette. its no more difficult than say, letting a pup break on fun bumpers as a pup -then demand total steadiness later on. its part of a developmental process, not a process of breaking bad habits.

its one of those debates that goes in circles anyway. the best thing to do is do what you feel confident with. i have seen what it does first hand so i aquired the confidence necessary to feel comfortable with it. thats why i posted it as a suggestion, however, i do understand the skepticism. its a hard one to visualize as a proven technique. cheers!

jake

Woods and Water
09-14-2003, 09:25 AM
I think the methods above are good ideas I have used the "tie a wing to a bummer"and it works great(fresh wing is best).I also have done the buy a live bird (normally ducks)and trim a wing so it cant get airborne and used this to get the predator instinct driven home,pheseants carry alot of scent and this is a huge advantage in getting them interested.I never tried the shredding a bird tatic I guess becouse the other training has always worked for me.I have also done the wing on a rod type tatic on younger dogs this gets them very excited to chase the game......
I think the main idea here is to get your dogs instints under contoll and to let then develop into a trained hunter for the type of hunting you do.