Really Need Suggestions!!!

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Really Need Suggestions!!!

Postby CrackerJackShot » Tue Dec 20, 2005 3:33 pm

On thursday of last week we got a call from a trainer we know that lives up near Denton. She had a black lab that is a year old for sale. We went to look at her and she seemed to do ALRIGHT. We have a chance to take her home for a week to test her out. I brought her to our land and took her duck hunting for the first time. BAD hunt. Only saw 7 birds and got only one. The one I shot was on the water. She didnt see it and cant do blind retrieves yet. So she paid no attention until I got her within smelling distance (20 yards for her). She found it and chased it as it was still alive and brought it back. I threw bumpers for her later and shes GREAT at those, smelling, running through tough brush, but breaks early. Went hunting again, shot a wood duck that she did NOT see. Walked her over there and threw a stick near the bird. It was alive calmly swimming on the water even as she got right near her. She sniffed him in the face then walked off!!! As we were comming back we shot a wigeon while we were standing in the open, she saw him fall and bolted after him, got him, brought him right back to me. I believe my problem is that she isnt associating the birds with sitting in a cold blind blowing duck calls and shooting. So she hasnt learned that the things flying over us are what she wants. She just sits there and looks at me the entire hunt when shes not trying to run around and play. Anything I can do to change that?! any reasons?! I believe she has potential to be great since she has the drive to get the birds. am I wrong?!
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Postby harvey1b » Tue Dec 20, 2005 7:51 pm

its not a finished dog but it sounds to have good drive. I don't know what the price is going to be but if your only problem is associating birds in the air with retrieves you should take it and run. this will develop very quickly (one hunt with several brids in the air). teaching the dog to be steady is pretty strait forward.

it sounds like a no-brainer to me :hammering:

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Postby CrackerJackShot » Wed Dec 21, 2005 10:08 am

Yeah, its just really hard to be serious and take commands in the duck blind. She doesnt know what we're doing there so she just sits there staring at me. I dont know how to get her to turn around so she can at least accidentally see the birds get shot out of the sky. If I could just get her to associate in the duck blind and duck calling with getting birds then I think we'd be golden. any ideas how to do that?
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Postby cmelik10 » Wed Dec 21, 2005 10:42 am

TIME TIME TIME TIME TIME. That is pretty much all you can do for that. If the dog is worth its weight in kibble it will learn very fast that the birds come from out front (most of the time :mrgreen: ) and they are in the sky.

One thing you could do to help reduce this time is if you have a very good buddy willing to go out and throw ducks or pigeons or bumpers for you. Go out to a pond and hide your buddy in the weeds and you and the dog go and sit in the blind. Do everything that you would if you were duck hunting, camo, gun (not loaded, or loaded with poppers), calls, decoys ect. Start calling and then have your buddy blow on a duck call to get the dogs attention then throw a bird and you jump up and "shoot". After a few times the dog will catch on that as soon as you start blowing your call he better be watching out front to see the bird.

As far as the breaking thing, head to the pet store or local Tractor Supply Company or whatever you have around you and buy yourself a tie out stake and a short 3' lead. When you get to the blind the dog gets tied down so that she cannot go anywhere until you release her. When a bird goes down make sure she is sitting looking at the bird, unclip her and then release. If she trys to break go out and pick up the bird yourself. I know this seems counterproductive since you are getting a dog to pick up the birds for you but she will learn over time that if she is not steady then she doesn't get to retrieve, which is what she loves to do.

You can also do both of these things at home, at the sametime, in the backyard. Just have your kids, wife, buddy stand out about 30-40 yards from you with a duck call and some bumpers. you stand with your dog at heel have her sit, blow on your call then he blows his call and throws a bumper. If she is steady let her get it. If she is not stop her (use a check chord for this so you are in control at all times) and have your buddy pick up the bumper and do it again.

Training a good hunting dog takes time and patients. Just be consistent with what you do and most of all have fun and good luck. Before you know if you pup will be a great hunting dog that all your buddies will love to hunt over.


Teach and then build and then build on what you teach. Baby steps, baby steps.
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Postby CrackerJackShot » Wed Dec 21, 2005 11:37 am

Thank you very much for the tips. I'll be sure to work with her often to get her good. That is kinda what me and my cousin did, put decoys out on our pond, let him get hidden with birds, had dove load in the gun. I sat there for a lil bit with nothing then I would call for a lil bit then say take em and that was his cue to throw the bird, I stood up and shot towards it. Then released her. She did good on MOST of them, but she still just wouldnt see it sometimes.... Im gonna work with her as often as possible. thanx.
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Postby Jay Jolicoeur » Sat Dec 24, 2005 10:37 am

I am trianing my first duck dog. He is 6 months. When I was first training him to mark I would point my arm at the bumper and send him on his name. Latter I was told It is not my responsibility to mark it was the dogs. So I stopped pointing. On his first hunt he didn't see a single bird down. I would take him to the edge of the water have him sit and tell him to mark and would point where I wanted him to go. He went 4 for 6. One duck dove and the other was alive Gadwall he didn't know what to do with. The rest he got because he went where I pointed.

My suggestion (inexperienced as it is) Try pointing to the marks and eventually she will associate the two. I am excited for you that she is picking up live birds. My current problem is he isn't to sure of live birds and he is starting to develop a taste for decoys. Sounds live you have the making of a good dog.
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Postby ACEBLDRS » Sat Dec 24, 2005 7:16 pm

Sounds like to me that you could get a puppy with the same type of drive and training that this one year old has.

I wouldn't take the dog. You will be pretty much starting at square one it sounds like, minus the potty training hopefully.

Get a pup and teach it what you want and how you want.'ve got to ask yourself a question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?

Dirty Harry

Die' en ain't much of a livin' son.
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Postby CrackerJackShot » Sat Dec 24, 2005 7:27 pm

OK well NOW Im having DIFFERENT problems... Took her out again, and I will say, her paying attention to the sky and drive for the birds was PHENOMINAL!!!! She now STRAINS at the rope when so much as a duck buzzes by. She marked every single bird. The first hunt on friday she made her first retrieve of 250 yards or more. I was SO proud, we put a ton of shot into a widgeon and it slowly went down almost too far to see. The dog went after it and we had no idea it was still over there... after a couple minutes here she came with the duck in her mouth. NOW our problem is she is dropping the birds before she gets to us. AND on the second hunt with just me she rushed right over to every bird, and just picked it up then dropped it and decided that she would rather sit there and lick and chew on it then bring it back to me. we were TOLD she was force broken but she DEFINATLY needs more of that. I think that if she gets that down, she will start to be great. What do yall think?!?!
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Postby kcduckslayer » Sun Dec 25, 2005 12:12 am

I dont know how much $$$ you are paying but if the dog is potty trained and you know it has the drive and the smarts to be great, I would buy it. I think when you buy a pup you are gambling. It might have the drive or it might not. This way you already know what the dog is already about.
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Postby Hawk » Sun Dec 25, 2005 11:55 am

These problems your having are very minor. They can be corrected by you. The question. Is the dog worth the price to hunt right now? or start over with a new pup? Only you can decide that. what it sounds like to me you have the making of a great dog, a little more training a jam-up dog.
Compare the price between the 2 . Next year you could have dog with experience hunting under his belt with you. Or be with a new pup and possibly run into the same problems your running into now. Your call,
your money, your time, just depends is it worth it.. My advice is to take the dog. Good luck.... Hawk
Butt- Belly- Beak- Boom
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Postby Marshwalker » Mon Dec 26, 2005 12:31 am


cant agree more. [/quote]
Arise...Kill.. and eat
- Acts 10:13

"Kill a crow, Save a duck".
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