4 year old having trouble marking from boat blind

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4 year old having trouble marking from boat blind

Postby greenhead1987 » Wed Nov 13, 2013 12:08 pm

I have just acquired a 4 year old black lab that has always hunted from a pit. The problem is that I mostly hunt from a boat blind. What drills can I do that will ready this dog for a boat blind? I have taken the dog twice now and she is alert all day just as she would be in a pit but when the birds fall it is as if she has a hard time marking them.
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Re: 4 year old having trouble marking from boat blind

Postby swampbilly 1980 » Wed Nov 13, 2013 12:10 pm

greenhead1987 wrote:I have just acquired a 4 year old black lab that has always hunted from a pit. The problem is that I mostly hunt from a boat blind. What drills can I do that will ready this dog for a boat blind? I have taken the dog twice now and she is alert all day just as she would be in a pit but when the birds fall it is as if she has a hard time marking them.

Do you mean the dog was below ground level in the pit and really couldn't mark anything very well?
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Re: 4 year old having trouble marking from boat blind

Postby greenhead1987 » Wed Nov 13, 2013 12:14 pm

No, her head was above ground level and was able to mark everything from the pit. Or so I was told. She marks very well in the yard and with drills with dummies.
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Re: 4 year old having trouble marking from boat blind

Postby swampbilly 1980 » Wed Nov 13, 2013 12:23 pm

Gotcha'.
So do you believe that perhaps in the floatin' blind your dog just isn't positioned in a very good vantage point where it can see everything that's going on?

Might have to make some modifications so that pup can mark well- maybe a little dog blind on the bow (if enough room) with pup on a remote.

The best "drill" that I know is to get the dog into a position where it can mark with very little obstruction and still participate in the hunt- keep taking the dog in the floating blind so that it gets acclimated to a "new" different way of hunting.
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Re: 4 year old having trouble marking from boat blind

Postby greenhead1987 » Wed Nov 13, 2013 12:29 pm

Well, I am hunting out of a beavertail boat blind with a dog door installed. I keep it rolled up and she sits with her head out of the door most of the morning. I hope that is nothing serious and that it is just an acclimation issue. I am in the process of trying to decide what type of boarding ladder to build/buy. I have only taken her twice so I am trying not to get too frustrated with it because I know it is all new to her. I was thinking about the next time I get to go, taking a dummy and making her do some retrieves from the boat right before I plan to pick up decoys.
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Re: 4 year old having trouble marking from boat blind

Postby swampbilly 1980 » Wed Nov 13, 2013 12:36 pm

greenhead1987 wrote:Well, I am hunting out of a beavertail boat blind with a dog door installed. I keep it rolled up and she sits with her head out of the door most of the morning. I hope that is nothing serious and that it is just an acclimation issue. I am in the process of trying to decide what type of boarding ladder to build/buy. I have only taken her twice so I am trying not to get too frustrated with it because I know it is all new to her. I was thinking about the next time I get to go, taking a dummy and making her do some retrieves from the boat right before I plan to pick up decoys.

I'd say if pup was successful out of a pit blind, marked, and had no problem, it's just a matter of getting acclimated to a different way of huntin'.
Good idea on some marks, and if you have the luxury of an assistant you could have him toss some out in front of the dog from a distance. Set the blind up towards the shore and have an assistant toss from the shore into water.
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Re: 4 year old having trouble marking from boat blind

Postby i_willie12 » Wed Nov 13, 2013 1:35 pm

swampbilly 1980 wrote:I'd say if pup was successful out of a pit blind, marked, and had no problem, it's just a matter of getting acclimated to a different way of huntin'.


Agree Do everything you can to make sure the dog can see Dog cant see... Dog cant mark...
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Re: 4 year old having trouble marking from boat blind

Postby ScaupHunter » Wed Nov 13, 2013 5:34 pm

How does the dog handle blinds?

Bella spends part of her hunting days sleeping in front of the boat heater when things are slow. I don't need her to see every bird fall to get solid retrieves. She wakes right up when we pick the guns up. She usually hops into her place and marks everthing as it falls. If she misses some we run blinds and she picks them all up.
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Re: 4 year old having trouble marking from boat blind

Postby greenhead1987 » Thu Nov 14, 2013 6:39 am

Well, like I said I have only had her a short time, but the answer to your question is no. I was not told that she was whistle trained so I have a lot of work ahead of me before doing blinds. She marks great on land. Its almost as if she sees it fall but when I send her she will go but not hunt to the point that she saw the bird drop. In relation to your question, how is the easiest way to start teaching an older dog whistle commands?
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Re: 4 year old having trouble marking from boat blind

Postby Duckdon » Thu Nov 14, 2013 10:49 am

greenhead1987 wrote:I have just acquired a 4 year old black lab that has always hunted from a pit. The problem is that I mostly hunt from a boat blind. What drills can I do that will ready this dog for a boat blind? I have taken the dog twice now and she is alert all day just as she would be in a pit but when the birds fall it is as if she has a hard time marking them.


I would suggest the following drill

Place dog and hunter in boat near decoys
Call ducks in while dog is watching
Shoot ducks
Send dog
Repeat as necessary
Bet he catches on real quick................


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Re: 4 year old having trouble marking from boat blind

Postby krazybronco2 » Thu Nov 14, 2013 1:03 pm

greenhead1987 wrote:Well, like I said I have only had her a short time, but the answer to your question is no. I was not told that she was whistle trained so I have a lot of work ahead of me before doing blinds. She marks great on land. Its almost as if she sees it fall but when I send her she will go but not hunt to the point that she saw the bird drop. In relation to your question, how is the easiest way to start teaching an older dog whistle commands?


can you explain this alittle more?
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Re: 4 year old having trouble marking from boat blind

Postby Duckdon » Thu Nov 14, 2013 2:42 pm

"how is the easiest way to start teaching an older dog whistle commands?"
Same way you teach a young dog.....

Sounds to me like you might slow down a bit. You just aquired the pup. Your trying not to get frustrated? You mentioned the dog has only been out a couple times with you. She had only hunted from a pit prior. Now you talking about teaching whistle commands, blinds? Slow down just a bit. Get the mutt out hunting. Set her up to see and get the feel for what your doing. I just bet if she was any good in the pit she will catch on real quick out of the boat blind. Rather than tossing dummies from the boat as a drill, why not real ducks?
Go out, have fun, relax. You will catch on, as soon as she will. Don
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Re: 4 year old having trouble marking from boat blind

Postby berudd » Sat Nov 16, 2013 10:48 pm

FWIW, the OP didn't bring up blinds, someone else did.

Maybe water is the key here. In the pit was it over a field or was she swimming to retrieve? If most of her retrieving has been on land maybe her internal clock tells her she should have been there by now. Maybe a crazy idea but just a thought. Try working her on dummies in a pond or lake and see how it goes.

Are the birds falling in brush or other heavy cover? That could be a factor as well as that pit probably didn't have those types of obstacles in front of it.
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Re: 4 year old having trouble marking from boat blind

Postby greenhead1987 » Mon Nov 18, 2013 7:46 am

Well, just thought I would update you on some progress. I went over to a buddy's pond on Friday evening to work with her off the bank. I had my buddy throw dummies across the pond into a decoy spread and she did great. Saturday morning he and I went hunting and I decided to bring a few dummies so that I could work with her out of the blind. My buddy got out of the boat and threw the dummies for me and she seemed to be catching on very quickly. It was night and day difference from the way she worked last Tuesday. I am reassured now that it is just a matter of time and killing some ducks over her. Thanks for all of the input from every one.
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Re: 4 year old having trouble marking from boat blind

Postby berudd » Mon Nov 18, 2013 8:45 pm

That's great to hear. It's pretty amazing hw quickly they catch on sometimes.
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