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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The two yr old lab I got is doing great. He has gone from you just throwing a bumper and he would bring it back to you. To him sitting (no stay command, my sit command acts as both sit and stay), retrieves the bumper, holds great, occasionally he breaks...the dog is performing good in my eyes. So now I want to start bringing in 2 bumpers. He is getting where he retrieves both bumpers, but it is not consistent. He never goes for the 1st bumper 1st. Now he is wanting to go pick up the 2nd go to the first bring the first back then go back for the second... Just looking for some tips to get him to go after the bumper I line him up with....
 

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It is best to start off with short retrieves, and an obstacle, like a bush, in between the falls of the 2 bumpers. The obstacle will prevent the dog from running over to the second bumper, or "switching". After several episodes with the obstacle, you can move to an open field.

Once your dog gets decent on 2 retrieves you can move on to the "No-no drill."

My dog has been taught to retrieve the last fall first, but in the event of a cripple I like to be able to choose which bumper she retrieves.

Sit your dog with the obstacle directly in front of you. Whip 2 bumpers out, one on each side of the obstacle with at least 90 degrees between the 2 falls. Line the dog on the last fall, and say "no, no bird." Turn the dog to line up on the first fall and send it.

If the dog cheats to the wrong bumper stop the dog, and set up toward the one you want retrieved. This time get closer to the desired bumper and send the dog.

:thumbsup:
 

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Good advise Harv,
The onlt thing I have to add is:
If you can't get him to stop when he goes fro the wrong bird, put a check cord on him and stop him physically. Real him in to the original starting point and try it again.
It won't take him long to figure this out. When he figures it out, increase the distance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
When he goes for the wrong bumper I can tell him no no, and he will come right back. Once he gets back 50% of the time he thinks he is in trouble, the other 50% he goes after the bumper I line him with.

Is it better to retrieve the last bird first or first bird first.
 

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set him up to succeed. If he goes for the wrong bumper a single "no" should be sufficient.

when he doesn't complete a double correctly on his own you should walk him around a little bit, clear his head, and come back to the same place to try again. This time though, make it so he will have a better chance to do it correctly. By that I mean if he had a tendency to cheat towards one way, run the drill this time so the temptation is greatly reduced.

I have my dog retrieve the last fall first, and work backward in succession. Well, that's the theory, but sometimes it doesn't always work out that way :oops: When doing 4's and 5's she will sometimes skip the order. At that point, as long as she doesn't switch and remembers all of them I don't really care. There is a practical application to this and here's why. We have had goose hunts when we are raining birds down on her while retrieving. As long as she can pick them all up without losing one, and I can keep calling/shooting without having to get out of my blind, I feel like she's doing her job. :thumbsup:
 

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You have got to use a check cord and fix this. The dog should go for the bird you send it for. Picture this, you are in your blind and a set of pintail come in. A drake gets hit and glides off to go down 100 yards off. A second that your friend shoots lands stone dead 10 feet in front of the blind. Your dog has got to go for the bird that you send him for, the far one in this case. If he balks and goes to the close bird first you stand a better chance of loosing the far bird.
Just my 2 cents....
 

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I would use a checkcord but I would also have a helper throwing the go bird..If the dog strays to the memory bird have the thrower get the dogs attention...

Also,count to 5 before throwing the go bird,maybe you are throwing the marks to fast??
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I started throwing 1st bumper closer, and the second behind a bush. I send him for the first and he goes. Sometimes he tries to get to it then go for the second, or some other crazy stuff. However, a simple but firm no and he, depending on where the bumper and how he is running, will either come back to me, or correct himself. If he comes to me I send him again, and he performs like he should. So I think it is safe to say he understand what I want him to do. I think he is still doing good...
 

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Sounds like your dog is doing good. He could be doing better but you have to adjust your training. All the advice above is really good and answered your question when you posted.

Throwing the 1st mark closer (maing it easier) and the 2nd mark further (making it harder) so that your dog gets the 1st mark first...you're fooling yourself on the progress you are making.

Among the many reasons to send the dog on the last mark thrown first is to build memory but also build confidence.

Everytime you have to correct your dog with a 'no' because he doesn't understand what you want - you are eroding confidence which is KEY for his success with other things. You have to TEACH what you want first, make sure the dog knows what you want and then train with that knowledge. The methods above help you do that. Bottom line - you need to get formal about your training and understand first yourself - and then use that knowledge to train the dog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
HNTFSH said:
Sounds like your dog is doing good. He could be doing better but you have to adjust your training. All the advice above is really good and answered your question when you posted.

Throwing the 1st mark closer (maing it easier) and the 2nd mark further (making it harder) so that your dog gets the 1st mark first...you're fooling yourself on the progress you are making.

Among the many reasons to send the dog on the last mark thrown first is to build memory but also build confidence.

Everytime you have to correct your dog with a 'no' because he doesn't understand what you want - you are eroding confidence which is KEY for his success with other things. You have to TEACH what you want first, make sure the dog knows what you want and then train with that knowledge. The methods above help you do that. Bottom line - you need to get formal about your training and understand first yourself - and then use that knowledge to train the dog.
Well, I used that method, along with throwing the second bumper behind a bush so he could not see it. Today I took the first bumper threw it in the brush on the edge of the woods beside a big tree. Walked him away threw the second on the other side of the my little storage building. I then walked him back, sent him after the first. He went right towards it, caught the scent and jumped right on it. Brought it back, and turned towards the building. I sent him, and he came back with the second bumper.

Not to sound corny, but it seems I form a bond with my babies. My pit has always had that bond where its like he knows what I want him to do. Cotton is the same way. I spend a lot of personal time rolling on the ground with him, and chasing him. He is more than my duck dog, hell he is more than just my huntin buddy....
 

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You should keep doing what works for ya.

A drill you may consider is in open green space....and the dog at heel - toss the 1st bumper out 20 yards. Keeping the dog at heel, turn 180 degrees and toss the 2nd bumper 20 yards.

Send the dog on the last bumper. When he returns, take it and get him back to heel. Then turn 180 back to the 1st bumper and send him for that.

Do this until the dog is always going for the bumper you are lined up on. Slowly go from 180 degree seperation to 120 to a 100 to 90 to 60 to 45 over a few weeks or as the dog is 'getting it'. But ALWAYS send on the last bumper first.

This will at least teach the dog that the line he has is the bumper you want. As he progresses you can bring those lines closer together.

This goes to Harvey's point above about setting up to succeed.
 

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For a beginner, when doing the wagon wheel you want the dog to actually be able to see each and every bumper before sending them, correct? Cause sometimes I do it in 6 inch grass and half of the time he has to do blind retrieves.
 

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Yea...early on there is NO shame in the dog seeing the mark on the ground. It's all about getting used to a directional retrieve. Eveything IMHO is about building confidence through success and repetition. As that occurs...some the 'help' we give them gets less and less.

That said - all this depends on whether somone is following a sequential program where the advice and logical order of progression might be different - because it's structured.
 

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rookiehunter said:
For a beginner, when doing the wagon wheel you want the dog to actually be able to see each and every bumper before sending them, correct? Cause sometimes I do it in 6 inch grass and half of the time he has to do blind retrieves.
Correct!!! The wagon wheel should always be done to where the bumpers are all visual...The first 8 bumpers are white and the second tier are orange...

Smartwork Phase 1 shows this drill very well..
 

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rookiehunter said:
Thanks for your help goose, not only did you help answer my question but you gave me a nice wake up call this mornin. :rofl: :rofl:
It is boot camp around here my friend!!! Hut two three four !!!! Would you like for me to wake you in the morning?? I will be up at 5 AM CST...... :devil:

Honestly,sorry for the early call..Please call me tomorrow after mail time to let me know if your package arrives..

About the wagon wheel...30 yards max for the 2nd tier.....Bumpers are always in throwing range...
 
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