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#6372974 - 07/18/16 10:00 AM Training with live ducks
hunting_guy Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 09/09/15
Posts: 163
Loc: Central Texas
I purchased some pen raised Mallards over the weekend for training. Buck has already been introduced to birds as a pup, and then again during FF. He hasn't had feathers in his mouth since the early spring though. I plan on dispatching one of the birds and doing a few simple mark retrieves on a check cord so he gets used to then again, then using the remaining live birds for some water work, cripple training, and tightening up steadiness to wing and shot.

Any trainers have any advice, do's and dont's, or drill recommendations for working your dog around live birds?

I'm going to start simulating real hunts as much as I can before hunting season starts and I figure live birds are the best way to do that. He's been trained on all this stuff with bumpers, but I know live birds can make the dog forget alot when prey drive kicks in.
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#6375107 - 07/19/16 06:39 PM Re: Training with live ducks [Re: hunting_guy]
Sweese Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 07/03/15
Posts: 197
Loc: North Texas
It is a good move to train with real ducks.

The first thing to do is to reinforce FF using the duck. Just place the duck in front of Buck on the ground and proceed as you would with other objects used during FF. After that, I would suggest getting a helper to throw the "marks". That will give you full control of Buck and also help him to mark birds out in front of him, instead of those tossed from his side.

Start in light cover and progress to heavier cover on land and water. I do recommend bringing in the gun, but you may want a helper to do this first. Again, it is important that you focus on Buck and keeping him steady.



Have fun!
_________________________
Regards,

Jay



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#6375362 - 07/19/16 09:34 PM Re: Training with live ducks [Re: hunting_guy]
Leonardo Online   content
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 01/03/08
Posts: 4661
Loc: Wise County
Not sure how many you bought but you can duct tape them up pretty good after he gets use to them. Extend their usefulness.

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#6376128 - 07/20/16 01:46 PM Re: Training with live ducks [Re: Sweese]
Birdhunter61 Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 03/16/11
Posts: 368
Originally Posted By: Sweese
It is a good move to train with real ducks.

The first thing to do is to reinforce FF using the duck. Just place the duck in front of Buck on the ground and proceed as you would with other objects used during FF. After that, I would suggest getting a helper to throw the "marks". That will give you full control of Buck and also help him to mark birds out in front of him, instead of those tossed from his side.

Start in light cover and progress to heavier cover on land and water. I do recommend bringing in the gun, but you may want a helper to do this first. Again, it is important that you focus on Buck and keeping him steady.



Have fun!


I personally don't put pressure on the pup when introducing birds. I want the experience to be a good one. Tie wrap the feet/wings works good for live birds. Make sure they are good with picking up dead birds before introducing live or crippled birds.

Robby

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#6376182 - 07/20/16 02:33 PM Re: Training with live ducks [Re: Birdhunter61]
BradyBuck Online   content
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 10/18/07
Posts: 5118
Loc: Abilene, TX
Originally Posted By: Birdhunter61
Originally Posted By: Sweese
It is a good move to train with real ducks.

The first thing to do is to reinforce FF using the duck. Just place the duck in front of Buck on the ground and proceed as you would with other objects used during FF. After that, I would suggest getting a helper to throw the "marks". That will give you full control of Buck and also help him to mark birds out in front of him, instead of those tossed from his side.

Start in light cover and progress to heavier cover on land and water. I do recommend bringing in the gun, but you may want a helper to do this first. Again, it is important that you focus on Buck and keeping him steady.



Have fun!


I personally don't put pressure on the pup when introducing birds. I want the experience to be a good one. Tie wrap the feet/wings works good for live birds. Make sure they are good with picking up dead birds before introducing live or crippled birds.

Robby


Something I recently learned with my pup. We had just finished up stick fetch uising bumpers. I threw a mark for the first time in a while and she dropped it when she came to heel. So...I pinched her ear and she picked it up. Next mark she dropped about 10 feet in front of me. Well by god she was going pick that bumper up and I got into a pissing match with her and didn't get anywhere.

I thought about it and the next time I took her out for field work I waited for her to drop the bumper when she came to heel. I picked it up, calmly said "hold" and did a little obedience with her holding. That was two weeks ago and hasn't dropped a bumper since. Last week I used a dead pigeon. She came to heel and dropped. I did the same thing... Picked it up put it in her mouth and made her hold it. Since then she hasn't dropped on bird.

She did well with bumpers all through ear pinch, walking fetch and stick fetch....but in a different setting she didn't understand and I just had to show her instead of forcing her. However, now I know she knows she's supposed to not drop that bird.

So at first you might just get him comfortable fetching and holding a live bird.....or you might be able to force it like Sweese said but I think it depends on the dog and you'll just need to figure out what works best for your dog.


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#6379835 - 07/23/16 01:03 PM Re: Training with live ducks [Re: hunting_guy]
hunting_guy Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 09/09/15
Posts: 163
Loc: Central Texas
My wife finally got back from a business trip, so I have my helper back finally.

My plan is to take him out where I normally work with him in my back yard first. I'll do some fetch and short fun marks with a fresh dead bird this afternoon to get him comfortable and see how he reacts. It should't be an issue as his fetch has been as solid as can be lately. I learned a 2 minute drill from one of Hillman's videos that incorporates sit, fetch, down, come, and heel and I try doing that at least 2 times a day with him and he absolutely loves it and keeps most of his OB commands sharp over the summer. I've also been working really hard on his stay and steadiness as of late using his place and trying to get him to move off the place by tempting him with bumpers, activity, other dogs etc... and he has been solid at that.

Tomorrow I'll take him out to the pond and hide my wife in the brush with a dead bird and a shackled bird and get her to throw single marks when I fire off a couple blanks and see how he does. I'll keep him on a short leash, I don't want him to think breaking is okay with birds of course and I know he will probably try the first time.

He's absolutely fine around plenty of gunfire and 100% on everything else so I'm going to start placing him in some real hunting situations so he is prepared for opening day.

Thanks for the advice.

I was only able to get 6 live birds, and they are mean suckers. I was clipping their wings and they absolutely don't like that. Just a word of caution, keep eye protection on around live ducks, they go for the eyes when cornered, lol. Don't ask me how I know.
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#6385326 - 07/27/16 09:33 PM Re: Training with live ducks [Re: hunting_guy]
maximumintensityretriever Offline
Tracker

Registered: 04/16/13
Posts: 512
Loc: Longview, Texas
The only restriction I place when introducing birds is the pup is not allowed to tear them up in any way.
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Tony Marshall
Maximum Intensity Retrievers
https://m.facebook.com/maximumintensity.retrievers
(903) 720-6842

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#6401982 - 08/10/16 10:56 AM Re: Training with live ducks [Re: hunting_guy]
hunting_guy Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 09/09/15
Posts: 163
Loc: Central Texas
Just an update on this. I re-introduced a fresh dead bird to Buck a few days ago. I threw him a simple mark and he charged out after it, once he got to the bird he was fairly timid. I gave him the fetch command and a nick and he picked it up and brought it back. I worked on that for a few days and he got better, no longer timid or requiring any electronic stimulation.

I then caught a live one and shackled him a little bit, held the dog at line and had my wife toss it out in the yard about 50 yards away. Well, the duck made all kinds of ruckus quacking and flailing around. Buck couldn't stand it and broke for the bird. I'm not gonna fault him for that this time, I should have had him on a check cord. He looked like a free safety on that duck though basically tackling the duck, no timidness whatsoever. Got a good hold and brought it back to heel. I did that a few more times and he managed to hold at heel when the live bird was thrown the next few times.

Anyway, later this week I'm going to take him to the pond and put the whole package together for him. Gunfire, live birds, heavy cover, water, etc... and we'll see how he does.
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#6402508 - 08/10/16 03:47 PM Re: Training with live ducks [Re: hunting_guy]
passthru Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/05/06
Posts: 10868
Loc: Saginaw, Tx
Tess bailed out after a mallard hen with a busted wing in a customer's back yard the other day. On it before I could stop her. Couldn't understand why I made her let it go.
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Hunt hard, rest when you're dead.
NRA Life Member
southwestdocks@gmail.com
http://www.threefingersbowhunting.com/

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