I am going to buy a dummy soon, either an ATB or a dokkens. I have no experience with either. I would be all for a dokkens, but I have heard of dogs breaking their teeth on the head. I have read lots of reviews on here about dogs not liking ATBs, so I am not sure about that either. How concerned should I be about breaking teeth? Is it very uncommon or not?
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07-11-2009, 12:16 PM
I have 10 Dokens and I'd recommend them. In 5 years, my dog has never broken a tooth on a Doken and I have never known someone personally that has had a dog that has broken a tooth on a Doken. The head is hard to discourage shaking and promote proper carrying of the bird.
07-11-2009, 12:45 PM
I use Dokkens every day and have plenty of them. I have never had a dog break a tooth on them. I did have a wood duck head break in half because it landed on the concrete sidwalk one night while I was throwing some fun bumpers. I also have 2 headless Dokkens that have fallen off from the rope going to the head wearing out. But this was after years of use and I still use the ducks today.
07-11-2009, 01:19 PM
I use Dokkens all the time with my dogs, and have never had a problem with broken teeth. The dogs love them too. Of course, I had one dog that grabbed one, and just started pulling chunks out of it, but he was a little nuts!
07-11-2009, 02:03 PM
Thanks guys. I guess I was just a little scared from some horror stories that I have heard.
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07-11-2009, 03:23 PM
I've used mine for 5 years with no problems. When they first came out, they advertised that the feet and head were designed to promote proper carry, and I thought that was sales gimmick....but it really does. While they're not real birds, they DO seem to excite the dogs more than bumpers, too. I thought $24 was a little steep, but the way they've held up, I don't mind the price. (I have no stock in Dokken, although I wish I did!)
07-15-2009, 03:44 PM
I've used both and my dogs will pick up a Dokken over the ATB all day long. I now have a 10 week old puppy and tried both the Teal Dokken and ATB with him and he just sniffed the ATB, wouldn't pick it up. He went bonkers over the Dokken though..
07-15-2009, 03:46 PM
Does anybody have a clue why most dogs (I have read about) prefer dokkens over atb? Seems very interesting to me.
07-15-2009, 03:49 PM
I have 6 Dokkens....they stink, they lost their color, 1 is missing a head, 2 have half of heads left, all of them are missing chunks of foam out of them (thank you Bullet) and they get very heavy when wet......
But I have had them for about 7 years....use them more than my 2" bumpers, I do not take care of them like I should! Too cheap to buy more right now, but they are worth it in my book!!
And white duck tape wrapped around the middle does wonders for visibilty....
Have never used an ATB....
07-16-2009, 09:09 AM
My Dokkens are in the same shape as Lainee's. One head split in half when it hit a rock, but that was a fluke thing. Over time, the rope that holds the head on begins to split the foam around it on the neck and tear through. They also begin to soak up more water as they age. Other than being a little heavier for the dog to carry and for you to throw, setting lower in the water, stinking due to the water retention and starting to look more like a real dead duck, they still work.
The ATB's are more like a bumper in the shape of a duck. They are air filled with ridges on them for gripping. Heads are similar to a Dokken, but no plastic feet. I do like the ATB flasher (balck & white) for easier visibility on long marks, but you can accomplish the same thing with white tape tied on a Dokken, bumper or bird.
If I'm not using dead birds, I usually just opt for bumpers. They come in a variety of colors for different uses, stack neatly in a drawer or a bag and don't take up as much room as the bird look-a-likes. My dogs don't get any more excited for a Dokken or ATB than they do for a regular old bumper. Now bring out the real thing and it's a different story.
07-16-2009, 09:41 AM
Why? What makes these better than bumpers? Do the dogs care?
07-18-2009, 09:17 PM
I tried to order and ATB just to try something different and recieved a call from the company I ordered from the next day saying they no longer offered them. Per the customer service agent they had problems with consistancy from different runs. One batch would be great and the next would be crap.
07-18-2009, 11:36 PM
During a waterfowl exposition in NJ, my retriever club put on a demo with dogs retrieving ATBs and bumpers in Barnegat Bay. My dog had been FF'd and never ever refused anything - but on this particular day and in front of spectators he refused to pickup an ATB? It was embarassing for both of us. He loves Dokkens - we have 3 now - started with a little quail when he was a pup. Never a problem. The quail is long gone as its legs and head busted after several hundred retrieves.
Most of the time now we just train with the 3" plastic bumpers.
Oh yeah, to finish the story... when we got home from the demo - we spent the next week and a half revisiting some FF lessons.
07-22-2009, 11:34 AM
You really need to look at the new Avery easy birds. They are awesome and don't get the bad smell the Dokkens get over time.
07-22-2009, 08:26 PM
I don't like the dokkens because of the stinch and when they have been well used, they begin to soak up and hold lots of water, making them very heavy.
07-22-2009, 09:29 PM
Why does everyone want to smell their Dokens?
07-24-2009, 11:09 PM
I have both ATB from Avery and the Dokken's. I also just recieved the new EZ Bird from Avery as well. The new EX bird has a really nice head on it. You can squeeze it but it still would not feel good smacking yourself in the face with it. The EZ bird is slmost the exact girth as a full size dokken but not quite as long. I never got to use it for training though yet. I have both the mallard and the flasher. I laughed when I looked at the mallard and saw that they painted the eyes to look as if the bird is dead and the eyes are half open. The flasher sticks out and is easy to see. I also have one mallard ATB and one flasher ATB. The mallards outside cracked on me this past January while throwing some marks for the dog while goose hunting. It was 1 degree on the car thermometer when I was throwing the ATB. I believe the cold weather and hard ground had much to do with it. It was so cold the saliva from the dog turned into ice on the ATB. Dokkens are great but as stated above they begin to stick when they get used often. I can't leave my training bag in my truck for more then about an hour when it is warm out or it smells like cat piss. I have about 4 or so dokkens and like them. They are slowly falling apart though. Feet are falling out and large chunks of foam are starting to crack off. I think the ATB's are a little too big and I can throw the Dokkens farther. Until I test the new EZ bird it is a tough decision. I know the ATBs float higher as well. Get both. I think I have at least one of every kind of bumper sold except for the armadillo foam birds.