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Thread: Teaching a dog to use its nose?

  1. #41
    Senior Member Hunt'EmUp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilBernardi View Post
    k when we get into formal training - initially. I’d tip the balance to the eyes over the nose until I was confident that fido was confident about marking, and proceeding with marking the way I need them to mark.
    I completely agree; but formal training doesn't start until much later (~6 mt), maybe slight OB @ 4-5mt if the pup has an attention span at that point . Most puppy play (aka. instinctual work); nose work, bird intro, play fetch, etc. is well over. When I switch to formal training; CC, FF, then Marking development, Most of that is primarily eye and teamwork based. Still it is all about balance; and it is nice to have a pup with a bit of nose development when they get out to those marks, gives them confidence and keeps them in the area.

    It's amazing how that early stuff sticks with them, I put a pup in a intermediate NARHA last weekend, she hasn't done any nose work since ~ 4mt of age, but followed that nose down the trail right out to the bird. I'll have to formalized it a bit more, for my type of hunting & the upper stakes but it was still there.
    Last edited by Hunt'EmUp; 12-10-2013 at 06:49 PM.
    "They's Just DAWGS"
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  2. #42
    Senior Member polmaise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilBernardi View Post
    initially. Id tip the balance to the eyes over the nose until I was confident that fido was confident about marking, and proceeding with marking the way I need them to mark.
    Get a Sight hound ?..they are great at that.
    One Shooter One Spaniel One Retriever

  3. #43
    Senior Member Don Lietzau's Avatar
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    Once you have a dog that knows how to use it's nose you will understand how important the nose is. Any dog can find a dead duck, legs still kicking, in the middle of the kill hole at 35 yards. It's the other ones that are more difficult. I train for the other ones and that training starts early. Just my humble opinion. Don

  4. #44
    Senior Member duk4me's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Lietzau View Post
    Once you have a dog that knows how to use it's nose you will understand how important the nose is. Any dog can find a dead duck, legs still kicking, in the middle of the kill hole at 35 yards. It's the other ones that are more difficult. I train for the other ones and that training starts early. Just my humble opinion. Don
    Yes indeed, the essence of a retriever. A partner that retrieves what his/her master cannot find. The original purpose.
    I have learned I need these dogs much more than they need me. Tim Bockmon

  5. #45
    Senior Member BJGatley's Avatar
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    Your making this harder then it seems. Buy some quail or chukar at the local feed store. They usually sell the quail or will tell you where to go. They are cheap....In the field, when dog is in crate and can't see you, spin the qual's head and place head under wing. Walk in zig-zags to area to prevent dog to smell your scent. Placed bird and tie a very small orange ribbon to a branch. Walk back in a zip-zag to rig. Release dog with a rope and start the quarter process. When tail gets busy and their body is moving rapidity back and forth, release rope and give command to "Hunt it up". Be ready to shoot. Place birds upwind to dog to start off.
    These animals are smarter than you think. They know the different between using their nose and using their eyes.
    Lastly....Have fun snd watch in wonders.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brettttka View Post
    My dog will search out there and look for the birds but I seems he uses his eyes not his nose. He will wander and look but will almost have to walk him up to the bird for him to notice it. I have no plans on doing any upland hunting with him just would like him to be better on finding birds that fall in thick cover.
    Be curious as to whether or not this happens on marks or birds he doesn't see fall?


    Quote Originally Posted by Brettttka View Post
    Thanks guys for all the responses. I will try and use some different methods you have posted. He is a very birdy dog and is doing great for his first season just little things that we need to work on to make him better. Have some people mention planting some birds in the cover during slow time in the blind and having him learn that way and with a foot of snow on the ground right now and open water with ice eaters will try this next time in the blind and will use other drills around the house. He wants to find them just wants to see them instead of smelling them.
    If your dog is as birdy as you believe he is, then consider what these good folks have suggested- get some live birds. Keep the dog successful and don't let him leave the AOF or the area you've planted birds.

    Thing is-
    You really don't "teach a dog to use it's nose". It's one of his finest attributes, and most dogs already "know" that.
    You teach him when to use it.
    Dawgs are like Savings Accounts-
    You only get out of 'em what you put into 'em.

  7. #47

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    Most dogs really don't need to be taught to use their nose, they merely have to be trained to use their nose when commanded to do so.

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hunt'EmUp View Post
    That's your choice of course, but to me the nose is the dog, it's the one thing I can't do as a human; I can mark my own birds, I can pick the dead ones up myself, yet I'm unable to find those I cannot see, I need a dogs nose for that. Just my experience but the earlier the nose is developed the better it seems to work, the earlier a pup learns to trust that nose the more confident, thinking, and adventurous the pup becomes, which translates into a better hunter-game finder for me. So it's develop the nose first, the eyes later, then hopefully have a dog smart enough to know how to use both.
    You overestimate your own self worth in your "teaching" a pup to use its nose. They are born blind & as such rely solely on their nose for the first few weeks of their life to find everything
    Their nose is millions of times more advanced than ours, whereas their eyes are supposedly worse than ours. With young pups I want to encourage them to find things with their eyes; so as to make them aware visions importance. I don't want them sticking their nose to the ground all the time. I want heads up and that heads up attitude being rewarded by finding easy to see things.

    This is the intro to getting them to use their eyes to efficiently navigate to their area of the fall, then put their nose down and dig it out of the cover for advanced training and hunting

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