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Thread: Training Dogs to Handle Live Geese

  1. #1
    Senior Member Don Lietzau's Avatar
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    Default Training Dogs to Handle Live Geese

    Do you goose hunting guys have any techniques specifics on training your pup for retrieving live, wounded geese and cranes? I know there is concern about a dog getting beat up. Where do you goose hunters start? Thanks Don

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    Senior Member Ken Bora's Avatar
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    sorry if this sounds like I am being mean or rude,
    as some have said about some posts

    but the long and short of it is just shoot more geese.
    let the dog work it out.
    "So what is big is not always the Trout nor the Deer but the chance, the being there. And what is full is not necessarily the creel nor the freezer, but the memory." ~ Aldo Leopold

    "The Greatest Obstacle to Discovery is not Ignorance -- It is the Illusion of Knowledge" ~ Daniel Boorstin

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    I would never let my dog retrieve a live crane. I've heard stories about live cranes going for the dogs eyes. Not worth the risk.

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    Senior Member crackerd's Avatar
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    Wise old Lenape saying: That's only wind beneath their wings -



    - unless it's a dog!




    Which translates into "More geese for everybody!"












    MG

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    Senior Member DRAKEHAVEN's Avatar
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    Live birds of a smaller species and LOTS of them, then dead of the geese (in training) keep it happy, get them "up" almost frenzied in attitude and lower your standard in the beginning for how they grab the bigger dead birds, sometime you have to turn your hunting into a training session on game day.
    Discipline is no excuse for a lack of enthusiasm !!

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    Senior Member ADB391's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by logy View Post
    I would never let my dog retrieve a live crane. I've heard stories about live cranes going for the dogs eyes. Not worth the risk.

    Agreed...as far as the geese go, probably something they just have to get used to. One of our dogs first bird was a crippled speckle belly and he picked it up like a champ. I think he was just too young and full of energy to be nervous. Hope it works out!

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    Senior Member BigKahuna13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Bora View Post
    sorry if this sounds like I am being mean or rude,
    as some have said about some posts

    but the long and short of it is just shoot more geese.
    let the dog work it out.
    X2 on the job training!!!!!!!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Mark Littlejohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by logy View Post
    I would never let my dog retrieve a live crane. I've heard stories about live cranes going for the dogs eyes. Not worth the risk.
    Can't emphasize this enough. 2 dogs were KILLED in 2 years by wounded cranes on a guide's lease adjacent to ours in the Matagorda Tx area. In both cases, the owner's OOC dogs broke to a falling sandhill, got 'em in the chest/ribcage with that bill. Leave the dog and walk out there yourself, gun in hand if you're hunting cranes.


  9. #9
    Senior Member Don Lietzau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DRAKEHAVEN View Post
    Live birds of a smaller species and LOTS of them, then dead of the geese (in training) keep it happy, get them "up" almost frenzied in attitude and lower your standard in the beginning for how they grab the bigger dead birds, sometime you have to turn your hunting into a training session on game day.
    I would say that is basically how we get it done. I do teach my dogs to pick up geese in the field but the foundation for big game retrieves is already in place. My dogs, a 5 year old lab, 2 year old DD and a 1 year old DD, are so use to managing all sorts of birds and small and big game through training and hunting A goose just does not seem to phase them after the first couple birds. I am sure the day will come, but so far so good.
    Basically what I am seeing is a dog hitting a goose full force at 25 miles per hour. Grabin style: The lab does a cross body block on contact with a standing goose, slamming it with her hip on arrival of the crash. The other 2 just dive straight in and grab as they roll in a ball, coming up on top every time. Cranes the same. That bird just don't stand a chance getting hit by a 50 -70 pound train. Looks to me like the impact pretty much takes the fight out of the bird before it even starts. Many times the bird is still alive on delivery but it just hangs there as if in shock.
    Josey, my female DD took het first goose, live and in the water. OK, she was 9 moths old, 37 pounds and full of grit. She did break at the geese we had down on a huge stock pond in Montana. The water chase was at least 30 minutes and involved a second wounded goose coming to the rescue of the first. Well, she turned on goose number 2 and the fight was on. At least 10 minutes went by and it looked like Moby Dick and Captain Ahab in the middle of that stock pond.
    When she finely wore the goose down she tried to drag it by the wing tip, but the goose would have no part of that. She grabbed it by the head but in swimming she would get up on the bird and flip over it, ending up under the goose. Finally she grabbed the rear quarter and pushed it like a barge. One tired pup when she came in but it was all good. Even now, at 50 pounds she handles the biggest of geese and cranes with ease. She has learned to grab them right on the wing butt/ breast and she can lift them and carry without a problem.
    As far as cranes go, I have never seen or met the guy with a one eyed crane dog. I am sure a crane would be an heavy opponent for a dog that hesitates and dances around the bird. Risk of injury, I have had a dog impale itself on a stick and so has my buddy. Never had a problem with an injury inflected from a crane to date. Stuff like that happens.
    Don


    Crackard: you got some of the greatest photos. Thanks

  10. #10
    Senior Member Don Lietzau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Littlejohn View Post
    Can't emphasize this enough. 2 dogs were KILLED in 2 years by wounded cranes on a guide's lease adjacent to ours in the Matagorda Tx area. In both cases, the owner's OOC dogs broke to a falling sandhill, got 'em in the chest/ribcage with that bill. Leave the dog and walk out there yourself, gun in hand if you're hunting cranes.

    Mark, Good argument. Sounds like you met the guy with the "one eyed crane dog"
    Question? What is an OOC dog.
    Thanks Don

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