Playing in the snow.. Good or Bad idea??
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Thread: Playing in the snow.. Good or Bad idea??

  1. #1

    Default Playing in the snow.. Good or Bad idea??

    Here in the mighty MO, we have gotten hammered with the snow. Have more than a foot on the ground. Kinda hinders training, at least where I am at with my 8 month BLF. So for the last few days, we've taken a break from the daily grind of training per say.. I'm currently in the middle of FTP with her and she's doing great, always has a great attitude and loves to work. With all the snow, it makes FTP a little tough. Sooo, myself and my bumper boy (5 year old son) have been throwing thawed ducks for her to pass the time and have a little fun. Honestly, it's been a nice little break for both of us. Obviously the duck disappears into the great white sea of snow, I send her, she gets to the area and "hunts" for it, roots it out and brings it back with great excitement. However, sometimes this "hunt" takes 10 seconds, the longest was probably a minute or so. Up to this point, she's definitely demonstrated she is much more nose oriented than sight oriented when "searching" for objects and really does have an impressive sniffer. Sooo, I began to wonder, by doing this and having her "search" on her own for these ducks, will this make it tougher on the both of us down the road as far as the handling aspect in her training goes? Is it teaching her that if she "hunts" long enough, she will not need guidance from me? I don't want to put her at a disadvantage later down the road by doing this. Curious as to thoughts? If this is a dumb question, feel free to tell me that too! I'm following Fowl Dawgs if anyone is curious as well.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member i_willie12's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Marshall MO


    I wouldnt be throwing marks in this stuff!!!! My dog is happy sleeping on the couch! And has been for the last month actually Man it needs to warm up
    "Some people pride themselves on how far they can shoot ducks, others pride themselves on how close they can get them. I'm an other!!! "
    John Stephens RNT

    HRCH Wilson's Grand Prairie Pintail

  4. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011


    I think playing the snow is fine. If she is "playing with the birds after she finds it I would stop.

  5. #4
    Senior Member Tim Culligan's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
    Two Rivers WI


    I have been training on a river where the snow is packed down from the snowmobiles! Also find the snow isn't that deep on frozen lakes or marshes which makes for good winter training spots.

  6. #5
    Senior Member polmaise's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Stirling Scotland


    I throw snowballs in the snow ! They find them too!

    One Shooter One Spaniel One Retriever

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Central MN


    If we didn't train in snow we wouldn't be training! Heck my local club runs informal trials all winter for thoughs of us who can't go south

  8. #7
    Senior Member Ron in Portland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Portland, Oregon


    I'll take a third chioce, "great idea". A layer of fresh snow is like crack to my dog. It's great. The only caveat would be that snow hides things, and if there's anything in the field to be worried about, be aware. Otherwise, I think the pictures Polmaise posted says it all.

    The fact that your dog knows something is there, and sticks with the hunt until she finds it, is great. Perseverence. Good stuff. Later on you'll need to teach that when you say stop looking and listen, she does. But all in good time.

    Have fun.
    Ron Rhodes
    A Lab has no appreciation for the artistic value of a bonsai tree, but does appreciate their potential as chew toys.

  9. #8
    Senior Member Jeff Brezee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    SE MN


    I train all winter long here in Minnesnowda. I have to admit that I tend to "wimp out" when the temp is below zero (which has been a lot this winter!).
    Jeff Brezee

    HRCH GMHR Brezee Oak's Brother Bear MH "Bear"
    HRCH UH MHR I Brezee Oak's Keep to the Code MH "Jasmine"

  10. #9


    Polmaise, love the pics! Coot Killr, she hasn't been playing or mouthing the birds. She maintains the fetch standard, just crazy excited.. Thanks for the replies, play on we shall!!

  11. #10
    Senior Member Buzz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Brookings, South Dakota


    Quote Originally Posted by polmaise View Post
    I throw snowballs in the snow ! They find them too!

    Hey, I just wanted to show you what a program like photoshop can do for your black dog photographs!

    "For everyone to whom much is given, of him shall much be required." -- Luke 12:48

    Raven - Moneybird's Black Magic Marker***
    (Esprit's Power Play x Trumarc's Lean Cuisine)
    Mick - Moneybird's Jumpin' Jack Flash***
    (Clubmead's Road Warrior x Oakdale Whitewater Devil Dog)
    Peerless - Moneybird's Sole Survivor
    (Two River's Lucky Willie x Moneybird's Black Magic Marker)

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