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Thread: Retrieving in the dark

  1. #1
    Member willidru's Avatar
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    Default Retrieving in the dark

    Sometimes I get home from work late and its already dark. I still like to throw bumpers to my 14 wk old pup. She seems to have a great nose because she hunts until she finds all of the bumpers even the ones she obviously doesn't see (they have a wing taped to the bumper for scent). I've been pretty excited about it. Is there any reason I shouldn't be working with her in the dark? As long as she's being successful I thought it was alright.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Mark Teahan's Avatar
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    I do too.
    I think it helps with marking.
    I do it in a dimly lit park.

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    You might notice also how great their ears are. Usually if my dogs don't see where one is thrown they will mark it with their ears extremely well and get to the area of the fall quickly. Dogs are great to watch...

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    Member Clebba's Avatar
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    I notice that my dog performs better at night. So, is there any nighttime duck hunting or hunt tests/field trials?
    He is so much more energetic and excited and less distracted. We have a road that runs along the field where we train and it is well lit and fenced off. Makes for a perfect nighttime training area. Im sure the neighbors across the road don't appreciate the shouts and whistles at 10:00 pm, but hey, gotta do what you can when you can.

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    Senior Member FOM's Avatar
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    I guess it really depends on your goals for the pup.

    I personally would not throw marks in such limited lighting. At the age your pup is at, there are other things you can do with her at that age....specifically nature walks along with some OB (work on "here" with distractions during the walk). Save the retrieving for when the light is better. Day light savings is just around the corner, so a couple weeks of doing other things wouldn't hurt in my opinion.
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    Remote sit, walk out from the dog, throw a bumper and watch the dog. If they don't see it you know because they don't follow it. When it lands in the grass or cover, they look directly at the AOF.

    I don't know if you were trying to be funny or not, but if you weren't, that's why. If you were being funny then, doesn't every one train at night with night vision. it is a crucial step of FTPAS (force to pile after sunset) that every good program has.

  7. #7
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    i will say i throw a lot of fun bumpers at night during the winter to keep the stamina up. but i rarely do marks and when i do its from my yard to the neighbors yard.

    but lets keep in mind dogs dont see "dark" like we do.

    they have bigger pupils to allow more light in, more rods which help in dimness (as opposed to cones which help color), the lens is closer to the retina making the images brighter, as well as most importantly, the tapetum which is like a mirror in the back of the eye that reflects light through the retina a second time (also what makes their eyes glow at night when light shined at them). all that leads to dogs being able to see 5x better than humans in dim light

  8. #8
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    When I first started training my pup, I used to take him to a huge field at night. I would leave him in the truck, I would walk all over that field carrying a wing. SOmewhere along the line I would drop the wing. I'd get him out and tell him to hunt dead. I couldn't see him but without fail in 3 to 5 minutes he would be back with the wing. As I sit here I can't remember why I did that. Guess it sounded good at the time. Part of his hunt dead training I guess.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Randy Bohn's Avatar
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    When I was an amateur and losing light was an issue we used glow in the dark bumpers.....we also used them in the morning as the sun was just starting to come up on water....them were the days....Randy
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    Senior Member BonMallari's Avatar
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    one thing you cant see at night are any potential hazards to the dog (ditch, fence ,glass)..the other being if the dog gets loose others may not be able to see your dog...it would be fun if you could play at a local sports field that is lit, but training in the dark when in reality you arent hunting/testing in the dark might not be the most prudent play
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