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Thread: Bird introduction

  1. #1
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    Default Bird introduction

    I have a 13 month old Lab, that until a few days ago has never been around live birds. She is doing great with obedience and picking up bumbers and dead ducks. She seems to have a good desire to learn. She does seem to be a little concerned about a gun. . Since I now have a unlimited supply of pigeons, how can I use them to really build her focus and drive. My goal now is to get her looking for marks instead of looking at me throw them. I do 99% of my training solo.

  2. #2
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    If she's steady you could do stand alone's and then introduce the shot out in the field.

  3. #3
    Senior Member KwickLabs's Avatar
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    "I have a 13 month old Lab, that until a few days ago has never been around live birds. She is doing great with obedience and picking up bumpers and dead ducks. She seems to have a good desire to learn. She does seem to be a little concerned about a gun. Since I now have a unlimited supply of pigeons, how can I use them to really build her focus and drive. My goal now is to get her looking for marks instead of looking at me throw them. I do 99% of my training solo."

    There are several things to deal with here......live birds, gun intro and "solo" training. Attempting to deal with them all at the same time would not be fair to your pup. Isolating each 1) live birds, 2) gun intro and 3) more efficient "solo" training into focused sessions will in the long run prove more effective.

    Here are some suggestions. Learn how to plant pigeons so that she can hunt and flush them up. Make sure they are strong flyers. Are your pigeons capable of being recalled or are they a trapped feral variety? During the "flush" have a cap gun handy to fire off a few. Several things will happen during these sessions 1) her focus and drive will be enhanced, 2) she'll become "dechased" which means "bird in air" will fly away and I can't catch it (which is a very effective way to introduce the concept of sit to flush and make a young dog more responsive to bird in air means "sit", 3) the concept of "here" becomes more specific (Let's do that again!) and 4) most of all, your pup is going to be really fond of your training sessions.

    You need to avoid throwing from the line. "Solo" training sessions should be isolated and incremental. This will be the part of your training which will focus more on dog/handler responsiveness and control. I'm assuming your pup does not handle, but even that doesn't make it too complicated. As was mentioned one technique used in "solo" training means you can place your pup at "a line" and walk away to throw marks.

    This is the beginning......a three month old pup learning about "place" (remote sits).



    This photos shows the same pup at 12 months old running several long singles with the trainer/gunner/handler throwing marks in the field and the pup being sent back to the line for the next. Done in small steps, your pup can do this. I've been running "send back" singles with pups way before they have completed transition and walking singles are much easier.



    The final "product" can be seen in this "mostly for fun and exercise" marking setup with two of my older dogs.

    Two Dog Solo Training (YouTube)

    Place training is rather easy for a pup to learn because the rewards are obvious. The only thing you have to work on is not trying to do too much at one time. Space the different concepts out and continually ask yourself.....what does my pup need to know before we start the next session? Take your time. Plan the sequence.

    Here is a very old link to a gun "intro" technique I use on puppy marks from the line (after in the field with with live pigeons).

    Cap Gun Trainer

    Keep it fun, connected and sequential. Eventually, it will all come together. Your next pup will be just that much easier.......if you keep a daily journal. Plan ahead.

    edit: This link may help with your "gun intro".

    "Marking Off the Gun" (link)

    p.s. There are many free links "out there" which show pups being introduced to the training alone approach.
    Last edited by KwickLabs; 02-19-2014 at 10:42 AM.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Dave Farrar's Avatar
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    I do 99% of my training alone. The single most important thing that I bought was a winger. They are expensive, but worth every penny. If you can, find a way to get one.
    DUCKDAWG'S MAC'S MAGICAL MR. OCTOBER JH -- Reggie

  5. #5
    Senior Member yellow machine's Avatar
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    Or get a kid to throw for you.
    A cold nose feels good on a hot day.....
    Majestic Oaks Liberty Belle JH

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