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Thread: Training Gear Tips/Recommendations?

  1. #1
    Senior Member J_Brown's Avatar
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    Default Training Gear Tips/Recommendations?

    My black female Pointing Lab (Betty) will be coming home in just a few weeks. She will mainly be a waterfowl dog, but I may do some upland hunting as well. Right now I'm just soaking in as much information as possible and trying to prepare myself. I've watched the Water Dog and Game Dog DVD's, and I've read the Water Dog book. While these have been great resources even I, a newbie trainer, can tell that a lot of the methods are a bit outdated. I am planning on buying the Smartworks Vol 1 and the SmartFetch books. I'm also going to pick up 10-Minute Retriever. While I'm making an order through Lion Country Supply, I was thinking I should probably pick up a few more "must-have" training items while I'm at it.

    So far, all I've got is a 30' check cord. I'll probably make a few custom leads out of rope or something. I'm assuming I'll need a good choke collar, a whistle... and I'm planning on getting a Tri-Tronics Sport Basic G3 e-collar soon, too.

    Can you think of any other must-have training items that I should pick up, for use in the first couple months of training? Do you have any recommendations on which model/type of whistle that I should purchase?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Socks's Avatar
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    Get Julie Knuteson's pointing lab book. It'll help too.
    Joe Dickerson

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    Senior Member Leddyman's Avatar
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    Is Betty a little bitty puppy? You are going to need a kennel, some bumpers (white and orange), heeling stick (for later), you have a check cord so good there, and about $100,000.00.

    If I were you I would bite the bullet and get a big boy collar. I love my Flyway.
    Bad Motor Scooter SH

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    Senior Member J_Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leddyman View Post
    Is Betty a little bitty puppy? You are going to need a kennel, some bumpers (white and orange), heeling stick (for later), you have a check cord so good there, and about $100,000.00.

    If I were you I would bite the bullet and get a big boy collar. I love my Flyway.
    Yep, Betty is 4 weeks old as of today. Oh yea... Bumpers! How could I forget bumpers?!?! lol

    As far as collars go, what would be the major advantage of me buying a Flyway model (or any other "high end" model) over a "basic" e-collar like a TT Sport Basic? Keep in mind, I will probably never (at least not for a LONG time) have multiple dogs at the same time. And this will mainly be a hunting dog. Although I'm not going to completely rule out field trials at this point, it's not something I have big asparations to get into.

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    May this thread might help answere some of your questions about the e-collar.

    http://www.retrievertraining.net/forums/showthread.php?12139-Buying-an-e-collar&highlight=collar+reccomendations


    Just my opinion here but, you can spend x dollars on a collar based what you see as your needs today and end up buying a different collar later, or you can spend y dollars on the collar some very experienced people are telling you should consider and then your collar needs are covered for years to come.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Wayne Nutt's Avatar
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    A training program. These are the three most talked about on RTF.
    1. Total Retriever Training by Mike Lardy (a high percentage of pros use this method)
    2. Smartworks by Evan Graham (a lot of first timers like this program)
    3. Fowldogs by Rick Stawski

    You will need lots of equipment. This is what I have. With your limited aspirations you won't need it all but it is a good check list.
    1. Winger zingers with electronics
    2. Bumperboy launchers
    3. Ecollar
    4. Holding blinds
    5. Leads
    6. Choke chains
    7. Healing sticks
    8. Stickmen
    9. Lots of bumpers (two dozen with both orange and white)
    9. Misc other things like an atv but not a must with one dog, boat, whistles.
    10. Freezer space for birds (ducks, pigeons, pheasant, etc)
    11. Pen for live pigeons

    You will need access to acreage with water for training. Parks won't do.

    I prefer the Tritronics tube style transmitter because with practice you can hold a heeling stick and the transmitter in one hand. Also on the tube style transmitter, I can adjust the intensity without looking down by just pushing different buttons. You get what you pay for and I think the tube style pro level collars hold up better.

    Hope this helps.
    Wayne Nutt
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  7. #7
    Senior Member J_Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ndk3819 View Post
    May this thread might help answere some of your questions about the e-collar.

    http://www.retrievertraining.net/forums/showthread.php?12139-Buying-an-e-collar&highlight=collar+reccomendations


    Just my opinion here but, you can spend x dollars on a collar based what you see as your needs today and end up buying a different collar later, or you can spend y dollars on the collar some very experienced people are telling you should consider and then your collar needs are covered for years to come.
    Thanks! That was a good read.


    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Nutt View Post
    A training program. These are the three most talked about on RTF.
    1. Total Retriever Training by Mike Lardy (a high percentage of pros use this method)
    2. Smartworks by Evan Graham (a lot of first timers like this program)
    3. Fowldogs by Rick Stawski

    You will need lots of equipment. This is what I have. With your limited aspirations you won't need it all but it is a good check list.
    1. Winger zingers with electronics
    2. Bumperboy launchers
    3. Ecollar
    4. Holding blinds
    5. Leads
    6. Choke chains
    7. Healing sticks
    8. Stickmen
    9. Lots of bumpers (two dozen with both orange and white)
    9. Misc other things like an atv but not a must with one dog, boat, whistles.
    10. Freezer space for birds (ducks, pigeons, pheasant, etc)
    11. Pen for live pigeons

    You will need access to acreage with water for training. Parks won't do.

    I prefer the Tritronics tube style transmitter because with practice you can hold a heeling stick and the transmitter in one hand. Also on the tube style transmitter, I can adjust the intensity without looking down by just pushing different buttons. You get what you pay for and I think the tube style pro level collars hold up better.

    Hope this helps.
    Great info... Thanks! I am planning on going with the Smartworks program. I've read a lot of great reviews... I like the tidbits I've seen on youtube so far... and I REALLY like that Mr. Graham is an active, and very helpful, member here on RTF.

    My buddy is already talking to me about going in halves on a Zinger Winger or two. lol I figured real birds would be a major benefit so I already have a couple whole mallards and wings in my freezer right now. My buddy has a pigeon coop already set up and populated at his house. I've got access to an old "gravel pit" property that has virtually every kind of habitat you can think of. Also, I'm sure many of the local dairy farmers that allow me to hunt on their farms wouldn't mind me doing dog training as well.

    As far as the collar goes, I think I'm going to have to check some out in person before making a decision. I'll be heading to Cabelas in a couple weeks so that shouldn't be a problem.

  8. #8
    Senior Member J_Brown's Avatar
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    Oh... What type of whistle do you all recommend/prefer? Any big difference in whistles?

  9. #9

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    More than any of the above I recomend a truckload of Patience.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Swack's Avatar
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    J_Brown,

    As a hunter first, you might also consider some Dokken Deadfowl bumpers for your dog. A teal or quail size is good for young dogs and you can graduate to duck, pheasant and goose sized ones as your dog grows. They aren't as cheap as standard bumpers, but they offer added realism.

    Concerning bumpers, I prefer a wide variety of styles so your dog will generalize that "if you throw it I'll get it" and not be put-off if something isn't the same as the type he is accustomed to.

    Wayne gives you a nice list and many, if not all retriever trainers, use a lot of what's on his list. However, I'll share a story I found amusing. I got a great catalog in the mail this week called "Dogs Unlimited". There are over 80 pages of the coolest dog training equipment you can find. Pages of electronics, leashes, collars, bumpers, vests, crates, bells, dog boots, game bird crates, dummy launchers, bird launchers, and on and on. It seems a guy who has a retriever could fill a small building (or maybe a large building!) with training equipment. If he happens to hunt waterfowl he might need another building for all of the gear that duck hunters need (or want). So, long story short (yeah right!), I got to the end of the catalog and I think there were only three things I thought I might need. More .22 crimps for the blank gun, a mendota slip lead (as a back-up in case I lose the one I've got), and a Dokken's Power Throw Grip (which is just a small plastic ball) because last fall I was throwing a Dokken for my pup in a rocky field and the power ball hit a rock and broke! That totals about $38. It's not because I already have all of the cool stuff that I didn't need anything else. I just don't see a need for most of that gear it in my situation.

    I've had Labs for 26 years and have trained them for upland hunting and UKC HRC HT's. I'm a minimalist I guess because I don't have 8 of the 11 things on Wayne's list! No electronics at all, no check cord, no heeling stick, no holding blinds, no stick men, no pigeon coop, and I haven't used a choke collar since my son was in 4-H dog obedience over 10 year ago. I don't like to haul around a bunch of gear. To me, these are the essentials: a good flat collar with your name and phone number on a riveted metal plate, a 6' leather leash, a 4' slip lead, a bucketful of assorted bumpers, a whistle and lanyard (I prefer the Roy Gonia special w/pea), a duck call, some decoys, a blank pistol, and some training land.

    Also, as an upland hunter I figure you need good boots, a good gun, good legs, and a good dog. In the upland field most of the dog work occurs before the retrieve. It takes some birds and the dog to do their dance and if you can do your part the retrieve is almost an after-thought. That said, I do appreciate a well trained retriever and think mine aren't too bad, but in no way do I train for FT's.

    Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying you might not need most of the things on Wayne's list. I am saying it depends on what you want to do with your dog and what you expect from him. You need to decide that first, then you will know what you need. Before you buy thousands of dollars worth of equipment maybe you should join a club or a training group and get a chance to see them use these thing. Then you will be better able to decide what it is that you really need and what you don't!

    Good Luck with your new pup!

    Swack
    Last edited by Swack; 01-04-2013 at 12:18 PM.
    Jeff Swackhamer

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