Need suggestions to keep dog hunting in AOF ...
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Thread: Need suggestions to keep dog hunting in AOF ...

  1. #1
    Senior Member Labs R Us's Avatar
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    Default Need suggestions to keep dog hunting in AOF ...

    First let me say my dog is a hard charger. On doubles and triples, the go bird is usually an easy pick. But on the second and third marks, my dog will hunt for a bit in the AOF but then tends to make his hunting area wider and wider to the point of possible switching. I'd appreciate ideas/drills to encourage him to continue to hunt in the AOF of the second and third marks. Thanks!
    Becky
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    Senior Member JJaxon's Avatar
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    Once in the area of fall, the scent is what keeps them there. Are you using ducks? If so, drag the bird around the area you want him to stay in, making sure the actual fall is within that scent area. If you are using bumpers, dokkens, ATB's, you can still scent the area of fall with a duck, in hopes he'll pick up the bumper when he finds it. Real birds are always best and builds confidence.
    HRCH UH TilHe CallsUsHome ~ Tilly

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    Senior Member 25-ott-06's Avatar
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    Dirt Clod Drill aka (Cow Chip Drill)
    Michael Ott

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    Senior Member captainjack's Avatar
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    I'm gonna disagree with the notion that scent is what keeps a dog in the AOF. I believe that the dog knowing or having confidence that the bird is near is what keeps them in the area.

    There are a number of drills that work on staying with a hunt. Dirt clod drill is one example. I ran a drill in a Lardy workshop where you have two guns out, make one very visible -we had two gunners and a 4-wheeler on one station. Birds are each thrown to outside. Run the very visible station as a single and throwing a mallard. Now run the other mark as a single throwing a hen pheasant, but have the gunner throw, then walk away 20 yards or so toward the other gunners and retire. The bird is thrown in such a way that it is difficult to scent. Ours was thrown up against a thick hedge row with wind blowing toward the hedge. Let the dog watch the gunner walk away and retire, then put the dog back on the bird and send. 12 dogs ran this at the work shop and only 2 I think stayed in and dug that bird out. Most others hunted back toward where the gunner stood, then to where he retired, then started to switch and required handling. If handled, the mark was repeated following the same process. I believe all the dogs stayed in and got the bird on the second attempt. This is a no pressure deal.

    The retired gunner is still ~25 yards from the other gunners when retired.

    The dog has to be confident he is in the right place in order to dig these birds out.
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    On Farmer's and Aycock's video "Problems and Solutions" they have a drill where a helper 75 yards away tosses a black 2in bumper out and handler sends the dog. Repeat 5 times with helper staying in the same spot and tossing the bumpers out in the same AOF but not in the same exact location. Maybe throw one angled in, one angled back, one flat, one short, one long. The bumpers being 2in and black make the dog have to hunt for them but with all of them being thrown in the same area it helps the dog stay in that area. You want to convince the dog that if he hunts hard enough in that area he will find the bumper. If the cover is too short it will make it too easy for the dog (you want him to have to hunt), if the cover is too high (which is worse) the dog will give up and leave the area, if he does leave it have the thrower help. I have done this with a dog and it did help. Good luck.

    Jeff Warren

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    Quote Originally Posted by captainjack View Post
    I'm gonna disagree with the notion that scent is what keeps a dog in the AOF. I believe that the dog knowing or having confidence that the bird is near is what keeps them in the area.

    There are a number of drills that work on staying with a hunt. Dirt clod drill is one example. I ran a drill in a Lardy workshop where you have two guns out, make one very visible -we had two gunners and a 4-wheeler on one station. Birds are each thrown to outside. Run the very visible station as a single and throwing a mallard. Now run the other mark as a single throwing a hen pheasant, but have the gunner throw, then walk away 20 yards or so toward the other gunners and retire. The bird is thrown in such a way that it is difficult to scent. Ours was thrown up against a thick hedge row with wind blowing toward the hedge. Let the dog watch the gunner walk away and retire, then put the dog back on the bird and send. 12 dogs ran this at the work shop and only 2 I think stayed in and dug that bird out. Most others hunted back toward where the gunner stood, then to where he retired, then started to switch and required handling. If handled, the mark was repeated following the same process. I believe all the dogs stayed in and got the bird on the second attempt. This is a no pressure deal.

    The retired gunner is still ~25 yards from the other gunners when retired.

    The dog has to be confident he is in the right place in order to dig these birds out.
    It also teaches the dog not to use the white coat or gunner as a reference when in route to a mark...
    My penny.

  8. #7
    Senior Member RetrieversONLINE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Labs R Us View Post
    First let me say my dog is a hard charger. On doubles and triples, the go bird is usually an easy pick. But on the second and third marks, my dog will hunt for a bit in the AOF but then tends to make his hunting area wider and wider to the point of possible switching. I'd appreciate ideas/drills to encourage him to continue to hunt in the AOF of the second and third marks. Thanks!
    I have a version of the dirt clod drill that is unique and amazingly effective. I just did it at a workshop with HUGE results. I am travelling thru w USA with rare WIFI so cannot describe here in sufficient detail. Email me @ dennis@retrieversonline.com and I could give you cell #. We could talk it through!!
    Dennis Voigt
    Visit our new Website: www.retrieversonline.com

  9. #8
    Senior Member RetrieversONLINE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by captainjack View Post
    I'm gonna disagree with the notion that scent is what keeps a dog in the AOF. I believe that the dog knowing or having confidence that the bird is near is what keeps them in the area.

    There are a number of drills that work on staying with a hunt. Dirt clod drill is one example. I ran a drill in a Lardy workshop where you have two guns out, make one very visible -we had two gunners and a 4-wheeler on one station. Birds are each thrown to outside. Run the very visible station as a single and throwing a mallard. Now run the other mark as a single throwing a hen pheasant, but have the gunner throw, then walk away 20 yards or so toward the other gunners and retire. The bird is thrown in such a way that it is difficult to scent. Ours was thrown up against a thick hedge row with wind blowing toward the hedge. Let the dog watch the gunner walk away and retire, then put the dog back on the bird and send. 12 dogs ran this at the work shop and only 2 I think stayed in and dug that bird out. Most others hunted back toward where the gunner stood, then to where he retired, then started to switch and required handling. If handled, the mark was repeated following the same process. I believe all the dogs stayed in and got the bird on the second attempt. This is a no pressure deal.

    The retired gunner is still ~25 yards from the other gunners when retired.

    The dog has to be confident he is in the right place in order to dig these birds out.
    While I totally agree with your idea that confidence is the key, the set up you describe is a version of one of my drills that Lardy has dubbed Ontario 10 step. It's primary purpose is communication to check down short and remember that short bird but it otherwise does not help persevere in a hunt.
    Dennis Voigt
    Visit our new Website: www.retrieversonline.com

  10. #9
    Senior Member Labs R Us's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RetrieversONLINE View Post
    I have a version of the dirt clod drill that is unique and amazingly effective. I just did it at a workshop with HUGE results. I am travelling thru w USA with rare WIFI so cannot describe here in sufficient detail. Email me @ dennis@retrieversonline.com and I could give you cell #. We could talk it through!!
    Dennis, Email/PM sent.
    Becky
    Life is Good . . . Do what you like - Like what you do.

  11. #10
    Senior Member John Robinson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Labs R Us View Post
    Dennis, Email/PM sent.
    That's huge! Much better to actually talk it through on the phone with somebody like Dennis. Let us know how it works out.

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