Marking help
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Thread: Marking help

  1. #1

    Default Marking help

    Iím new to the forum but have gained a lot reading the posts here so I figured it was time to ask a question I couldnít find in the search function...my pup is 5 1/2 months old. He comes from a decent breeding dad is QAA and 3 of 4 grandparents are FC. While I think field trials are awesome I have neither the time or skill to do them. I am committed to doing hunt tests and waterfowl/upland hunting with the dog. He has been great Iím training so far, heís collar conditioned, good obedience and a fairly good drive. Enough background my question is....

    Does marking improve with practice?. His land marking skills are a weak point. He will drive hard out to the gunner or winger if Iím alone but if he doesnít find the bumper right away he doesnít hunt hard for it. A pro that has been helping me a bit says he lacks perseverance, can this be improved? The pro suggested I hit the duck call again on the winger if heís slowing but then he just goes to the winger and doesnít hunt hard from there... any suggestions. Will it improve with age and practice or is his genetic.

    thanks

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  3. #2
    Senior Member dorkweed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cjamison12388 View Post
    Iím new to the forum but have gained a lot reading the posts here so I figured it was time to ask a question I couldnít find in the search function...my pup is 5 1/2 months old. He comes from a decent breeding dad is QAA and 3 of 4 grandparents are FC. While I think field trials are awesome I have neither the time or skill to do them. I am committed to doing hunt tests and waterfowl/upland hunting with the dog. He has been great Iím training so far, heís collar conditioned, good obedience and a fairly good drive. Enough background my question is....

    Does marking improve with practice?. His land marking skills are a weak point. He will drive hard out to the gunner or winger if Iím alone but if he doesnít find the bumper right away he doesnít hunt hard for it. A pro that has been helping me a bit says he lacks perseverance, can this be improved? The pro suggested I hit the duck call again on the winger if heís slowing but then he just goes to the winger and doesnít hunt hard from there... any suggestions. Will it improve with age and practice or is his genetic.

    thanks


    Throw birds instead of bumpers for a while.
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  4. #3
    Senior Member Wayne Nutt's Avatar
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    Use ducks. Also live pigeons really get the juices flowing. Pay careful attention to the wind. A good marker doesn't always front foot the bird but will often get to the area of the fall and use his nose. Sometimes I use dokken. I keep my dokken in the bucket I use to hold dead ducks. After a short period the dokken will pick up the duck smell which will help.
    I only use bumper for drills.
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    Senior Member P J's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorkweed View Post
    Throw birds instead of bumpers for a while.
    You can also use stickmen at your wingers when training alone. A white T-shirt on a hanger with a step in fence posts will do. You can put out multiple bumpers, Dokens or ducks in the area of the fall to increase his chances of finding the mark and therefore increasing his confidence.

    I have also placed ducks out and thrown a white bumper to it with young dogs to teach them to trust their vision as well as use their noses.
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    Salt the area and learn the dirt clog drill
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  8. #6
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    Loose the winger , shorten the marks , and as mentioned above use ducks.

    I'd also suggest throwing the birds where he can easily find them for a awhile , you can build perserverence or at least improve it through success and from the sound of it your pup needs success.

    Wingers are tough for young dogs , if they can't find the bird rightaway there is no one in the field to assist , use a bird boy or helper if at at all possible , short training sessions , quit with your pup wanting more and make it a point to finish on success.

    Good luck , have fun.
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    Do you do fun bumpers or marks without cover? I noticed mine had decent hunt with puppy fun bumpers. You manage success by where you throw them. I’m not expert but it is something obvious.

  10. #8
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    I would also try stand alones assuming the pup is steady. Start closer and gradually work your way to longer distances. Build up confidence. At 5 1/2 months the pup is still a baby and it takes patience and practice to get them to understand what its all about.

  11. #9

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    Thanks for all the ideas. I think I will start mixing in more birds. I use 90 percent bumpers but I’ll switch that up and see if it helps. What would people consider as puppy marks? I realize it’s different for each dog. He has been doing marks up to 100 yards but I think I will shorten them to increase confidence. Is 40-60 yards a good distance for a puppy at his age and slightly below average marking? Thanks

  12. #10
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    Shorten up and use birds a couple times per week. On the other sessions, use big white bumpers on mowed grass so that he can see the bumper as he runs to it. You can gradually lengthen the marks as he gains confidence and his perseverance improves.

    Some people get hung up on the idea that a dog should be doing 'X' by a certain age. It sounds as though you may have pushed for distance too quickly with this dog. I would stay away from introducing cover to the equation until he is marking the AOF well and hunting with confidence once he is there. -Paul
    there's no good reason to fatten up a retriever.

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