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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking into picking up ether a launcher or a starter pistol for training. The goal here is to get my lab conditioned to the load noise as well as getting him conditioned to look for bumpers on the report. If funds were and issue and you could only have one of the two which would you recommend (launcher or pistol)? Secondly, for those of you that use either of these items for training do you used them at the local community park? I prefer to do most of my training at a local park because it’s just across the street. I’m worried that my neighbors may not like the report. What has your experience been?

Mike McArthur
 

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I'd rather have the pistol and somebody to shoot it and throw for my dog. I would expect that you may be headed for trouble shooting any kind of pistol or blank fired launcher in a public community park, plan on having the cops showing up and maybe showing off their pistols too.
 

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if you train at a local park you wont be able to use either..if you havent already encountered everything from the park police, rogue unleashed dogs or well meaning inquisitive bystanders, you soon will be....a local park may be a fine place to do basic obedience (as long as you're not using a heeling stick) but you need to find a different venue to get the type of training you will need

a launcher is great to have but nothing like a hand thrown mark and a blank pistol..
 

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Both are great tools and eventually, you'll want as many tools in your toolbox as you can afford.

In my opinion, the starter pistol offers more flexibility and would be my first choice. It's a fraction of the cost of a launcher ($160 vs. $1,000). You can either get someone to shoot for you or teach your dog to sit and go out yourself and throw stand-alones.

If your dog misses the mark, looks off with the shot or gets in any other kind of trouble, you can throw another bumper/bird. If he breaks, you can pick up the bumper/bird before he gets to it and gets rewarded.

While launchers are great, they just aren't very flexible. Most wingers are one-shot wonders with one report and one throw. Bumper-Boy or Thunder launchers offer more throws, but you're limited to bumpers then.

As someone else said, you shouldn't use either at the local park, for the same reason you don't want to do so at home and irritate your neighbor, not to mention the local authorities.

Many of us train at parks, but you have to be smart. Most parks require dogs be on leash. Trying to explain that your dog is under control and has an e-collar on won't always sit well with the authorities. Some are understanding, but others are just jackwads. Try to find a spot where you're away from everyone and everything else. No birds, no gunfire and no situations where you have to get on your dog with the e-collar. The general public doesn't understand and will report you. You also have to be understanding if someone wants to walk their untrained and potentially aggressive dog through your set-up or worse yet, thinks it's okay to let their dog join yours for a play-date.

Parks are okay for small drill type things, but you'll want to find some private property for more advanced work.
 

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Having acquired both over the years and also being a dealer for Gunners Up this might seem a little weird, but I am with David M on this one.... starter pistol and someone hand throwing the marks. You can always fire a second ... or third shot to help a young dog out and throw real birds as much as possible!

When you have the funds saved having at least 2 wingers with electronics would be the next logical step. The 2 wingers will cost you a little over 720 shipped for both, and the electronics another 400 or so. Let me know if I can help you either way you go. - Brian
 

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If your choice is shooting a blank pistol yourself, and then throwing the bumper yourself or using a Retrieve R Trainer type launcher, I think I would opt for the Retrieve R Trainer, myself. Of course I only hunt with my dog, but have used a RTR with all three of my dogs and since it can be difficult to find someone to throw the bumpers for me, the RTR really comes in handy as it gives me the report and throws the bumper much farther than I can. Also, whether you will be able to use them in a park is going to depend on the type of community in which you live. I have shot my RTR in several different places around our town with no problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
can you please clarify what kind of launcher you're talking about?
The launchers that I am look at are the hand held devices similar to the RTR launcher. Launchers like the Bumper boy and/or The Thunder are out of my (wife's acceptable) price range for now.

I do have access to two capable young sons that could help out with the training and a daughter that just loves playing with the dog. I may be only to convince them to go out once or twice a week in the evenings but I am sure I could get them help out.

Mike McArthur
 

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..... Launchers like the Bumper boy and/or The Thunder are out of my (wife's acceptable) price range for now.
Lots of hooked on training types will "wash out" two or three wife's afore geting one in the training groove;-) kidding:D if you just want a boom in the field you can buy popper loads for the 12 guage in back of your bedroom door. Kinda hard to use in a park, I know. But so it a pistol. You can do so much with any brand tripod tosser. throw a bumper, throw a duck, throw a live duck. It makes a bang with a .209 primer, or does not. it is launched from a remote. No way any cop will ever think it is a gun. If you are buying 1 thing only. buy a remote fired tripod or box type tosser with .209 report. You can do so much with it.


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I do have access to two capable young sons that could help out with the training and a daughter that just loves playing with the dog. I may be only to convince them to go out once or twice a week in the evenings but I am sure I could get them help out.

Mike McArthur
I 'member saying "Dad, I don't wanna stack firewood!" and Dad saying "You like sleeping inside?".... gosh I stacked a lot of wood



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