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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 15 mo. old lab that loves the game. Gets very pumped up when guns and dummies are brought out.Has been FF and does ok. Fresh birds she loves it. We are using thawed out ducks. My problem is..... In training the ducks get rough/nasty (no feathers, bare skin, exposed meat). She wants to drop the duck the nastier they get and lick them. May or May not pick it back up.
My concern is in a hunt test the duck get looking rough/nasty. I really don't know what she may do. Any advice is appreciated.
 

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A forced fetched dog should retrieve anything and you will see some nasty birds at tests and trials (even though they are supposed to be fresh).
There is a limit, if I toss a rib-eye off the grill my pup will pick it up but I wouldn't bet on him giving it back.
"No feathers and exposed meat" sounds like those birds should have been retired a while ago.
 

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A forced fetched dog should retrieve anything and you will see some nasty birds at tests and trials (even though they are supposed to be fresh).
There is a limit, if I toss a rib-eye off the grill my pup will pick it up but I wouldn't bet on him giving it back.
"No feathers and exposed meat" sounds like those bird should have been retired a while ago.
Hey now....that’s just a smart dog if you’re tossing a rib eye off the grill and he ain’t bringing it to you... I blame the handler.

Was it Lardy who said the first rule of handlers is to not throw the a dog a steak if you had planned on eating it yourself? Can’t recall. 🙂
 

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when i force fetch i use one or two nasty birds to try to prevent this problem but in the heat of the momment at a trail with all the excitment the dogs can lose all focus. just keep using the nasty birds in training to try to prevent the problem but remember we are inticing the dog doing this and it can be a on .going process.
 

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"No feathers and exposed meat" sounds like those birds should have been retired a while ago.
I really agree with this. There is training with 'stinky' birds, and then there is training with rotten, bald, slimy, bloody, good for nothing birds.

Train with good to somewhat stinky birds.. but don't throw your dog garbage.

I would have a serious issue with a test if the birds presented for my dog to retrieve were like the ones you are describing.
 

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Well, if you don't hunt.....ignore this advice.

I have an "old" merganser and a couple of coots in my bird freezer plus a big goose. The goose
is about 12 years old and in good shape. All my young dogs were expected to retrieve them
(before testing). Different than normal is required. In addition, very wet, almost sinking mallards
are always "introduced". The unusual is normal if one is proactive.

p.s. Also, there are chukars, pheasants and quail.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks very true we should of scrapped these birds several retrieves before we did. yes and in the heat of a hunt test ya never know. Thanks
 

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First junior test I ever ran my dog got a bird that was probably shot on Thursday for a Q and was used until Sunday. It was greasy, missing most of the feathers. He tried to fetch it by the wingtip. We failed.

I took out a training bird and let it thaw. We did walking fetch with that bird for a week. Left it out all week. By the end of the week it was extremely rank. He would still fetch it.

Is that something a junior dog should see? No. Is it something any dog should see in a test with entry fees approaching $100? Nope. Is it actually part of the game sometimes? Yes. So prep your dog for it so it's a non issue.
 

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First junior test I ever ran my dog got a bird that was probably shot on Thursday for a Q and was used until Sunday. It was greasy, missing most of the feathers. He tried to fetch it by the wingtip. We failed.

I took out a training bird and let it thaw. We did walking fetch with that bird for a week. Left it out all week. By the end of the week it was extremely rank. He would still fetch it.

Is that something a junior dog should see? No. Is it something any dog should see in a test with entry fees approaching $100? Nope. Is it actually part of the game sometimes? Yes. So prep your dog for it so it's a non issue.
Sad but true. Our dogs deserve better.
Unfortunately, some clubs are known for using poor quality birds in their tests and trials. I'll never understand how they can rationalize it. -Paul
 

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Sad but true. Our dogs deserve better.
Unfortunately, some clubs are known for using poor quality birds in their tests and trials. I'll never understand how they can rationalize it. -Paul
Obviously none of those folk have ever had their dog bring back a week old, rotten cripple half eaten by coons, rather than the fresh duck they just shot.
 

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Obviously none of those folk have ever had their dog bring back a week old, rotten cripple half eaten by coons, rather than the fresh duck they just shot.
Reminds me of many years ago (the dog in this story passed in 2002), on one of my Arkansas hunting trips, we were walking between two ponds. I let my Lab, Maggie, just run around having fun. She was investigating the back pond. At one point, she started running back to me, carrying something. I was finally able to identify it when she got about 30 yards away - an old, dead, bloated, soggy, algae-covered possum. Yuck! I was glad that I'd taught her remote drop.
 

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I've been game steward for ~20 HRC/AKC events. The rule of thumb should be best birds to the lower stakes. Especially fresh killed on Sunday for junior/started/derby. As a club/judge/marshal cull the bad birds at the line. If you see something not right pull it off the rack and don't re-circulate.

Just give the dogs the best chance.

I know it will happen to someone somewhere, so be prepared for rank ducks/pheasants.
 

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I've been game steward for ~20 HRC/AKC events. The rule of thumb should be best birds to the lower stakes. Especially fresh killed on Sunday for junior/started/derby. As a club/judge/marshal cull the bad birds at the line. If you see something not right pull it off the rack and don't re-circulate.

Just give the dogs the best chance.

I know it will happen to someone somewhere, so be prepared for rank ducks/pheasants.
It's surprising how few retrieves a pheasant is good for, particularly if wingers are used.

I,too, have been game steward for many tests. having a person at the line on the water series with a pile of dry shammies to use can really make a difference. Hanging racks are fine, but attract flies in huge numbers. Better to towel them off after they drain while the next dog runs and bag them. Better yet, buckets with lids.

At the end of the day, hopefully there is an area where the very best birds can be hung, dried with a leaf blower, bagged and stored overnight in a cool place.

Sunday morning, the best 6 go to Junior/started, the next best 10 go to Senior/seasoned, and the others go to Master/finished. These get augmented with fresh birds as required at each stake.

This has worked really well for us over the years. -Paul
 

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It's surprising how few retrieves a pheasant is good for, particularly if wingers are used.

I,too, have been game steward for many tests. having a person at the line on the water series with a pile of dry shammies to use can really make a difference. Hanging racks are fine, but attract flies in huge numbers. Better to towel them off after they drain while the next dog runs and bag them. Better yet, buckets with lids.

At the end of the day, hopefully there is an area where the very best birds can be hung, dried with a leaf blower, bagged and stored overnight in a cool place.

Sunday morning, the best 6 go to Junior/started, the next best 10 go to Senior/seasoned, and the others go to Master/finished. These get augmented with fresh birds as required at each stake.

This has worked really well for us over the years. -Paul
For my AKC club we have a very clever member who has a 6'x18' trailer with extruded steel sides and back ramp. We put a couple of hog panels over the top with a kennel shade and hang the ducks bills in the steel. Then we mount two fans in the front and turn it on over night. It's perfect for the Oklahoma humidity and the fans are strong enough to keep the flies at bay.

Also gunny sacks at the line are better than buckets for us because it allows the birds to still breathe. flies have a difficult time getting inside as well.
 

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Many moons ago ,I was training with one of my great "Mentors" .
I had a Young Retriever in training about 18 months old . A gun shot and dropped a Cormorant , it landed in the middle of a pond . My "Sensei" In Gun Dog Training , who I admire to this day ,although he is gone many years , said "Send Your Dog" . !

Well, for those that may have not had the pleasure of up close and personal with a Cormorant it is not the most pleasant of experiences if you have been used to being in the "Green Green Grass of Home" .

Anyhow, I cast the dog , which was a No brainer as the dog had seen the bird fall and the splash .
Out she went with Gusto and a wake in the water like a speed boat !..The bird was about 50 yards out in the water
Some 10 yards from the bird , she turned in the water !..Stop whistle and a command Back ! , She turned and went towards the bird floating in the water .
5 yards from the bird , she turned again !! ..
Stop whistle and a command Back! ..She turned and 1 yard from the bird she Turned again !!!!??
Stop whistle and a command Back! ........She just kept coming home to shore .
..........
I was a bit deflated tbh , In front of my "Master".
No worries Son , He said . He Lined up his 5 year old Lab and cast with His name . The dog went straight to the floating bird and picked it cleanly and firmly ,returned all the way back to shore and delivered the bird tenderly to hand . !
...........
I was in awe !! ..Why could my Young but "Trained Gun Dog" Not complete this task like that Dog ?
My Friend and Tutor ,looked at me after he had the Cormorant in his hand and said "It is Illegal to shoot Cormorant here ,but there is No Legal exemption on shooting Fish !" .
At this point He pulled out a whole complete Rainbow Trout from the Cormorants throat .

"Wow, I said "That was some retrieve" !
Not really He replied "I trained the dog to retrieve stinking Fish, The Cormorant was just the jacket surrounding it ".
....
But How Can I get my dog to do that I asked ?
.....
Go Fishing he said . ;)
....................................
Some years later .........A retrieve is a retrieve is a retrieve was my card of remembrance.
 

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Ainley makes bird crates with heavy duty screens that allow birds to be hung during the test and in the evening with fans on them will dry the birds. Very well made and pay for themselves in well cared for birds. Contact Ainley Kennels.
 

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It's surprising how few retrieves a pheasant is good for, particularly if wingers are used.

I,too, have been game steward for many tests. having a person at the line on the water series with a pile of dry shammies to use can really make a difference. Hanging racks are fine, but attract flies in huge numbers. Better to towel them off after they drain while the next dog runs and bag them. Better yet, buckets with lids.

At the end of the day, hopefully there is an area where the very best birds can be hung, dried with a leaf blower, bagged and stored overnight in a cool place.

Sunday morning, the best 6 go to Junior/started, the next best 10 go to Senior/seasoned, and the others go to Master/finished. These get augmented with fresh birds as required at each stake.

This has worked really well for us over the years. -Paul
Great ideas Paul
 

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Working on making a walk in cooler in the front portion of the clubs enclosed trailer. Using a "CoolBot" controller and a window air conditioner.
The "CoolBot" makes the air conditioner cool to a lower temp, near freezing. Should help prevent "nasty birds".
 

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At what point do you all think it is appropriate to ask for a re-run because of a nasty bird? Or is it?

If I ran a junior dog today and received that bird, I would absolutely ask for a re-run. But, it was my first test and we just took our lumps.
 

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I would not ask for a re-run. Presumably, the judges had deemed that bird fit to use. -Paul
 
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