RetrieverTraining.Net - the RTF banner
1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is there any drills or anything that will help a dog learn how to use his nose quicker? I have an 8 month old and he has been marked since he was younger but preparing for his first started test decided i probably should be throwing marks in a little taller grass. He marks well, but in the taller grass when he gets to the area of the fall he starts hopping trying to see the bumper over the grass. Today he would put his nose on the ground when he would wind it but it was like he didnt trust his nose and would just start running around in the area of the fall till he seen it. I didnt know if there was a drill to help with this or if he just needs more marks. Any help would be appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,161 Posts
My first thought would be to use real birds. Second, if I read it correct you are throwing the marks yourself. I would be getting someone else to do the throwing. Now with that all taken care of, have the bird thrown just inside some cover so as soon as he breaks the cover he steps on it. Then just start putting it deeper. I don't think it so much as he hasn't learned too but hasn't had too. A clipped wing bird could also help. Let him see it run in the open first. That will bring his prey drive up some.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
391 Posts
Marks, marks and more marks. Most started tests are in pretty shallow cover so don't worry too much about working in tall grass. Also, make sure he gets to work with some dead birds.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I throw marks myself about half the time have others throw the rest. It definitively wouldn't hurt to throw more real birds. Thanks for the comments and keep them coming.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,413 Posts
Heres Goosers opinion.... Beware its free!,,, Ya dont know me from Adam or Eve,, and this discussion is on the internet...,,
also,,,,I have a picture of a Pregnant Donkey as my Avatar!!:)

(Actually a Big ARSE,, which pretty much described me and my overly outgoing personality)


ANYWAY!!!!!!!!


Of course birds,, but if gettin your hands on some reguarly is an ordeal,, then have you considered throwing orange bumpers within reasonable distances?

Throw em right out in the open,, low cover..It will be hard for them to see them on the ground when they get to the AOF,, they will have to use thier nose then

Gooser
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
340 Posts
This will sound silly to the pros. But I offer it because it worked for me. Be kind...and peanut like.

If all you're looking for is for the dog to learn how to use its nose, why do you even have to leave your backyard?

For fun, I did something with one of my critters that she absolutely loved. It was a game that we did in the backyard. I learned how to handle her on blind retrieves. She learned to use her nose.

Because it was in the backyard, she didn't associate the game with anything other than play time.

Hot dogs.

At first I just simply sliced up a hot dog and tossed her the pieces one at time.

Then, I'd had her sit and tossed a piece out on the deck. I'd release her (Ok command, not fetch) and she'd go out and get it.

Then, the game progressed to me throwing the hot dog piece in the grass a just off the deck. I'd make sure that the wind was blowing right in the dog's face. (You'd could see the dogs nose straining to pick up the scent before I release her.)

One hot dog every night - multiple pieces. All fun. The dog loved it.

Eventually, the dog knew what was coming and it progressed to blind hotdog "retrieves" proceeded by a "Where's the hot dog?" tease. Of course, the dog could smell the hot dog on my hand.

As the game got easier, I'd have walk out and then toss the hot dog out a fair distance. When the dog struggled, I'd blow a sit whistle and direct her to the right spot. It was a blast. Plus the dog learned to trust me. If I sent her out for a hot dog, she knew not to give up looking for it. Motivation.

Obviously, this one is waaay out there and not in any training manual or video. But, it was just a lot of fun for me. I know that it helped my dog use its nose. It may just help you out. If all you're looking for is for a dog to learn how to use its nose, it absolutely worked. And because I was throwing the hot dogs (and not walking out an setting them down), the dog learned to use the scent in the air and not put its nose down to track. I found that the longer the hot dog was out before I brought out the dog, the easier it was for the dog to find.

Just think of all the reps you'll get without having to load up all the gear and head out to the training grounds each time.

( Also, I had no fear of the dog turning in to a dead bird muncher. It never happened. )
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,875 Posts
it's a tough time of year when the grass starts coming up. Turns easy marks into real boogers. Use the same old mark as a confidence mark all the rest of the year but, right when the grass starts shooting up for spring.....I'm pretty sure I can make just about any dog look like an 8 month old puppy marking this time of year without adding anything special into the mix.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Heres Goosers opinion.... Beware its free!,,, Ya dont know me from Adam or Eve,, and this discussion is on the internet...,,
also,,,,I have a picture of a Pregnant Donkey as my Avatar!!:)

(Actually a Big ARSE,, which pretty much described me and my overly outgoing personality)


ANYWAY!!!!!!!!


Of course birds,, but if gettin your hands on some reguarly is an ordeal,, then have you considered throwing orange bumpers within reasonable distances?

Throw em right out in the open,, low cover..It will be hard for them to see them on the ground when they get to the AOF,, they will have to use thier nose then

Gooser
Haha, Ive been on here long enough and read enough of your post, nothing would have been a surprise out of you. haha. Actually i was just talking to one of my training partners today and brought up throwing orange bumpers. My only concern would be multiple retrieves without finding the bumper. Dont want to start a habit of the pup coming back empty handed and cant start continuously walking out closer to help because he starts looking for the help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
it's a tough time of year when the grass starts coming up. Turns easy marks into real boogers. Use the same old mark as a confidence mark all the rest of the year but, right when the grass starts shooting up for spring.....I'm pretty sure I can make just about any dog look like an 8 month old puppy marking this time of year without adding anything special into the mix.
Amen to that!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,179 Posts
Here's how we do it with young ones in upland. Don't throw marks for this put out a fresh duck or wing clipped bird that's hobbled. Heel the dog straight into the wind at about 20 yards release him from heel. Do this for a few days. Then throw marks short ones in tall grass marking sure that when you release the wind and scent is blowing into his face. It will take a few weeks but the more he's sees birds the better he'll trust his nose.
Use birds and if no birds get duck scent and put it one the bumper rope.
I know the can smell bumpers on their own but when you add scent it builds confidence.
Its amazing how quick they will use there nose. A word of caution in HT its about marking and not the nose. Be sure to instill to mark before using the nose.
Another thing try to do this in morning before dew is gone. We have an upland trial for all the marbles next weekend and with the green coming in it makes it a little tougher. Thank god Im their dog out moisture and scent do wonders.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,649 Posts
The hopping about in cover is the dog's attempt to find the bird/bumper by sight.

One thing I do to help the dog discover its nose is toss a bumper out into the back yard at night. I also scent the bumper. The dog has to hunt around a bit for the bumper but at some point will make the connection and use its nose.This is in addition to Gooser's method.

My dog did what your pup does. I would have to repeat the lessons every so often but the pup will eventually make the connection.
 
G

·
Break it down. There is no need to run "marks" if you are working on his nose.
I have used the "NIGHT STALKER" approach as mentioned above with great success using a pheasant wing. After all, that is what i bought him for. My yard is fenced in and is quite small, so the success rate was high.

Another thing i did was play "hide n seek" in the house with a tennis ball when my dog was as young as yours. Heck, i still do it b/c he loves it so much! This is nothing more than 5 minutes of fun using his nose. It works great when there is a game on tv or you just don't feel like training that day.

Not everything needs to be taught in a drill format. So take advantage of your down time and play with your dog. He will figure out how to use what god gave him soon enough.

Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
What I heard people do is put the dogs food out in the field without the dog knowing. Then just act like you are going out for a walk in the thick grass and walk in the general area. The dog should then start smelling his food and run to it. Just start doing this and then transition to birds or dummies whatever you want.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,686 Posts
Pups love the find the hot-dog/treat in the house, just remember where you have hidden all those hot-dogs. ;) I'll also play hide and go seek with them, train them to find you and other family members. Once they figure out what that nose is for it's hard to turn it off. Aside from games start teaching the pup to trail, get a bird and play with that for a bit, get the pup excited about it then put the pup up . Wet bird and drag it, leave large scent pocket with feathers every 20 ft. or so. Get out the pup put him at the starting point and start encouraging him to Find it, point out the feather etc. see if he take off and follow. If he doesn't keep pointing out the trail and encouraging him to find it walk slowly along the trail until you come to the bird. Make a really big deal when he finds it. Then take the pup back to the beginning of the trail, tell him to find it and just watch him take off for that bird following that nose. They really love this type of training ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,497 Posts
I don't agree about not running any marks whilst encouraging the dog to use his nose. After all in the field that's just what we want him to do; mark the fall and if it's moved start hunting.

The marks should however be easy in terms of distance, and be done with an object that has both low visibility and good scent trail. The cover needs to be just dense enough to conceal the object but not so thick that the scent trail is obscured; light brambles, leaf litter, medium grass, stuff like that.

The much derided hand launcher, fitted with a tennis ball adaptor is ideal. In the initial stages sit the dog, walk out, and fire the ball into a bit of cover that stands out from the rest; return, and send the dog. Then just extend the distance and go on from there. It's SOP in the Springer world. I made this video quite a few (10?) years back before I got really involved with labs, but it shows the LAUNCHER AND SUITABLE COVER Lots of errors but it gives you an idea. I'm much slimmer now!

The advice to train at night is good too. Your dog will learn to mark by sound as well as develop his nose; useful skills both.

Eug

Oh, forgot ... spit on the ball before launching it, that way it smells of gunsmoke and you. Very pongy!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,649 Posts
I also do the following with tennis balls: I scent the felt. I throw the ball into cover, the ball may roll a bit leaving a scent trail. Since I live within NYC limits, I have adapted this for the city. I find areas where I can roll the ball along short grass or pavement into brush, then send the dog. It really works quite well.
 
G

·
Marks, in my eyes, is all about using your eyes. Once there,the dog starts his hunt. If the said dog has trouble finding the bird b/c he has not yet figured out how to use his nose there would be alot of wasted effort and time for the specific goal of teaching the dog to use his nose. By breaking it down the the dog will be able to focus on the concept as well as the trainer without other clutter messing up the dogs lesson for the day.
Lets say you set out three winger stations and run your dog to each individually and he puts up some big hunts. What are you teaching the dog?
That 30 minutes to an hour you spent setting up and watching your dog run around aimlessly hoping he stumbles on the bird could have been used more productively to achieve and yield better results.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,342 Posts
I know Bill Hilllmann uses the orange bumper in short cover early on in pups life so that he starts to use his nose as much as his eyes.

Could not the same concept be used with more mature dogs?

Isn't this the reason for Orange Bumpers?


If they don't immediately see it, they start sniffing for it. Start off slow and easy and increase cover and distance as needed. No?
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top