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Should we use rubber ducks to promote our sport?

  • Should we hold the line and hope for the best?

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  • Should we use rubber ducks for the greater good?

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Discussion Starter #1
I'm not one of those people that think that we need to use rubber ducks in competition because ducks are in danger of being wiped out, but I do love this sport and must say that with the sport of hunting as a whole being on the decline and the average age of competitors to be, well older something should be done. I know that it sucks, but should we think about using them so T.V can help promote our sport before it twindles to the point of nothing? I know there are a few, super retriever for one, but with the popularity of labs should'nt it be easier to get peple involved?
 

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cough, cough hell no. :D That said, I see where you are coming from but is the sport declining in numbers? 100 dog opens in ft and a split master national, I gotta wonder? If you want a non-sporting(hunting) event go do ob competitions. Who loves ya Misty?!?!?!?!
 

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misty lake said:
....must say that with the sport of hunting as a whole being on the decline and the average age of competitors to be, well older something should be done.

Yes, something should be done. Introduce youth to our sport. Both Hunting and the dog games. DOn't use fake birds. SRS does, but they aren't charged with keeping the hunt in our hunting dogs. It's a great competition, I think more people should play...but the bread and butter is in the Hunting Retriever organizations.

My oldest son will be 5 this Spring, He says he is handling in a Jr. Handler stake in March and he will go duck hunting early season with me next year. This is what we need to do to keep from losing our way.
 

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dogs

If Field Trials started using rubber duckies, I would quit and take up Golf! As far as TV exposure goes, I'm not sure that it does anything for Retrieve sports. Field Trials get absolutly no TV exposure and the sport continues to grow. The entries are bigger now than ever! I've often wondered why FT don't get any TV coverage and my conclusion is that the level of work is too intimidating for the big majority of viewers. The top working retrievers have always been and will probably always be, a well kept secret.
 

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I agree with "get the kids involved and quit worrying about the ducks."

Rubber ducks are a band-aid.....kids are the cure.
 

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Heck yeah we need to hold the line and if memory serves me correct the only organization in this country that has tried to shove rubber ducks down our throats was as retriever organization. I know as a Canadian you have seen more of your rights disappear in recent years so your perspective on this issue may be a bit different.
Anytime wasted discussing the rubber duck issue in this country is time, effort and money that we could have used fighting the REAL ANTIs in this country. That is my opinion...if I had one that is......
 

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I think that the use of these items in SRS and GOG make sense. I'm not thrilled that it is done, but it is probably better than the outfall of using gamefarm raised real birds.

Our existing hunt tests and trials that award hunting retriever titles should continue to use what they've always been required to use - as long as points are awarded towards titles.

One formerly well-rounded organization is in a pickle right now over an attempt made to "test the waters" in pursuing a new market, while covertly and conveniently rationalizing that it was for other reasons. I think those folks learned that it was a bad move. It's really too bad that it was not done honestly and in an upfront manner.

I think it would be great for some new organizations to go ahead and promote a rubber duck doggie game for the "suburban trainer" who does not hunt and does not want his dog (or himself) handling yucky duckies. Maybe there is a market for it. But let's not muddy our existing programs by trying to substitute rubber ducks for what's always been required in the past.

One of the neat things about the SRS and GOG participants is that there's a qualification process to get into an event. Currently the contestants will already have credentials earned while running "real bird" events.

I'm personally amazed at the amount if dialogue and energy being wasted by folks in one organization who are still talking about rubber ducks. Friends of mine have actually gotten onto a rubber duck committee. This, to me is crazy! It should be a 5 minute discussion - they should revert back to the original rulebook and be done with it! The fact that they are now getting into a bunch of "what ifs" about the duck truck wrecking, animal rights wackos releasing all the birds, etc. blows my mind!

If you don't have confidence in your bird steward or supplier, implement a a backup/contingency plan and have frozen birds readily available. American FT's and HT's have been run for decades without having to worry about the woes of "what if"..... I'm amazed that what these folks don't see is that by even having the discussion, they are empowering those who tried to deceivingly and covertly derail the organization.

- Chris
 

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dogs

Now that would be a heck of a job, to be the Game Steward in an all rubber duckie event! I can hear it now, "Better get those birds out of the sun, they look like they are fading quicky"! And, if one is going to use rubber ducks, why not just use bumpers, it's all plastic to the dogs!
 

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Re: dogs

Mr Booty said:
Now that would be a heck of a job, to be the Game Steward in an all rubber duckie event! I can hear it now, "Better get those birds out of the sun, they look like they are fading quicky"!

Now that is funny....I wonder if there would ever be an emergency where you had to replace DFT with real birds….say they melted or something….now there’s a real problem. :?
 

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Booty, OLN has been airing the national FT open the last couple of years.
 

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Your poll questions are asking questions again, not giving either or choices for the poll. They need to be rewritten as answers. I think that we need to say no to rubber duckies.
 

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If you use rubber ducks how do you test for the true, inherent qualities of a naturally birdy hunting dog? A dog that can pass a "rubber duck" test can't be said to have persevered on a cripple or a runner. A dog may have perfect deliveries w/ rubber ducks, but may crunch real birds. How about the dog who won't pick up a less than perfect shot flyer? The list goes on & on & it's a slap in the face to the dogs who earned their titles on real birds to turn hunt tests into just another type of obedience trial. When I look at pedigrees before purchasing my next pup I'd hate to have to wonder if the dogs with titles have ever picked up a real bird.
M
 

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If the best test we can devise for skilled hunting dogs involves picking up rubber birds then we don't have much validity to the test.

Nix the rubber ducks.

Take a kid out hunting.
 

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I actually don't like the wording of the question,
submit for what greater good? If we admit something is wrong
with the use of birds by compling for the sake of PC, then
we admit that the use of guns sends a bad message etc. etc.
I say they should ad to the rule books that rubber ducks be
banned from the trial grounds along with other training devices.

Bert
 

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I do NOT believe the use of rubber ducks would be for the greater good but it may mean survival of the sport in certain areas of the country.


Miriam Wade said:
If you use rubber ducks how do you test for the true, inherent qualities of a naturally birdy hunting dog? A dog that can pass a "rubber duck" test can't be said to have persevered on a cripple or a runner. A dog may have perfect deliveries w/ rubber ducks, but may crunch real birds. How about the dog who won't pick up a less than perfect shot flyer? The list goes on & on & it's a slap in the face to the dogs who earned their titles on real birds to turn hunt tests into just another type of obedience trial. When I look at pedigrees before purchasing my next pup I'd hate to have to wonder if the dogs with titles have ever picked up a real bird.
M
To play devils advocate :twisted:
1) Some accuse our current testing as not representing "inherent qualities of a naturally birdy hunting dog. How many have claimed we test "robo dog"?
2) Is a CFC or CAFC a meaningless title since all birds are thrown dead?
3) When reveiwing a titled pedigree what if they never hunted real wild birds? or only had birds thrown from a white coat? or never had a handler shoot?
I am sure there are some.

Certain areas of the country are feeling the pressure more than others in their ability to use birds and live ammo. If we are to maintain a nationwide sport there maybe a need for allowances.

Tim
 

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Tim-
First-I disagree that there may be a need for allowances to preserve the sport. What are you preserving if you allow a group(s) who would love to see hunting in general banned get their foot in the door by dictating that hunt tests have to be feel good family entertainment? By doing that you're in a sense agreeing that bird hunting is heinous as opposed to a time honored tradition in many families.

As for those who say that we are currently testing "robo dog" I suggest they first read the hunt test rule book & then attend any hunt test.

You reference Canadian field trial dogs-I don't have enough field trial experience to comment, but will say that the fact that dead birds are used in Canada doesn't ivalidate the hunt test dogs in my mind. Granted, you can't test a dog on a cripple, shot flyer, etc., but at least it's the real deal.

As for the third point-I'll admit to not having an answer beyond that this is where seeing the dogs work comes into play & finding out what they've produced & who their littermates are. Not all pups go to field trial homes, but are somebody's meat dog or MH.

You know as well as I do that when you look for your next pup you are going to do your homework & that any pet breeding isn't going to provide you with the dog you need to run hunt tests/field trials. Why is that? Because there are generations of labs & Goldens that have been bred with no inherent hunting ability. Fine-it fills the needs of lots of families looking for a laid back pet. We shouldn't let what these dogs were originally bred for slip into oblivion because it's not "politically correct" to do otherwise.
M
 
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As I see it the only choice is to continue to use real birds, to me the goal of trialing and testing is developing a better hunting dog.

If the goal of testing and trialing is developing the ultimate test or trial dog it wouldn?t matter if it were stripped sticks, knotted towels or rubber birds used for the sport.
 

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I just saw the info posted by my buddy Yankee Jim regarding the NAHRA status. I'm impressed that Mr. Smith was able to get that done.

This poll had some great timing!

- It's nice that retriever enthusiasts have some choices.

Chris
 
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