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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am in need of advice for purchasing training equipment on a limited budget. I have trained my pup past the "started"/"JH" level and very much want to continue to "Seasoned/SH". I tried taking an ad out in our local club newsletter for used equipment with limited luck. One member contacted me with an offer of a hand launcher...I thought that might be useful for a diversion...but thought otherwise as I can hand toss the diversion. Most of my training is done alone. I attend our clubs training days...but typically only receive one set of 3 marks, once a month. I do have opportunities to train with a friends group but they have 15 dogs between them and lots of time to train as none of them have kids at home. What would be my best use of funds for training alone on a shoestring budget....a pair of BB 2 shooters and a winger? A pair of wingers and a BB 2 shooter? A Thunder Shooter (5) and a winger? Any advice appreciated...
 

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I started out doing a lot of stand alones. I'd sit the dog at the line and go out and hand throw my memory mark, let the dog digest it for a second or two, then walk to my go bird and throw it and then send him remotely. Then we'd both walk back to the line and I'd line him up for the memory. You can then throw a diversion for him on his return from the line. Be prepared though to enforce your sit command as I remember making many trips out into the field only to turn around and see that Fido was somehow 50 yards closer to me then when he was at the line. I remember until my dog was comfortable with what was going on in these scenarios, I'd almost have to walk backwards so that I could watch for any movement. If you can get your hands on Dennis Voigts DVD called Training Retrievers Alone, I'd definitely do that as he has a lot of methods for throwing marks when it's just you and your dog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your post Darin. I have trained him to wait on a placeboard patiently while I walk out and eventually send him remotely. So I I'm sure I can proceed with doing doubles and diversion as you suggested. Eventually though I'm going to have to get some equiment. Hopefully the "Training Alone" dvd will shed some light on my best purchase, and help me to prioritize.
 

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I'd skip the BB and just get you 2 wingers only. I also train alone and went this route and wouldn't do it differently if I had to again. I'll probably soon pull the trigger on a 3rd winger so we can move to Finished/Master although we do have 2 Senior passes still left to get (wrapped up the Seasoned title).

I have Dennis' dvd too and would recommend it.

Since you're alone and training for hunt tests, I'd suggest either the mini zinger winger or the Gunners Up Son of a Gun. They are both small and compact and its easier to load them and set them up because they are smaller/lighter weight. I got the mini zinger with Dogtra lectronics and love the setup. It throws the bird plenty far for my training purposes.

You'll probably need to buy or make a few holding blinds too. I went with the 4 pole Butch Greens and am happy with them.

Good luck!
 

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I did something similar. I bought a BB up front and then added 2 used zingers with TT. Scratch up the $$ for it!!! You won't be sorry! Sell a liver or kidney...
 

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I will tell ya...I've since forked out the $$ for 2 Gunners Up.....and while parting with the cash stinks, it makes my life so much easier! ;-)
 

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Dennis's DVD highly recommend if you train alone!!!
 

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I started out training one dog and bought 2 SOG wingers with TT electronics. They work great and I have never had a problem with them (7 yrs old). Now that I train 8 to 10 dogs a day I had to go to launchers because it just took so much of my time to walk out and reset wingers after every dog. I still use my wingers when needed along with the launchers. I usually use them for walk ups and diversions or anytime I need to throw real birds. Good luck
 

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What I did was get two wingers and a box launcher. Seasoned you have your walk up and diversion so the box launcher comes in handy and still use it for a trip if ya want later on
.
 

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What I did was get two wingers and a box launcher. Seasoned you have your walk up and diversion so the box launcher comes in handy and still use it for a trip if ya want later on
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I agree with this. I just walked in from the field and today ran a set of marks by myself using 2 wingers and a zinger uplander. Some people say you can't throw longer distance marks with the uplander but today it was the check down bird at 170 yds. I find I use it in just about every set up I do.
 

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I am in need of advice for purchasing training equipment on a limited budget. I have trained my pup past the "started"/"JH" level and very much want to continue to "Seasoned/SH". ...
Based on this bolded statement, my suggestion is that you invest in a comprehensive training program and you think of training level in terms of basics, transition, and advanced as described in programs such as Lardy's total retriever training rather than in terms of started, JH, seasoned, SH, etc. By making the statement, "...trained my pup to the 'started'/'JH' level..." it leads me to believe you are training to a test. This may not be the case, but it is the impression I get. The more successful trainers use a structured, sequential program to teach the various skills that can then be applied when running a test. I believe your money will be better spent buying a quality training program DVD.
 

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How about a couple of kids in the area that you know from their parents. You can teach them the ropes and who knows, they might get the bug. You can make it worth there while for some compensation of sorts. It's better than playing videos all day.
 

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I am very happy with my budget equipment set up. I built 3 wingers out of PVC pipe using the Quik Labs design. Took me a little over 30 minutes to get my first frame mocked up. For less than $100 a winger, you can't beat the price. They're are no Gunners Up but are perfect for someone on a budget. I shopped around until I found electronics for the right price and now I have a set up that will throw triples for the price of a "store bought" single.
 

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My price was for the wingers only. I decided to use Tritronics instead of another set up just so I could use my receivers with other's set ups since that's what most folks use. It works fine with the door lock actuators so far. It will be interesting to see if they continue to work as well if I don't keep the receivers freshly charged.
 

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seeing as the original design cost so much now then it did when kwik came out with it in 04. (i spent a couple hours at work reading and re reading all the ideas and opinions here and on the refuge) i'm inclined to go the walkie talkie route. you can get a 22 channel (which is enought channels to seperate each thrower by 8) motorola set of 2 for 22 bucks. by 2 more and you got enough to have triples (and one to operate all 3). low voltage trigger (13 bucks), 9.6v battery and charger (11 bucks), actuating arm (5 dollars), project box to contain it all (5 bucks) various wire and cords (5 bucks)

here's the instructions for walkie talkie operated electronics

http://gundogforum.com/resources/RemoteLauncherPlans.pdf
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Very astute observation Captain Jack...we have gone through basics and I am waiting for the transition manual to be mailed to me from my pro's program(whom I take lessons from). So yes we are following a sequential program. I appreciate everyone's input. I am going to purchase the Training Alone DVD, will watch for a pair of gunners up son of a gun in classifieds, or buy new if necessary. This is my second performance retriever (the first I trained to a MACH/JH) and am looking forward to seeing how high we can climb together in HRC and AKC venues.
 

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I find that with the tritronics or dogtra electronics you can remotely help the dog (to a certain extent) when they need it. I also find that a BB derby double or two wingers at one station are better than a single launcher for dogs that need help especially on the memory marks. An experienced person is of course the best thing out at the memory mark. Also it doesn't hurt to "Salt" the area of the fall with extra birds on the memory mark when working alone. Once you have a good handling dog though these things are not quite as important. So for electronics get the dogtra or tritronics with a left and a right on the reciever or if you get enough extra recievers then the single ones work. Sound on the recievers is important when working alone.
 
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