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LABS4ME

Braggin' Rights

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LABS4ME

O.K. Guys, the seasons have started, the dogs are wearing the rust off of their wheels, let's hear some stories about how they have performed... especially would like to hear about the '04 rookie class! Lots of posts here through the summer asking for help in training, lets here if it has helped... any outstanding work? Any one thinking they still need advise? Let's get it going.....

Good Luck!

Ken

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Bryce

How's this for 6 weeks?

47b4d706b3127cceb726e5b970740000001610

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Gissert

Well, I took my 16 month old female black lab out with me for the real deal this year.

I had her with a couple mornings last fall, just to get her acclimated to the whole experience.

Things she did great: She has wonderful boat manners. No whining, and sits quite still. Gunfire does not bother her in the least. She would put her front feet up on my seat, and lean her head up against me. It was almost like having a sixty pound house cat in the boat.She would sometimes pick up birds in flight before I would. She was flawlwss in the boat, and a great pleasure to be with. When I pick up decoys, she sits contently in the other end and holds still. She has been in my duck boat ever since she was nine weeks old, so it was not new to her.

Things that were not so great: I dropped a teal in the decoys Sunday morning. She saw everything, and I sent her out. She hit the water with great enthuisim, but when she got to the bird, she nuzzled it and refused. I just whistled her back and pulled her into the boat. I took her back for a wood duck in a shallow weedy area. When she would get close, she would get real birdy, but would not pick it up.

I have some work to do now, but I am sure she will get it. One of her bumpers now has some duck wings zip tied to it. Her regular bumpers or her Dokken mallard she will fetch all day.

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superfish2

I had the lab make chase down a goose cripple on the water and make about a 150 yard retrive. The bird dove on her several times, and she just treads water looking for it finds it and starts chasing again. Evenually she gets it in shallow water and dives under and gets it. It was one of the retrives that you will never forget.

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setterguy

Can a pointer play here too? I have no outstanding work to report, but I was happy with my dogs performance on Saturday. Conditions were terrible, no wind and hot. We had a few birds pointed and even managed to bag few. For the first time out this year I was happy. She didn't want to retrieve very well, maybe one of you lab guys will know more about this. Was it just too hot for her to put the bird in her mouth? She is usually an excellent retriever, I don't know what happpened.

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duckbill

The 8 year old lab saved probably 8 ducks for us. Ducks that went crashing into the deep weeds that we would have never found. The best one was that we downed two woodies that landed about 40 yards away and they were both still alive. I didn't send him right away because they were swimming to fast for him to catch up. After the shooting stopped I sent the dog down to look for these two woodies. He found both and one was still plenty alive. He brought them back to where we were. My partner ringed the neck on the live one but he must have not killed it because when I took the boat out to track down a decoy that was floating away I notice that it had made it back into the water and was swimming away so my hunting partner and my dog took off after it. Right before they got to it on the shore line it submerged. About a minute later my dog comes swimming out of the cattails with it flapping in his mouth. That brought a smile to my face. It made the bloody mary after we were done hunting taste that much better because my partner was telling my other buddies about my dog.

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Bushwacker

My 12 month old female lab had her first hunt this weekend. She retrieved every duck that I asked her to right to hand. It was three wood ducks. Her first retrieve was a real nice adult drake. The hours or force fetch training and blind work seemed to transition into the field. Her first true test of her retrieving ability will come this coming weekend in ND. Hopefully she will have the chance to retrieve 40+ birds.

The problems that I am having is getting her to sit when we are waiting. She can sit forever in the yard while I go in the house or whatever. She just has too much sniffing and looking to do that she can sit for about 1 minute and then as soon as I look away she is running around again. I tried the leash to the belt, but it gets real old getting yanked ever 2 minutes.
The other problem is that she got aggressive with the other dog that we hunt with. It is a 4 year old male dog that is about twice her size. I happened when we were back at the house cleaning the the ducks. The two dogs were standing over the birds and one of the guys grabbed one of the birds out of the to clean and Libby went after the male. They were standing up on their hind legs growling like crazy. The thing is that these two dogs have played together around birds and dummies since Libby was 4 months old. This has to be dealt with right away because these two dogs will be going to ND together and now if we have to watch them 24/7 so they don't fight, it could really put a damper on the trip. Any suggestions?

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Hossienda

My 6 month old lab Grace more than met my expectations this weekend. Her first retrieve was on a woody about 40 yards out in the pond. She went straight out to it, checked it out, swam around the decoys and came back in with out it. I told her to go get it and she went right back to it, grabbed it and came right back to me. It was her first experience with a real bird. She also tracked a goose that ran on us and held it down until we walked up to her.

I was thrilled to say the least as I have done limited training with her and she does not go to a trainer until January to be forced. She also showed quite the environmental side as she picked up every empty shell casing we shot for the weekend and put them into a pile.

-Hossienda

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LABS4ME

Looks like things are going well!

Gissert... try freezing a whole bird or two and use those as opposed to just the wings, really work with her on holding the bird with you reinforcing her to hold it, (not just throwing and retrieving) so she gets acclimated as to what it's like to have a real bird in her mouth. Teach her the command "fetch" when placing the bird in her mouth and "hold" as you tap her under her chin to keep her from releasing it, and "drop" when you want her to release it. These are the beginning phases of the force fetch, if all else fails you may look into the full force fetching of her.

Setterguy... pointers CAN play too!!! grin.gif I like hearing about all dog work! Not just Labs. I have seen in summer trials where even forced dogs aren't real keen about picking up birds when they are hot and their mouths were sticky... I think they remember from past experiences that the feathers pull out and get stuck all over in their mouths... could it be that? Also I've seen dogs not want to retrieve woodcock.... especially when it's hot, were they grouse or woodcock? Sounds like they did a good job for you with the weather we had this weekend.

Bushwacker... We've had a similar problem within our ranks with a dog... simplest solution is to not let the two dogs be by each other when the birds are laying around! When in the blind put the birds away in a burlap sack, decoy bag or cooler and DO NOT let one of the dogs "stand guard" over the birds! Do not let them play with the birds, lick them or continually throw and retrieve them, it all instills the thought that they are "their" birds. You have to somehow try to get them to understand they are "YOUR" birds. Make sure if a tussle ensues, a quick end to it is made and each dog gets corrected by being forced into a submissive posture by the owners, make them sit at heel by each other on lead or with a grasp of their collars for a couple minutes after the correction, do not let them handle the birds after this and then crate them up. For the most part I do not let my dogs run around when cleaning birds, I don't want them getting any bad habits developed by being around when you are opening them up or have carcasses laying around, or exactly what you are describing.

Keep the stories coming!

Good Luck!

Ken

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Gissert

Thanks, Labs,

I did put the teal in the freezer on Sunday with the intention of working some force fetching on her.

She had been so good with the other retrieving that I negleted to get her on a real bird prior to season.

Hopefully it will go ok. She has been a quick study on everything else and is very eager to please.

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Bushwacker

Labs4me,


Thank you very much for the great advice. That makes a lot of sense. When you are a first time dog owner/trainer you worry about hundreds of things before your dogs first big hunt, but I never though I had to worry about my 50 lb female starting fights with a 80 lb male. Its always something.

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CASTnBLAST

Was out with my two Brittany pups last weekend not really expecting too much out of them (only about 4 months old)and wasn't suprised when they dissapeared, likely chasing another chipmunk.Out of this huge dead hollow stump flies out a grouse and I dropped it and low and behold another and another untill I had my limit and they were still coming out one at a time so I went to investigate.Turns out my one pup was on the other's shoulders letting the birds out of a hole on the backside of the stump one at a time with his paw!What teamwork,boy am I looking forward to hunting this year! smile.gif

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Rainman

My dog made me proud this last weekend. My buddies and I shot 18 birds and he retrieved every one! He followed hand signals and all. Looked like a professional trainer had trained him. Trained him all by myself! That put a smile on this mans face, and my buddies as well!

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Twitter

Labs,
I have a question for you. My 3 y/o lab loves to retrieve and always has with a bumper. At less than a year old she retrieved the first two grouse I shot over her and I was the proudest bird hunter in the county that weekend. She is very attentive and has a great nose and works very hard to flush birds when they're around, BUT, she no longer has any interest in retrieving them for me. I can get her to pick up almost anything around the haouse and yard on command, but not a grouse any more. I know it's my fault for never working her with birds and only a bumper....so my question is this....I only grouse hunt with her and may pheasant hunt a couple times a year also (no ducks). I have a nieghbor who trains labs professionally and has offered me pigeons many times for training purposes and am wondering if a frozen pigeon will help at all or if I should freeze the next grouse I shoot for training purposes and keep it in the freezer.....and not use a bumper for the rest of the season, only the frozen bird to get her to retrieve.
I work her with a bumper twice a day, every day, and have since she was 10 weeks old, so she associates the bumper (and probably the retrieve itself) to play time and her daily work outs.
What do you suggest ??

Thanks for any advice....I guess I need to read a book to learn more......it's a shame that the smartest dog I've ever owned with the most potential, won't complete the retrieve for me. She listens EXTREMELY well and will work any cover anytime on command without getting too far away, and if she does start to get too far, a soft whistle or just snapping my fingers will stop her in her tracks and she'll come back to see what I want.
Twitter

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LABS4ME

Twitter, I'd definitley go with the frozen (and live too if available) pigeons. For the most part feathers are feathers, and pigeons tend to be "stinky" birds. Get them retrieving them, and they should retrieve all birds. I feel if you get a dog retrieving birds as much as possible, you'll definitley have less problems down the road. My wife loves it when I'm actively training my dogs, as one whole shelf in the freezer is pigeons and ducks. I use my birds until they are so freezer burned they literally start to break apart. But nothing, I mean nothing, replaces featers in the mouth. I think if you have her to the point where she'll retrieve what ever else is asked f her, getting her back on birds should be a snap. I've said it before though... if it doesn't work out, a full force fetching will solve your problems.

Good Luck!

Ken

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SDwalleyes

Took my 11 month old lab out last weekend. I've trained/worked with her every day since she was 7 weeks. Her first chance to retrieve a duck? Well, she got it out of the water but dropped it on the shore. I had to force retrieve her several times before she delivered it at my feet (not to hand like I had trained her). She continued this to my great dismay until I dropped a bird that still had a lotta life left in it. After chasing it around for a while, she got it and started coming to me. But, when she dropped it on the shore, it started running away. She got it again and brought it closer. Same thing happened. She finally figured she'd better deliver to hand or her work would never be done. After that she performed beautifully the rest of the day.

In two days, she retrieved over 50 ducks for my and my buddies. She followed hand signals on blind retrieves and sat by me and watched the skies when things were slow.

All the hours and thousands of dummy tosses have really paid off. Yet, the training continues.

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Ken,
Thanks for the advice ! I'll get a couple pigeons from the neighbor ASAP and start working her with them exclusively.

Only about 10-12 more weeks and we'll be able to discuss the results over a beverage at WW.
Take care, and thanks again !
Chris

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jbdragon

I will have to give props to Setterguys dog. On her first time out this year, I can honestly say she is probably the best dog I have ever hunted over. She locked some birds down tight in tough conditions. I was Very impressed. Hope to find one just like her!!

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BDR

I love reading the real world good dog work and problems that come with it. Great stories and advise. I hope to have some good stories soon wink.gif

------------------
Brian Rogers
FM Sponsors

BDRBrian@msn.com

[This message has been edited by BDR (edited 10-01-2004).]

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setterguy

jb - good thing Kenai can't read, otherwise she would start to get a big head with all your compliments. I truely appreciate the nice words, as I've said before I had nothing to do with how good she turned out. She has taught me more about bird hunting than I could ever hope to teach her. We will keep our fingers crossed for that November breeding.

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bigdog

First duck hunt for the 9 mo old lab. with training time a bit lacking this summer I was a little worried. He managed a number of water retrieves, many of which were blind, accepted a few hand signals and always delivered to hand. Much better than expected.

On the whoops side, I never thought to get him used to the duck call. Well he figured out real fast that when the quacking starts there will be action. So it went something like Quack..woof..Quack..yip..Quack..woof, woof. He got so excited, everyone got a good laugh of his duck calling critique.

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stayman79

I know this has happened for many other dog owners, but it was a first for me. Yesterday morning my almost 2-year old lab and I got a limit of ducks in Wright county. For this season, that alone is braggin' rights, but the best part was, when I hit on a double of mallards, my dog had to one-up me and do a double retrieve...as in both mallards at once!

GOOD BOY!!

------------------
FISH ON!!

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Jim Bob

Don't know if this counts or not but here goes.

Last year our 8yr old Lab tore the ACL in both his rear legs opening weekend. Our normal vet thought he had sprained something. He could not walk 20-25ft without having to sit down to rest. After 2 months he had us see a specialists who saw the problem right away. Hunted the rest of the season without him but it was not the same.

Took him into surgery (TPLO surgery, see previous post) in January for the 1st leg than in April for the 2nd. Recovery period is 6-9 weeks of nonactivity!

We have a house for bird hunting in a small town in Kansas. Went out there in August for a tractor show. 1st morning took him for a walk and let him off the leash just outside of town. Came upon a weedy field and right away he started acting birdy. Didn't think much about it, but out comes Mr. Rooster. I don't know who had a bigger smile him or me!

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fivebucks

I finally got out duck hunting on Saturday. Not too much was flying but I did get a double on woodies (it's downhill from here on as my luck is used up now) and Jack, my 8 month yellow lab made his first two hunting retrieves. At first he wasn't sure what to do but then his sister started for one of the birds, it flapped a wing and he beat his sister to it and brought it to hand. I then sent him to the other bird, he goes out to the decoy and sniffs it and then sees the bird further out. Another bird to hand. I was a very proud papa.

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stayman79

fivebucks-
Awesome, there's nothing like the first time...and I am talking about hunting! Take some pictures of the first retrieves, limits, etc. Memory fades, but a picture helps bring them back fresh. You'll be glad you did!

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