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Neighbor_guy

Cow Bells, or Swiss bells

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Who here uses a bell for their upland dog? Pointer or Flusher, I am looking for honest oppinions.

I am slowly and painfully teaching a lab to be a grouse dog (flusher). She is terrible at it and slow, but it is what it is. I have the toner/shock collar but her original owner used a shock callar as a dicipline tool, so when she is on it she tends to want to stay at "heal" and I end up kicking her in the mouth more than she is working out front.

Well I was looking around and grabbed up a Cbell that I was just going to put on her to mess with her. For whatever reason she has responded well to it. I started with it when we were working on things at the house and have taken her to a few WMA's and she is actualy working "out front" at about 10 to 15 yards or so, which I am happy with. I just don't know about all the ding, ding, ding...... ding, ding all the time. An hour or so "around home" is one thing, but for a several hour couple mile walk?

How many here still use the bells? Do you notice a change in the birds? Do you get over the ringing?

Just wondering. Like I said, I am trying to take a "duck dog" and turn her into a grouse dog. So anything helps, if a bell trips her trigger and gets her to work up birds I may have no choice but to bell her.

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I always bought my bells at Fleet Farm. They were small about 2 1/2 inches by about 2 1/2 inches almost designed for a goat more than a cow. I never noticed a change in the birds. Lastly the ringing was music to my ears because it meant that the dog was out there working for me and trying to find birds.

Maybe one of the trainers can chime in on how to get her over being "collar wise". Sometimes alot of encouragement helps.

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To me it sounds like the dog needs to learn to hunt and maybe some misuse of the collar.

When starting out a dog, stay off the trails. That gives them no choice but to work cover.

You set the maximum speed and the dog sets the minimum speed when working cover. In other words give the dog time to work, and you call him back to keep him in range.

Because I work flushers in close on grouse there isn't need for a bell, even in heavy cover I can hear the dog and know where its at. Some grouse will flush wild no matter how they're approached. More times then not your best to keep a steady pace if you want to get in close. Stopping is what you want to avoid. That makes the bird nervous and a flush just out of range will happen. In time your objective is to have the flusher quarter left and right at a distance that keeps him with in range but more importantly your forward progress is being maintained. Standing around while a flusher takes a big loop off to the side, most of which is out of shootgun range is no good.

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What he said...

Beyond that, it sounds like the dog needs to learn to hunt. Back in college days the grouse numbers were up like they are now, I'd let my first husky, a big male Samoyed, walk with me down the logging roads near the cabin. Tossing pine cones into the brush as saying Hunt It Up, occasionally to my surprise a grouse would flush. Didn't take long for him to know what that means. In fact, he become an awesome pheasant dog.

Good luck

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