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How do you use pigeons in training your retrieving dogs??


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In the past I've used pigeons in my puppy training by letting a small pup tussle and bring back a wing clipped pigeon, then graduate to the bigger pup bringing back a live or dead pigeon tossed into the grass (the stage I'm at now), to letting a wing clipped pigeon go in the grass, giving it some time to walk around, then let the pup trail it and retrieve it. I've even went as far as planting a wing clipped pigeon by tossing it out the truck window as I drive along some CRP so the pup has to trail the pigeon and not my trail.

Curious how others use pigeons in their retriever dog training??

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for pups i will do much as you mentioned with lettint the pup chase and catch the bird. Once I see that the pup is good on that part and just nuts over the bird I will proress to taller cover and make it progressively harder for pup. Once I am at the point where I want pup using his nose the pup is left behind while I go for a stroll. I make it easy at first, lots of birds and close together. I want success each and every time. It gets tougher and tougher for the dog and once they are steady (yes there are a lot of steps inbetween) i will at the end use four launchers in a horseshoe pattern and work the dog torwards the center and once point is established start launching birds all around the dog, Get them use to the steadiness and birds coming up everywhere. Cool to see when you get them to this point

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