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How to train a shed dog in less than one hour.

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  • How to train a shed dog in less than one hour.

    My daughter got it in her head that we needed a dog that would find antler sheds. I'm not sure what's the point, but I've got a bad case of cabin fever after this long winter (still snow banks here and there) so what the heck. It's something to do. No bugs or ticks out yet so it's a good time to be roaming the bush.

    "Well, it'll have to be Ellie [my just turned four year-old Lab]. 'Puppy' [seven year-old Fr Brittany] is a poor retriever on a good day and old Lab Opal has never been interested in picking up anything that hasn't just been shot unless it's thrown in the water."

    "Oh no, Dad, not goofy Ellie!"

    "Don't write her off. I think she might enjoy that game."

    And she did. Here's what you need. 1 energetic dog anxious to please that's already trained to retrieve + 1 assistant + 1 small deer shed + pocket of treats - any distractions (leave the other two dogs in the car and keep five year-old grandson on a short leash).

    Step 1: Horse around teasing dog with shed then toss it a ways and give fetch command. Treat when it's retrieved. Do that several times till dog will run and pick up shed as far as you can throw it.

    Step 2: Assistant keeps dog at starting station while handler walks out in field a ways and discreetly drops the antler in a hidden place (a clump of tall grass works well for starters). Return in a zig-zag pattern, release the dog, and work her up to the area of the shed till she picks up the scent and retrieves.

    Step 3: Repeat Step 2 with assistant and dog hidden out of sight (behind vehicle works well) while handler hides shed and returns. Handler should walk around in circles and back and forth in the field several times before and after stashing the shed in case the dog is simply following handler's scent. Return, release dog, and work her ahead until she finds the shed and retrieves. Do this several times and she's ready to go find sheds on her own.

    I eventually worked up to hiding the shed back in the swampy reed filled woods behind the field. Ellie never failed to find and retrieve it (but she did have some trouble when I hung the shed in a tree).
    Last edited by Ontario Honker Hunter; 04-23-2019, 11:02 AM.

  • #2
    It will be interesting to see how she does on her own. Hope she finds a lot for you guys.


    • #3
      I recently read that the average dog has the mental abilities of a two-year-old child.
      This finding is based on a language development test, revealing that average dogs can learn 165 words (similar to a 2-y.o. child), and dogs in the top 20% in intelligence can learn 250 words.


      • #4
        Here is the link to my comment:




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