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An excellent technique I just discovered for training a hunting dog to blind retrieve. See my first post.

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  • An excellent technique I just discovered for training a hunting dog to blind retrieve. See my first post.

    An excellent technique I just discovered for training a hunting dog to blind retrieve. See my first post.

  • #2
    I just sent this tip to Chad Love's bird dog blog. Thought I'd share it here.

    My daughter discovered a couple of years ago that my younger lab would go nuts chasing after a laser pointer dot in a darkened room. It was quite a game! While cleaning out a drawer the other day I rediscovered the pointer and thought I'd see what my Brittany pup would do with it. Yep, she was very curious and chased it all around the room. Hmmmm. Got me to thinking there must be some way to utilize her intensity for this into a training tool. Then the light went on! Turns out it is proving to be an excellent tool for blind retrieve training. The Britt is just catching on to retrieving so now is a good time to start this. I start by locking the labs in the living room and then take the pup into the darkened kitchen with a tennis ball. I'll keep her at sit, roll the ball to the other side of the room, flick on the pointer and train it on the ball, then release her. She soon catches on that the pointer dot is where the ball is. Then we move out to the darkened back yard and start extending the range a bit. And finally, I show her the ball, leave her on the back porch, close the door, pitch the ball, let her outside, and release her. She doesn't know where the ball is but will run out into the back yard. I'll blow the whistle so she looks at me, I give the proper hand signal, and then with free hand train the laser dot on the ball's location. Over she goes to the dot and voilĂ , blind retrieve accomplished. In no time at all she should be associating hand signals with the location of the ball and I'll be able to drop the laser pointer altogether. It is working marvelously!

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    • #3
      I use a white bucket and hand signals. Increase distance and difficulty. Eventually the bucket is not used and the dog relies on commands and hand signals. A lazer light would be easier to carry than a bucket.

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      • #4
        Redfish, try using the pointer to point out a treat. My older lab won't play the game either but she learned almost instantly to go where they point if I used a treat as incentive.

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        • #5
          Sorry, cut off again. Old Pearl is nuts for tennis balls and it turned out not too hard to get her to associate the red dot in the dark back yard with where the ball is hidden. I have a couple of duck wings frozen and drying in the garage and I'm anxious to go to that level. But right now it's just below zero F and I'm not too keen on handling a slimy bird wing or tennis ball in those conditions. Working the laser pointer with double layer mitts on doesn't work so hot either.

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