Bay Blue Kennels is updating all of our sites, pages, etc. We will resume posting the training tip of the day on Sept 15, 2013. We are striving to provide the best and most accurate training information possible and need to make some revisions to our main sites. Thanks for your patience and continue to check out www.baybluekennels.com for the progress of our graduates.
Traveling from one part of the country to another chasing the nice weather in order to train the dogs year round, my skin is exposed to harmful UV rays more than your average Joe. Many people I know who have a similar schedule and enjoy the retriever sports have had various skin problems to include allergies and cancer. Certainly nothing to joke about and definitely something to take seriously. Early Detection For Skin Cancer
A friend introduced me to these really cool and lightweight cover ups. They are great. A must have in any retriever enthusiasts bag. Since then I’ve also found sun gloves and a variety of sunscreens I use on a daily basis. So cover it up and protect it. The skin is the largest organ of the human body.
Support your passion by becoming a member of a retriever club, training group, or volunteer to help a professional retriever trainer. Seeking enthusiasts who share your passion will only help promote and keep the retriever sports flourishing. It also helps clubs provide more events such as fun hunts, picnic trials, and clinics year round. Being active is the key, one never knows when a good technique, optimal training situation, or a gem of information will present itself to help you and your dog be the best it can be.
Remember it is ok to disagree. One does not have to debate why their method is better than another. A wealth of information is learned if one observes with an open-mind first and gives relative opinion when asked second. Even though like-minded individuals will share the same goals the methods in which to achieve them could vary widely.
All information can be good depending on how you digest it. For instance: If you witnesses a technique that you disagree with for your dog at the time, you may have just learned “What Not To Do”. However, file it away in your memory bank. A year from now the method observed may work for another dog. This observation may also inspire you to tweak the technique in a manor to fit your method of training or may help develop a new technique.
Learning what to do, when to do it, and how to do it is a long journey filled with successful moments and not so successful moments. In any case observing what not to do and what to do can be an opportunity waiting for you if you become a member and get involved. Your dog is only as good as the time and effort you put into it. For no success comes without good, honest, hard work.
Tera’s Training Tip Of The Day: Wear gloves and wash your hands as often as you can when dealing with birds and pups.
A couple of years ago I was having my 4-6 month old group of pups retrieving previously frozen mallards on their marks. When I took the bird from one of the pups after he was done with the retrieve the pup lunged toward the bird and scratched my finger with his tooth. A mere scratch, so I thought but, it turned into much more. Here are a few photos of the mess this “scratch” caused my hand and almost cost me the use of the finger.
When the scratch occurred I immediately washed my hands, dried them, and applied a liquid band-aid. This was the absolute wrong thing to do. What essentially happened is I allowed the Staph to enter my body thru the scratch and then by applying the liquid band-aid trapped it there to fester. A week went by and I continued to Peroxide and care for the wound which seemed to be getting worse and more painful.
Once the wound had reached the state it was in, in the photos above I had no choice but to go to the ER. I was admitted for several hours and given I.V. antibiotics before the hospital released me under protest. The hospital suggested I stay but, I had pups that needed training and I did not want to be in the hospital for any reason. I was sent home with a bag full of very strong antibiotics. I reported back to the hospital a week later for another round of I.V. antibiotics. After two months of nauseating antibiotics and much pain the infection finally cleared.
However, the muscle and finger remain sensitive to skin breaks and occasional joint pain in the knuckle. The doctors mentioned that my hands will always be more susceptible to getting the infection,not something someone who relies on their hands and sense of touch everyday wants to hear. All of which could have been avoided by wearing gloves, taking time out to wash my hands more often and, seeking treatment sooner. A small price to pay to avoid such an ordeal.
Here is a helpful link of the warning signs and symptoms:
Training Tip Of The Day: When competing, observe which side of the holding blind you should exit to maintain your dog’s focus on the key marks.
There are no shortcuts to success. Hard work, ample amounts of exposure, and good training will help one reach their goals.
However, when it comes to “game day” the rules and dogs behaviors could all change! On game day the dogs can become very excited in this new and highly stimulating environment. So any extra added technique the handler can do to maintain FOCUS in this distracting situation can be helpful.
If a dog won’t FOCUS long enough to watch the bird hit the ground than he/she could be less likely to have a good mark on the bird. Superior focus is built over time in small increments.
When teaching a dog to focus on a mark, the pups attention should be directed to the gun station in any manor that gains the pups attention but, is not so exciting that it hinders the pups focus. Begin marking by letting the pup go for the retrieve when the object is at its arc.Then as the pup marks better and better he/she should be held back for longer periods of time on short marks. Then as the pup is focused on shorter marks the handler can begin to lengthen the marks out enhancing the pups ability to look for the gun stations.
The length of time the pup is held to watch the mark is directly related to the dogs accuracy. If the pups accuracy in marking diminishes than the length of time the pup is held needs to be practiced upon at that distance or the length of time held shorten and built back up. It is important that the pup has more successes than failures. Single marks are best to teach good focus, building up to multiple marks. Eventually, the pup will learn to focus on the mark until the bird hits the ground and the handler releases them.
Tera’s Training Trip Of The Day: Trim wing bones on ducks and pheasants.
When using pen-raised birds for training, sometimes the main wing bones will pop out of the skin. These bones are long, jagged and usually razor sharp. Birds with wing bones that are broken, but not yet exposed, are the most dangerous because they can cut a dog’s mouth during a retrieve. A mouth injury is nearly impossible to detect before it becomes infected and potentially abscesses. The mouth is the fastest healing area on the dog’s body. And let’s face it, not all dogs are going to willingly let the owner/trainer regularly inspect their mouth thoroughly.
A preventive method used at Bay Blue is simple. We send a pair of side cutter, siding shears, or cable cutters out to the gun stations when using birds in the field for marking. The bird throwers are taught how to inspect the birds and how to recognize potentially dangerous bones. Then once a danger is identified the thrower cuts the “bad bone” to a short, blunt, flat edge close to the body of the bird. At times this method may expose a little of the flesh but it has never been an issue for our dogs. Now the bird is safe to retrieve before it is thrown. Then once the bird is taken from the dog at the line the truck assistant inspects the birds again for dangerous bones and/or bad mouthing such as chomping, chewing, or gnawing.
Never, Ever, and Always are not words that should be used in association with the “Training” of dogs.
There are times I do things with one dog that I may not do with another. Some dogs need more help than others. All in all it is important to be flexible enough to do what ever it takes to excite your puppy to “want to learn” and give forth valiant efforts toward their lessons.
Tip Of The Day: Semi-Frozen birds can be useful in teaching good mouth habits
Fresh Flyer Ducks or Pheasants can be cumbersome and somewhat intimidating to a puppy to pick up. If it is warm the down feathers have a tendency to stick to the pups tongue. A fresh bird is also very floppy making it difficult for the pup to properly pick up and carry back on the first pass.
When teaching a puppy how to “Hold” a bird I like to use a Semi-Frozen duck to start. Either a Hen or Drake will do. I pay close attention to the way I freeze the bird, positioning the duck with the wings tightly tucked to the body and the head straight. This ensures that the head and wings can be positioned out of the way for the pup to grab the breast when I present it to them and put it in their mouth. Because the semi-frozen bird has more solidity than a fresh bird it naturally (without pressure) discourages unnecessary mouth movements such as chomping or gnawing. Therefore, encouraging good mouth habits from the start and inspiring the puppies assurance in handling birds.