August 07, 2009
What's In Your Gun Dog Training Bag?
By David DiBenedetto
Pritch and I have come a long way from the days when we needed only a sock filled with newspaper to work on our hallway retrieves. These days I’m toting more stuff into the field. Some of it out of necessity, some of it not so much. Here’s a breakdown of what’s in my training bag:
4 Rubber Dummies: I carry a variety of colors from orange to white and use according to cover and light of day.
1 Acme Whistle With Pea: I know there are super-charged whistles out there, but this one has some history. It has tooted for a number of family pooches.
1 Duck Commander Cut-Down Duck Call: Used by the "bird boy" (my wife) before a dummy toss.
1 Four-Foot Lead: For longer walks to and from the training field.
1 Twenty-Foot Nylon Check Cord: This cord is indispensable in the field, for teaching Come to working on Place. It’s always on.
1 Nylon Choke Collar: I normally use this with the check cord.
1 Sprenger Pinch Collar: I now swear by a pinch collar. Very useful when working on Heel.
Goldfish Snacks: I learned this trick from Pam Kadlec of Just Ducky Kennels. A quick, easy treat when a reward is in order.
1 Duck Wing: Perfect for attaching to dummies either with a thin strip of duct tape or zip tie.
1 Foldable Plastic Water Bowl: Pritch doesn’t yet drink from a squirt bottle, so this bowl is essential for hot days.
That’s a typical bag for a session with my 7-month old pup. (Note that our place board doesn’t fit in the bag but is always with us.) What am I missing? For one, a starter pistol—but I can’t fire it in my suburban training areas. What else? If you swear by a different whistle, a perfect dummy, or any other essential item let us hear about it.