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What's In Your Gun Dog Training Bag?

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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.

Comments (20)

Top Rated
All Comments
from KingFisher907 wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

David,
I have no training bag...yet...
In your opinion, which breeds of dog should I consider for hunting grouse in an extremely northern climate, specifically Alaska?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from minigunner111 wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

Labs labs can do anything

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from chadlove wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

David, they're kind of pricey but if you train alone much of the time (like I do) a remote launcher is in my mind essential gear. I use both a winger-type launcher and a two-shot Bumper Boy unit.
I use the Bumper Boy for most of my long marks and doubles, etc. and the winger for tossing real birds and when I want to throw triples. Gives you a lot of flexibility in setting up scenarios.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dave DiBenedetto wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

chadlove-- Funny you mention it. A dummy launcher is on my immediate wish list...hope Santa is listening. -D

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from kelmitch wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

Grouse-If the birds will hold a pointing breed is great but if they wont hold you might as well have a close working flusher or retriever.Its a loaded question.I think the average ratio for a grouse hunter is one to ten any way.I will be hunting them here in N.Y.in the Adirondacks the park you can fit most national parks into again soon.Possibly a pointing Lab one that takes its own flush and will be a good water dog for up there.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from kelmitch wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

For upland training I do like my Mendota Trainer Check Cord 50ft. 3/8 diameter.I start teaching the young pup to quarter on a short lead or leash 6 or 8 ft.Then move to a 20ft.training check cord.Then go to a 30ft.quartering check cord and with the Mendota possibly 50ft.IT COVERS ALL LENGHTS.Beyond that the invisible check cord(low stim possitive reinforcement)because you have about 1.5 seconds for the dog to understand what it was corrected for.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from KingFisher907 wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

gee, uhhh thanks for your help benedetto...

kelmitch, this should be your blog, thanks for the suggestions...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from kelmitch wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

No thanks Dave is a great writer and will be a great trainer.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from kelmitch wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

I wanted to say a training collar for correction beyond the check cord for the dummy launcher but didnt want to start a debate about it.He I am sure caught it(vibration,tone,or low stim) a great tool (dog insurance).

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from OTMBoykins wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

E-collar for sure. I don't want to get in a debate but an e-collar, when used correctly and fairly, is hands down the most effective tool you can use.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from kelmitch wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

Something to clean or brush down dog for bryiers,pickers,etc for in the field .Possibly an eyewash.Two tone whistle of some type. I use an Acme 210.5(nice and quiet great for rural setting)Spaniel whistle type and a Roy Gonia special when I have to raise my voice(wind,correction,etc.).This gives me two separate tones.With the launcher you guys hit them all the rest is personal and optional.Never set your gun dog up to fail.
UK Springer

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from kelmitch wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

50 this morning in N.Y. I can see my breath.What a great day to train!Its comming!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dave DiBenedetto wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

Kelmitch--Nice morning in NY. It was 80 degrees here in S.C. at 7 a.m. Also, I do hear a lot of good things about the Roy Gonia.

OTMBoykins-- Have to agree on the E-collar. As soon as I feel like I've been properly schooled on the proper way to use one I'm sure it will find its way into our bag.

KingFischer907--Didn't know the answer to your question. If you've followed this blog you know I'm just an amateur dog handler. Figured the gang here would answer it for you (kelmitch and others know their stuff) and besides this is a post about training bags. Next time shoot me an email (mbfcontest@gmail.com) with a question and I'll see if some of the pros I know have an answer. -D

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from muskiemaster wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

I've got the check cord, 3 dummies, water bottle, treats, scents, wings and different odds and ends that I can't think of yet. I still haven't got into using the whistle yet and I feel that I probably won't maybe a segment about how to use one and the different whistles you use for come or hunt 'em up.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from hjohn429 wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

Interesting article. Should come in handy for my new puppy. (picture on my profile.)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dave DiBenedetto wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

hjohn429- Good luck with the new pup. And have fun. -D

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from FloridaHunter1226 wrote 4 years 35 weeks ago

It's funny how you will bring so many things out of necessity and so many things out of what you might "think" is a necessity.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Southof80 wrote 4 years 35 weeks ago

I have no training bag. There are 4 or 5 items you realy need. Asuming that your wears a regular collar, Whistle, water and bowl, e-collar, and leash. The rest of the equipment depends on a day's plans. Don't forget a crate to go to and from.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Southof80 wrote 4 years 35 weeks ago

Why a Boykin Spaniel? What is the main game it hunts? Is it a universal dog?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dave DiBenedetto wrote 4 years 35 weeks ago

Southof80--I chose a Boykin because they are great in a dove field and a duck swamp (can also do upland hunting), they're not big dogs (Pritch will top out around 35 pounds or so which means she'll fit in our small house and our boat without getting in the way), they love the water, and they're good around the family. Seemed like a perfect dog for us. -D

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from kelmitch wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

Grouse-If the birds will hold a pointing breed is great but if they wont hold you might as well have a close working flusher or retriever.Its a loaded question.I think the average ratio for a grouse hunter is one to ten any way.I will be hunting them here in N.Y.in the Adirondacks the park you can fit most national parks into again soon.Possibly a pointing Lab one that takes its own flush and will be a good water dog for up there.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from KingFisher907 wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

David,
I have no training bag...yet...
In your opinion, which breeds of dog should I consider for hunting grouse in an extremely northern climate, specifically Alaska?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from minigunner111 wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

Labs labs can do anything

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from chadlove wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

David, they're kind of pricey but if you train alone much of the time (like I do) a remote launcher is in my mind essential gear. I use both a winger-type launcher and a two-shot Bumper Boy unit.
I use the Bumper Boy for most of my long marks and doubles, etc. and the winger for tossing real birds and when I want to throw triples. Gives you a lot of flexibility in setting up scenarios.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dave DiBenedetto wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

chadlove-- Funny you mention it. A dummy launcher is on my immediate wish list...hope Santa is listening. -D

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from kelmitch wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

For upland training I do like my Mendota Trainer Check Cord 50ft. 3/8 diameter.I start teaching the young pup to quarter on a short lead or leash 6 or 8 ft.Then move to a 20ft.training check cord.Then go to a 30ft.quartering check cord and with the Mendota possibly 50ft.IT COVERS ALL LENGHTS.Beyond that the invisible check cord(low stim possitive reinforcement)because you have about 1.5 seconds for the dog to understand what it was corrected for.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from KingFisher907 wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

gee, uhhh thanks for your help benedetto...

kelmitch, this should be your blog, thanks for the suggestions...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from kelmitch wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

No thanks Dave is a great writer and will be a great trainer.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from kelmitch wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

I wanted to say a training collar for correction beyond the check cord for the dummy launcher but didnt want to start a debate about it.He I am sure caught it(vibration,tone,or low stim) a great tool (dog insurance).

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from OTMBoykins wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

E-collar for sure. I don't want to get in a debate but an e-collar, when used correctly and fairly, is hands down the most effective tool you can use.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from kelmitch wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

Something to clean or brush down dog for bryiers,pickers,etc for in the field .Possibly an eyewash.Two tone whistle of some type. I use an Acme 210.5(nice and quiet great for rural setting)Spaniel whistle type and a Roy Gonia special when I have to raise my voice(wind,correction,etc.).This gives me two separate tones.With the launcher you guys hit them all the rest is personal and optional.Never set your gun dog up to fail.
UK Springer

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from kelmitch wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

50 this morning in N.Y. I can see my breath.What a great day to train!Its comming!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dave DiBenedetto wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

Kelmitch--Nice morning in NY. It was 80 degrees here in S.C. at 7 a.m. Also, I do hear a lot of good things about the Roy Gonia.

OTMBoykins-- Have to agree on the E-collar. As soon as I feel like I've been properly schooled on the proper way to use one I'm sure it will find its way into our bag.

KingFischer907--Didn't know the answer to your question. If you've followed this blog you know I'm just an amateur dog handler. Figured the gang here would answer it for you (kelmitch and others know their stuff) and besides this is a post about training bags. Next time shoot me an email (mbfcontest@gmail.com) with a question and I'll see if some of the pros I know have an answer. -D

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from muskiemaster wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

I've got the check cord, 3 dummies, water bottle, treats, scents, wings and different odds and ends that I can't think of yet. I still haven't got into using the whistle yet and I feel that I probably won't maybe a segment about how to use one and the different whistles you use for come or hunt 'em up.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from hjohn429 wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

Interesting article. Should come in handy for my new puppy. (picture on my profile.)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dave DiBenedetto wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

hjohn429- Good luck with the new pup. And have fun. -D

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from FloridaHunter1226 wrote 4 years 35 weeks ago

It's funny how you will bring so many things out of necessity and so many things out of what you might "think" is a necessity.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Southof80 wrote 4 years 35 weeks ago

I have no training bag. There are 4 or 5 items you realy need. Asuming that your wears a regular collar, Whistle, water and bowl, e-collar, and leash. The rest of the equipment depends on a day's plans. Don't forget a crate to go to and from.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Southof80 wrote 4 years 35 weeks ago

Why a Boykin Spaniel? What is the main game it hunts? Is it a universal dog?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dave DiBenedetto wrote 4 years 35 weeks ago

Southof80--I chose a Boykin because they are great in a dove field and a duck swamp (can also do upland hunting), they're not big dogs (Pritch will top out around 35 pounds or so which means she'll fit in our small house and our boat without getting in the way), they love the water, and they're good around the family. Seemed like a perfect dog for us. -D

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

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