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    Thread: antler sheds

    1. #1
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      Jack9211's Avatar
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      antler sheds

      i am lucky enough to live where there are huge numbers of moose and deer. i want to train my dog to find the drops in the spring. i am not going to train him on birds....just the one job. i have never trained for this as i didn't have the time in my working days. just wondering if anyone has done this and can offer any training tips.

      thanks

    2. #2
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      IRISHWISTLER's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Jack9211 View Post
      i am lucky enough to live where there are huge numbers of moose and deer. i want to train my dog to find the drops in the spring. i am not going to train him on birds....just the one job. i have never trained for this as i didn't have the time in my working days. just wondering if anyone has done this and can offer any training tips.

      thanks
      Jack,
      There are several videos, books, and a kit that specifically address the topic of training dogs to find antler sheds which are available through Gun Dog Supply and other outlets. I think they run about $20, one being produced by Tom Dokken the maker of Dokken training bird bumpers.

      I don't train dogs for hunting sheds, but these resources should get ye on the right path. Good luck.

      Cheers,
      Irishwhistler
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      Jack9211 (01-12-2017)

    4. #3
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      I've trained Tux to find antler sheds. We had already been doing nosework and barn hunt for a couple years so he caught on quick. It is pretty easy to do IMO even if your dog has never done nosework. My trainer prefers using a real antler shed as opposed to the kits and rubber ones they sell at Bass Pro. Basically just toss the antler on the ground in plain sight, the dog is apt to go check it out and sniff so immediately praise and treat when they go near it. If clicker trained you can use a clicker. Keep doing this and they eventually catch on that an antler = food. And then you start hiding it better and upping the difficulty; partially cover with leaves, hide it a bit elevated, etc. If there is a certain behavior you want them to use to indicate they've found it you can start waiting them out and praise and treat when they offer that behavior. For example Tux will swipe his paw when he finds what he is looking for. With it being antlers, a couple times he would actually pick them up in his mouth which was fine, but he mostly would use his paw swiping indicator.

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      Jack9211 (01-13-2017)

    6. #4
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      Quote Originally Posted by shellbell View Post
      I've trained Tux to find antler sheds. We had already been doing nosework and barn hunt for a couple years so he caught on quick. It is pretty easy to do IMO even if your dog has never done nosework. My trainer prefers using a real antler shed as opposed to the kits and rubber ones they sell at Bass Pro. Basically just toss the antler on the ground in plain sight, the dog is apt to go check it out and sniff so immediately praise and treat when they go near it. If clicker trained you can use a clicker. Keep doing this and they eventually catch on that an antler = food. And then you start hiding it better and upping the difficulty; partially cover with leaves, hide it a bit elevated, etc. If there is a certain behavior you want them to use to indicate they've found it you can start waiting them out and praise and treat when they offer that behavior. For example Tux will swipe his paw when he finds what he is looking for. With it being antlers, a couple times he would actually pick them up in his mouth which was fine, but he mostly would use his paw swiping indicator.

      thank you.....i am really looking forward to this. hopefully next year at this time he'll be ready to give it a go.

    7. #5
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      I went to a Tom Dokken's seminar and it was great. I started training Valkyrie to hunt for sheds this past Feb. I started in the house cause we had lots of ice and nobody could stand up outside. I started out tossing a small antler and him fetch to me I would say "find your bone". Once he started doing this really well I started putting him in his crate and hiding the antler in the house. I bring him out make him sit steady and then say find your bone and he would search the house. I have been very busy but I hope to get out on Sunday work on recall and do some shed training.

    8. #6
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      I had never heard of this before. The pro I train with has one dog on her truck that is being trained this way. After we're done in the field with our bird work, they go and hide a lot of antlers around an adjacent field and encourage the dog to find them. It's fun to watch!

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