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Is it to late for her


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Hello all ,

I have a 5 year old cocker that works like a trooper she did everything I needed her to in till now ,always had air rifles until 9 months ago and only been out a few times on the pigeon , she will pick them up but then drops them spitting feathers , did bring the odd one back but what I want to know is have I left it to late to get her on the birds ?

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A lot of dogs apparently get a bit reticent to pick pigeons due to the loose feathers, although I'm lucky none of mine have ever been a problem but here's how I got mine onto pigeons: Grab yourself a few pairs of cheap tights, cut them up so you can stuff dead pigeons into them and tie up the ends.  Do some retrieval training like that with plenty of praise/fun involved for the dog.  After a while take the odd bird out and let the dog pick it in its natural state, see how you get on.  Just don't rush it

Edited by Jim Neal
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16 minutes ago, Jim Neal said:

A lot of dogs apparently get a bit reticent to pick pigeons due to the loose feathers, although I'm lucky none of mine have ever been a problem but here's how I got mine onto pigeons: Grab yourself a few pairs of cheap tights, cut them up so you can stuff dead pigeons into them and tie up the ends.  Do some retrieval training like that with plenty of praise/fun involved for the dog.  After a while take the odd bird out and let the dog pick it in its natural state, see how you get on.  Just don't rush it

Thanks Jim will give it a try can’t fault the dog she works a treat it’s just new to her with the birds 

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1 minute ago, Jim Neal said:

A lot of dogs apparently get a bit reticent to pick pigeons due to the loose feathers, although I'm lucky none of mine have ever been a problem but here's how I got mine onto pigeons: Grab yourself a few pairs of cheap tights, cut them up so you can stuff dead pigeons into them and tie up the ends.  Do some retrieval training like that with plenty of praise/fun involved for the dog.  After a while take the odd bird out and let the dog pick it in its natural state, see how you get on.  Just don't rush it

Very similar to what I done , non of my Labs have had any trouble picking pigeons up , in the early days of training when I moved on from dummy work to cold game , with Pigeons I would start off with a cold feral pigeons as the feathers don't seem as loose as a Wood Pigeon , on the feral pigeon I would put a elastic band around the wings , if it went well then I would have one loose wing and the other one still banded , after about a week you can then use the whole bird , you know in your own mind weather your dog is showing any concerns and if they are then you move back a stage , once they are happy bringing back a cold feral you can then move on to a woodie , use a cold one as the feathers are slightly tighter than a fresh one , when the training is done and you are happy to let your dog pick up a freshly shot pigeon make sure the pigeon is dead and not a lively runner as your dog might be slarvering with excitement and end up with a mouth full of feathers that might put him off if he start choking , take each stage slowly and you will find your dog will soon work out the best way to pick a pigeon up . GOOD LUCK

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19 minutes ago, marsh man said:

Very similar to what I done , non of my Labs have had any trouble picking pigeons up , in the early days of training when I moved on from dummy work to cold game , with Pigeons I would start off with a cold feral pigeons as the feathers don't seem as loose as a Wood Pigeon , on the feral pigeon I would put a elastic band around the wings , if it went well then I would have one loose wing and the other one still banded , after about a week you can then use the whole bird , you know in your own mind weather your dog is showing any concerns and if they are then you move back a stage , once they are happy bringing back a cold feral you can then move on to a woodie , use a cold one as the feathers are slightly tighter than a fresh one , when the training is done and you are happy to let your dog pick up a freshly shot pigeon make sure the pigeon is dead and not a lively runner as your dog might be slarvering with excitement and end up with a mouth full of feathers that might put him off if he start choking , take each stage slowly and you will find your dog will soon work out the best way to pick a pigeon up . GOOD LUCK

Thanks for the advice 

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1 hour ago, Karl1972 said:

Hello all ,

I have a 5 year old cocker that works like a trooper she did everything I needed her to in till now ,always had air rifles until 9 months ago and only been out a few times on the pigeon , she will pick them up but then drops them spitting feathers , did bring the odd one back but what I want to know is have I left it to late to get her on the birds ?

put the pigeon in a cut up pair of tights.....and start that way.......

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58 minutes ago, ditchman said:

put the pigeon in a cut up pair of tights.....and start that way.......

I have done that , well with a slight variation as tights were not always available , so a sock had to do , a pigeon went in and the neck and head pocked out where the toes were before they were cut off and the back end and the tail were poking out the other end , as the dog got more and more used to it you can then shorten the size of the sock so more of the pigeon is showing .

By the way , were they your tights you were using ? as the boys from the island didn't wear tights , neither did most of the fairer sex come to that :lol:

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Heh!! Don't jest. When I was on the police patrol motorbikes in early '60s we used to pinch a pair of tights off our wives and wear them under our breeches .. remember those?

Amazingly the tights trapped the air around the legs and kept you warm.   Always worried in case we ell off and got taken to the local hospital in Solihull.

I digress ....  just take it easy with that little dog, lots of praise and the ideas mentioned above are spot on and should work given time.  People tend to rush dog training wanting instant results. All dogs/pippies are different.

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35 minutes ago, Walker570 said:

Heh!! Don't jest. When I was on the police patrol motorbikes in early '60s we used to pinch a pair of tights off our wives and wear them under our breeches .. remember those?

Amazingly the tights trapped the air around the legs and kept you warm.   Always worried in case we ell off and got taken to the local hospital in Solihull.

I digress ....  just take it easy with that little dog, lots of praise and the ideas mentioned above are spot on and should work given time.  People tend to rush dog training wanting instant results. All dogs/pippies are different.

well to tell the truth.........i have done the same...'cept i have used fish net stockings.............always had difficulty with the suspender belt tho'

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Try pigeon wings fixed to half a rolling pin as a example, after that progress to a whole partridge cold, because they have tight feathers, not a mouth of cotton wool. Years ago moorhens, coots was used for having tight feathers.

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7 hours ago, barbel said:

Try pigeon wings fixed to half a rolling pin as a example, after that progress to a whole partridge cold, because they have tight feathers, not a mouth of cotton wool. Years ago moorhens, coots was used for having tight feathers.

I found by putting a couple of Pigeon wings on a canvas training dummy with elastic bands made the dog a bit keener to retrieve , this method can also be used for water work , as mine have always done a lot of wild fowling I would swap the pigeon wings with Teal , Wigeon and then Mallard , by chucking the dummy into a reed bed would be the sort of work the dog would do at a later date , then when the dog was reliable in finding the dummy in the water I would then make it a bit harder by doing the same in the dark , train them for what you intend using them for and you won't go far wrong .:good:

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24 minutes ago, marsh man said:

I found by putting a couple of Pigeon wings on a canvas training dummy with elastic bands made the dog a bit keener to retrieve , this method can also be used for water work , as mine have always done a lot of wild fowling I would swap the pigeon wings with Teal , Wigeon and then Mallard , by chucking the dummy into a reed bed would be the sort of work the dog would do at a later date , then when the dog was reliable in finding the dummy in the water I would then make it a bit harder by doing the same in the dark , train them for what you intend using them for and you won't go far wrong .:good:

Thanks mate I’ll give it ago 

Thanks everyone for the advice 

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