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I have a pile of dummies of all sorts. I like the canvas mini ones when they're young, just make sure they don't snag and hurt their sharp pup teeth. No throw rope when they are young to avoid the bad habit of grabbing a bird by anything other than the body

Canvas are great in the winter (in Minnesota) and scent can be applied but they get dirty. Up here in below freezing temps, the plastic ones are so hard they can break teeth. I use the 2' or 3" plastic ones in the summer primarily because you can throw then forever and they clean up easily..

For colors--black/white and white are the most visible. They are great for younger dogs. As the dog learns to use their nose more, orange is better (and you can still see it). So if you want to teach lining, I use white (or black and white) but if I'm trying to throw into thick cover and force them to rely on their nose (or plant dummies), orange is what I use.

Other great dummies are DeadFowl (or ASD brand) real bird looking dummies. The dog love them and of course they mimic birds. Dummy launchers are also a great tool--it teaches the full bird experience and makes them excited for the gun blast (introduce them to gunfire using a starter pistol at a distance as you feed them first--then get closer till they associate the sound with something exciting).
 

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MNGunner pretty much nailed it dead nuts.

When I need something from Gundog supply I will always add in some more bumpers. Steve and his wife have provided fantastic service to me over the years especially on the electronic collars. I use an Alpha on the Tollers even though they are flushers. I will not put a dog on the ground without one now, but I hunt in wolf country.

Anytime I make a trip to Scheels for something I can't leave the store without picking up a few more bumpers. Almost exactly a year ago and got a flat tire going into town. But feel guilty if I walk out without some bumpers for the dogs. Even though they really aren't that great or last very long.

I don't have stock in Giun Dog supply, but I should given how much money I spend there!! I highly recommend GDS--they have all sorts of dummies in just about every configuration.

Cold Iron, you probably caught this story in Minnesota with wolves and a grouse hunter:


I can't find the pone in WI I was thinking of either, but see this:

 

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Awesome info, thanks! Coming when called and basic short retrieves are the order of the day - she has a stubbirn streak like her haf lab/half Ridgeback big sister
You're making want to get a a third dog! I am about due for a new pup. There is nothing like a well trained dog that YOU trained that flushes a bird, you hit it with one shot, they mark the bird and proudly strut bringing it back to you!

Gun Dog Supply has some great mini and mid sized canvas dummies. The minis are really small, so your girl might have already outgrown them. I use the minis the instant I bring home a 7-8 week old pup. I usually start in a hallway so that the pup has to go out and can only come straight back to you. Always keep the sessions short so that they end wanting more! Tons of praise to build confidence and excitement.

Another thing is I only ever throw dummies for my dogs to retrieve--no sticks or tennis balls etc. The dummy should have a special place in the dogs mind--it means both fun but also business as they get older.

Let us know how she's doing
 

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I can't imagine he would be any use at all in a duck blind or boat- he's gonna bring back the decoys no matter what.
I know you don't duck hunt with your dog but thought I'd throw this out there for those that do. After your dog loves to retrieve, set up a bunch of decoys in the field and want him through them on a leash with a choke chain. Let him smell the decoys but if he tries to mouth them, jerk the choke chain and say "leave it!" Do this several times. Then throw the same dummies you've been using (again this is an example of why I ONLY use dummies to retrieve!!) in the midst of the decoys--all on land in the field. Doi this drill quite a bit. My dogs have never touched a decoy during this

Next place anchored decoys with enough room to swim in a lake or pond and throw water retrieves (AFTER you dog is already very comfortable swimming in water!!) so that on the way out and back, they have to go through the decoys. Do this in an area that preferably does not have weeds or sticks or anything to spook the dog, The first time they hit a decoy line it may panic them so you want to take away anything that could inflict more harm to the process like the decoy getting tangled around them and the weeds.

My labs have retrieved hundreds of ducks and never once touched a decoy with their mouth...
 

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I know right where the one in Isabella happened. I used to hunt that area for a couple of weeks every year. It is off a 10 mile loop of a NF road.

The antenna for my truck is still someplace down that road.



About 6 years ago moved to Cook County to hunt and have standing reservations at a cabin there for the first 3 weeks of Oct. No shortage of wolves there either, had one cross the Gunflint Trail early one morning and at first my friend and I thought it was a deer. But there are very few deer in that area. Because wolves.

The GPS will occasionally show me a few of my marked spots by Isabella and as the Raven flies only ~18 miles away. But with the Boundary Waters between it is more than a 2 hour drive. The wolves and moose don't have to take the roads but they do often run them.



If you're looking for a pup this morning just finished AKC registration for a breeding in Duluth that my oldest stud muffin sired and dropped 2 weeks ago.



He asked again if I wanted a pup or stud fee but already have one of his sons who just turned 2. Too soon, I'm still recovering LOL.

Tollers are a handful and can't imagine having 3 but really was torn. Then I came to my senses. But after looking pictures finding the Stony Loop road came across some of the oldest and thought hmmm....

This was very close to where the wolf attack occurred. With my 16 ga. FAIR



Cook County with another FAIR and barrels are twisted the other way



I think his son is going to be even better yet. Couple of months ago, speaking of retrieving.

Thanks, but I need to wait a bit for a new pup with all my kids sports! Our cabin is near Remer and there's plenty of wolves that way too (Chippewa Nat Forest). I've seen one and heard them howling on numerous occasions. I've also seen their tracks in the snow and scat while grouse hunting. I always have a story of a group of hounds that was wiped out just a few seconds up the trail in Wisconsin bear hunting.

We used to go to a cabin on the Gunflint and I've seen a bunch of moose (in the late 80s). I recently drove up to Lutsen and we saw a wolf right off hwy 61. Did a double take

Did you complete your order for that new FAIR??
 

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I did, last month and paid in full! Now the hardest part, waiting. They told me 6 months but will see as they have been coming in slow lately. Would like to have it in time for a few light runs at SC and 5 stand with it but as long as it is in by hunting season all is good (y)
Good deal! I don't want to get your hopes up too much, but I ordered mine during Covid and though all of N Italy was shut down for a few months, they still got me mine a couple months earlier than what they said. Though that maybe was due to lower order volume at that time, who knows.

Either way, well worth the wait and please post up some pictures.
 
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