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Author Topic: Shed dog training?  (Read 2422 times)

Offline idaho guy

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Shed dog training?
« on: March 20, 2022, 01:27:03 PM »
Anybody successfully trained a real good antler dog? Working with my sons 2 yo black lab that’s been good on waterfowl. Season is over so he takes him hiking every day in mountains so it would be perfect if the dog would find and retrieve sheds. So far have just thrown sheds and had him retrieve. Main issue so far is he doesn’t always want to bring the shed back 😂  not sure where this post belongs so please move if needed. I have some freinds with “shed” dogs and they basically find the sheds themselves and then take photos of the dog with the horns ha ha. I know some people have really great shed dogs I just haven’t met any of them. Any advice is appreciated we have no idea really on proper training for sheds specifically.

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Re: Shed dog training?
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2022, 02:23:03 PM »
I’ve seen those dogs online, especially down in texas, that guys train especially for shed hunting and they are amazing. No idea how they do it.
My buddy got a black lab pup and from the day he got him was giving him horns to chew on, retrieve, hiding them around the back yard and having him go get them. This dog was smart as a whip too, amazing waterfowl hunter and pheasants and could do more tricks than most circus animals.
We took that dog horn hunting with us 30+ times a year and he never once brought us a horn. One day while we were hiking along I happened to look toward the dog. The ol lab went into a little brush patch, picked up a nice 3 point whitetail shed, packed it a few strides then dropped it and continued on with his business haha. To this day we would both like to know how many horns that dog found and we never knew about.

Offline idaho guy

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Re: Shed dog training?
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2022, 02:44:10 PM »
I’ve seen those dogs online, especially down in texas, that guys train especially for shed hunting and they are amazing. No idea how they do it.
My buddy got a black lab pup and from the day he got him was giving him horns to chew on, retrieve, hiding them around the back yard and having him go get them. This dog was smart as a whip too, amazing waterfowl hunter and pheasants and could do more tricks than most circus animals.
We took that dog horn hunting with us 30+ times a year and he never once brought us a horn. One day while we were hiking along I happened to look toward the dog. The ol lab went into a little brush patch, picked up a nice 3 point whitetail shed, packed it a few strides then dropped it and continued on with his business haha. To this day we would both like to know how many horns that dog found and we never knew about.
   

 :chuckle: I think that might be the challenge getting them to BRING the horn to you. Thanks for comment

Offline phildobaggins

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Re: Shed dog training?
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2022, 01:35:16 PM »
Haha, I've been training my 2 yo lab to find sheds. She does great around the house and yard, but when we get in the hills, she is just glad to be outside. Every shed I find, I make her pick them up for me and bring them to me. She has yet to come out of a draw to bring me a shed on her own accord. I've also used the shed antler scent that looks like a little deodorant stick. Hasn't helped. I bring sheds with us when we head out and toss them in the bushes for her to get so she knows we're not after birds, but she still won't do the job  :lol4:

Offline rainshadow1

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Re: Shed dog training?
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2022, 02:14:14 PM »
I haven’t done it myself… I keep sheds in with my puppies to condition them to horns, but as far as closing the deal in the field, I’m guessing…

But I’d GUESS that you need to stop moving. (You may already do this.) I’d suggest stop, send the dog into an area, wait, and constantly encourage with the hunt and fetch commands. (Whichever words you use.) At least for the first couple dozen scores.

I train to find and retrieve completely random objects like that. Changes the focus from the thing they’re seeking to the alpha master who is directing them. The object doesn’t matter.

(You’re going to have to be ready to lose your mind with praise and excitement when it happens!)
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Offline rainshadow1

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Re: Shed dog training?
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2022, 02:30:54 PM »
Another thought, from the same practice of getting my dogs to fetch random things…  is spotting one, sending the dog, directing it in, encouraging the grab, bringing the enthusiasm on the fetch, then praising to the skies!

You know the dog just saved you a little walking, but the dog thinks it did it all on its own.
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Offline blackveltbowhunter

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Re: Shed dog training?
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2022, 03:57:07 PM »
   I am far from a dog training expert. So take this for what its worth... But I do have one that will bring them to me if she finds them. :chuckle:
 
  I break it down into two categories, dogs that bring you sheds and shed hunting dogs. For the most part the handler is the difference, not the dog.

Scenario one: Shed hunter out west, or maybe coastal BT with low buck density and lots of range between properties. At times its fairly open sage, or timber. Shed visibility is not terrible. Maybe you are also looking for elk sheds improving the odds of seeing them, areas with sheds could be any slope, beds in huge timber stands, or miles of ridgeline. This is my world for the most part, covering lots of country is the name of the game and the best dog in the world cant bring you anything if its not there. A guy could spend hours working a single ridge or 100 acre reprod patch with a dog and not find anything you wouldn't have picked up on your own. In this situation I want dog to bring me sheds, if they run into one. But taking time to hunt over that dog is not my priority.

Scenario two: You are working an urban environment, private ag, or maybe a texas ranch. Heavily populated with animals. Cover, although limited is very dense and critters especially your bigger bucks spend a lot of their time in it. Enter your shed hunting dog. A 20 acre heavily wooded plot, ( mile long thick creek bottom surrounded by open wheat, or thick stand of mesquite in a box canyon). you are relatively confident holds animals. It is much quicker, easier, and more thorough to sweep with the wind in your face commanding your four legged partner. Most videos and tutorials I have watched this is the type of scenario they are using. Like bird hunting, the hunter is actively working the dog. The dog understands how to hunt, it just needs to understand what you want it to find.     
 
  I have played with both methods, and honestly think the latter is the easier to train of the two. My current dog is trained to work, with formal bird and retriever training by a pro( not me :chuckle:). But for the vast majority of what I do she works off association. She is nuts I mean nuts for tennis balls and fetch, I noticed she would bring me random tennis balls. I simply transfer that association over to antlers. She brings me antlers I produce a tennis ball and three or four throws, voila she is picking them up and bringing them when she finds them. BUT 99 percent of the time she doesn't actively seek them out, because I am simply moving way to fast. She knows what to find and can "find a horn" and "hunt em up"  when I want to send her in to a certain thicket, but to do that I must be engaged in the activity with her. Its a much slower methodical approach, hunting so she has wind, and gridding an area encouraging the activity. My experience especially with BT which is where I hoped the dog would pay off in spades is that they are just too random as far as location. If I am in big timber,  or maybe very confident about buck being in a certain area I will try to keep her in the wind and slow down. This has helped. But my best luck with that style is hunting small private woodlots. Known to hold bucks.

   A couple observations I have made hope they help...... Unless the dog is wild about sheds ( so far I have not found any that are. Even from puppy they may start out crazy, but will graduate to cooler stuff as they get older, especially if the dog is a hunting breed and used dual purpose). I would withhold them from "free feeding" Just to keep some of the attraction.
   If your dog is trained to fetch, make sure its a force fetch and they complete delivery. My wife nearly ruined mine by not wanting to get her hands slimy and using a chuck it. she learned it was ok to drop it and even drop it short. Needless to say we have worked on it to fix and the wife just washes her hands now.   :chuckle::tung:

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Re: Shed dog training?
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2022, 05:45:18 PM »
     If your dog is trained to fetch, make sure its a force fetch and they complete delivery. My wife nearly ruined mine by not wanting to get her hands slimy and using a chuck it. she learned it was ok to drop it and even drop it short. Needless to say we have worked on it to fix and the wife just washes her hands now.   :chuckle::tung:


SOOOOOOOOO hard to get some people to accept slime fingers in order to keep a dog sharp!
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Offline TeacherMan

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Re: Shed dog training?
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2022, 05:51:49 PM »
I train my pups to lock on them like a pointer. I’m running Australian shepherds.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2022, 10:17:34 PM by TeacherMan »
If you shoot the first one you will never get that true trophy.

Offline idaho guy

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Re: Shed dog training?
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2022, 01:17:49 PM »
Some great replies. Thanks everyone for posting

Offline phildobaggins

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Re: Shed dog training?
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2022, 01:35:32 PM »
I feel like announcing that my lab brought me a broken elk antler last weekend in the snow. If she's grabbing 1 shed for every 10 I don't see, she's coming with me.  :chuckle:

Offline MR5x5

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Re: Shed dog training?
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2022, 05:25:01 PM »
     If your dog is trained to fetch, make sure its a force fetch and they complete delivery. My wife nearly ruined mine by not wanting to get her hands slimy and using a chuck it. she learned it was ok to drop it and even drop it short. Needless to say we have worked on it to fix and the wife just washes her hands now.   :chuckle::tung:


SOOOOOOOOO hard to get some people to accept slime fingers in order to keep a dog sharp!

I'm so glad you were able to get her trained!   :dunno: :IBCOOL:

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Re: Shed dog training?
« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2022, 09:07:14 PM »
I feel like announcing that my lab brought me a broken elk antler last weekend in the snow. If she's grabbing 1 shed for every 10 I don't see, she's coming with me.  :chuckle:


Awesome! She'll get excited about it as you keep chalking them up!
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Offline idaho guy

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Re: Shed dog training?
« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2022, 09:53:00 PM »
I feel like announcing that my lab brought me a broken elk antler last weekend in the snow. If she's grabbing 1 shed for every 10 I don't see, she's coming with me.  :chuckle:


Excellent 👍 still waiting for our lab to bring us just 1!

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Re: Shed dog training?
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2022, 05:35:03 PM »
i have a good one, she drags them out of the brush and brings them to me, i also have a male that picks them up and drops them so you have to keep an eye on him ive only been shed hunting for 3 years, how I got her to retrive them was when i found one i would wait until she found it then tell her to fetch it up, when she brought it to me i would give her a treat like bacon or salami, now she lives for shed hunting, hopefully the Male will follow her lead, the reason I got him was some of the bigger elk sheds were difficult for her to get out so I got a bigger Male hoping that would solve the problem, now im terrified that I might lose her in the woods or a Cougar might get one of them. i found allot of Cougar kills in Hancock this year.

 


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