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I was hoping that someone might be able to shed some light:

At last night's training class Byron found it difficult to pick the dumbell off the floor during the retrieving exercise so my trainer suggested I purchase a gundog dummy instead. Byron loves soft toys so I think it will help and I threw myself into the search straightaway. However, I cannot find any guidance on what  weight of dummy I should get and there appear to be lots of different shapes and sizes around. Strangely enought the rule of thumb is not the bigger the dog the bigger the dummy either...

Has anybody used dummies for training before and can offer advice, please? Byron is now 1 year old - still a puppy at heart but a pony in size.   :)

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I'd suggest a selection and you can then find out which type he likes best. Start off getting him really keen on the ones he loves, the more he enjoys retrieving the more different dummies you can use, progressing to the larger & heavier ones.

My youngster loves her fur dummies, so that is what we are using at present with the odd canvas dummy as a surprise. Keep it fun!

Thanks Susan. Is this a photo of "little" Annie? Stunning lady!


RE. Dummies

I like the furry dummies but I'm not going to gundog training with Byron so don't want to spend too much money on equipment. The class is KC Good Citizenship. There seem to be dummies weighing between 1/2 lb - 3+ lb on the market. What size do you reckon would be good start for a young Setter male? And what size dummy is the one in this photo? It looks enormous. I'm going to order online so can't really get a "feel" for them.

We start off teaching our dogs to retrieve dumbells by taking from the hand first, and then progressing to picking up from the ground. Some halls have extremely slippery floors making it difficult for some dogs to pick up, but with practice it can be achieved depending on the training methods. Mine are clicker trained.  My dogs are competition obedience trained, and Daisy is now working A and now training to working C. She is expected to become a ticket dog in time by those who are now coaching us, and they should know..... because of who they are.... tha'st IF I want to go that far. (Who says Setters can never compete with collies).  With regards to dummies, I use the following:


Hope this helps.

Thanks Fran. Yes, we do have a very slippery parquet flooring in the hall that we use for training which makes for much amusement when the puppy comes flying....  :)  I think I will just buy one of those 1lb dummies and see how it goes.


Good luck with your training. Btw. what is a "ticket dog"?


LOL - I was interested in this topic as James has a problem pivking up a training bell. His snout doenst allow him to grasp one easily and I notice that he will lift and toss. Thanks Fran. "to and from hand seems like a good idea. He retrieves to hand.

My problem with the lightweight gundog canvass duummies is that I cant throw them for peanuts!

to be honest though I alo think that setters are not natural retrievers and I do know that if I push it my guys will walk away. They dont do retieve, after retrieve

good luck though - nice to see Susan's running with a fur ball!

LOL you  should see my throws.  I am cack handed, and of course in competitions, where is your dog? on the left :-/  so I have to throw with my right.  It doesn't often end up going where it oughta lol

Oh bizarre - me too!! I have hit the dog on the head before now!

Me too.  I think all three of mine have had their heads whapped over the years :-O




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