Introducing a Dog To Blind Retrieves

Helping You Get the Most From Your Hunting Dogs

Introducing a Dog To Blind Retrieves

By: Geoffrey A. English

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0:05 You know, whether you're hunting waterfowl or upland birds, there's going to be a time when you hit a bird your dog just doesn't see. Now in order to get those birds you're going to need to teach your dog how to do blind retrieve. And that's what we're going to show you how to do today.

0:17 Make sure you run this drill on a flat, open field like the one you see here. Also, set it up with the wind to your back. Now we're going to create a pile of bumpers, half a dozen or so, out about 40 yards. We're going to walk with the dog on heel towards the pile.


Stopping him just short of the pile. Now in order to identify the pile, we're going to toss out bumpers one at a time giving the verbal cue of “dead bird” with each toss. Once your dog's identified the pile, we're going to bring him back to the line and give him the command to pick up the blind. Now I like to use the term “dead bird” to have the dog look out into the field. I then switch it to line once he's locked in on a place I want to send him, back!, and use the command “back” to release the dog.

0:56 Now as the dog becomes better and better at this drill, you can omit the whole process of identifying the pile. And you can also start to extend the dog. I like to extend them out to about two or three hundred yards on this drill so that we can pick up the birds no matter where they fall. Remember to keep these sessions short and fun for the dog. If you want to increase the challenge, you can add wind direction, terrain, and cover to the field.

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