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Dog training in the city or suburbs?

Dog training in the city or suburbs?

Postby JFS » Sat Aug 30, 2008 1:43 pm

I have a 7 mo Brit I want to train as a gun dog (and I'm still learning myself). This morning I put my new copy of The Perfect Start in the DVD player to see what I can learn. My main take away so far is that I am swimming upstream with this- the video was full of images of wide open fields and releases of homers. I have no fields and no place to keep homers. I manage to keep a few quail in a small pen in my garage. The nearest public training fields are an hour away, so I have mostly my 1/4 acre backyard to work in. Shooting guns, even blank pistols, will be a challenge with the neighbors. While my heart is on the farm, my family is stuck in the city. My dog is my buddy and I have no interest in sending him off for long periods for others to train, especially if he will just lose the benefits upon retuning to an inadequate home schedule.

So maybe that's life. You can't learn to snow ski in Miami or reef dive in Kansas, and the city isn't the place to train bird dogs. But I'm not willing to give up so easily. Maybe I can't do it perfectly but I still want to try. I ordered some harnesses for the quail so I can recover them after flushing. I plan on getting up early one day a week and driving out the WMA to train where I can shoot. I can work on pure obedience skills during the week so that we can maximize whatever time we get in the field. But I'm not sure what else I can do given what I have to work with.

Has anyone else trained dogs in a similar situation? Have any tips or ideas on how to maximize training in a suburban environment? I would welcome all suggestions (short of moving, which is the obvious one but not possible until the kids get out of school). Thanks for any and all help.
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Re: Dog training in the city or suburbs?

Postby Ryan Baumann » Sat Aug 30, 2008 1:59 pm

build a little pigeon coop.... Go buy some pigeons and use a pigeon pole..... You've got to do what you got to do..... See how your dog does on them... adapt and over come.... then try to go out once every couple weeks to the training grounds and take some pigeons and make him hunt for them.... Your not down and out and theres nothing better than harvesting a bird over a dog you trained.... P.s. shoot the pigeons if you think he is ready when you take him where you can discharge a firearm....

Ryan.
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Re: Dog training in the city or suburbs?

Postby Greg Jennings » Sat Aug 30, 2008 2:36 pm

Have you checked out the Central Georgia Pointing Dog Club? They used to have everything that you need.

You could do yard work off days and go work on birds a couple or three days a week. You'd be far ahead of many.

Right now, if the pup has had a good bird intro and is really interested in birds, you can lay off the pen birds till pup is a 12-15 months old.

I do 15 minutes or so of yard work every weekday morning. Tuesdays, Thursdays and some weekend evenings, is bird work. Monday, Wednesday and Friday (or Sat or Sun), evenings are yard work and conditioning.

Curious why you can keep a few quail but couldn't keep homers. Pen quail stink. Homers are clean by comparison. If you had 6-12 homers, you'd be set. Really good flying quail are good, but it's not all that easy to find them or keep them in condition.

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Re: Dog training in the city or suburbs?

Postby bobman » Sat Aug 30, 2008 2:57 pm

North GA does not exactly lend itself to dog training and wild birds are almost a thing of the past so here my suggestion teach the dog to come when its called and dont worry about the rest, then take it out to Kansas or the Dakotas this fall a have some fun one week doing that and the dogs instincts will surface. Its too hot to do much training here right now anyway.

Do what Greg suggested if you can, even one time a week try to get out of dodge :wink: and find some quail or pigeons to let the dog work some birds.

If the dog has the breeding it has the instincts, theres some good woodcock exposure to be had in January, but other than that my dogs dont see a game bird from season to season living here, they do fine on my trips out west.

You don't teach a dog to hunt they are born knowing how
Last edited by bobman on Sun Aug 31, 2008 8:09 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Dog training in the city or suburbs?

Postby zzweims » Sat Aug 30, 2008 4:00 pm

Go to http://navhdaga.org and attend one of their training sessions. They train dogs together once a month at Whispering Pine, near Social Circle (just east of Atlanta). I think navhda is ideal for people in your situation. You will meet a lot of like minded folks who face the same urban/suburban obstacles. Many of them get together between training days and work their dogs at Whipering Pine, Central Georgia Pointing Dog Club (Milner), our farm (Gordon), and other locations, I'm sure.
Your dog will thank you for it. :D

And don't forget the Georgia Brittney club! http://georgiabrittney.org

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http://sitekreator.com/zzfarms
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Re: Dog training in the city or suburbs?

Postby Brittguy » Sat Aug 30, 2008 7:19 pm

Good advice has already been given I just wanted to add that if you do send him off the benefits will not be lost when he returns home. I have a friend that finished a dog pretty well mostly in his back yard ,but he did make about a 1 hour drive to our place quite often.
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Re: Dog training in the city or suburbs?

Postby gar-dog » Sat Aug 30, 2008 8:50 pm

There really is a lot you can do in your backyard - introducing the e-collar, check cord, healing, coming, whoa-ing, etc. It's not like you need to get on birds everyday. I am in the suburbs and work in the backyard - even released chukar there once! I would get to parks and fields for some exploring, then I joined a training facility I get down to 3x per month or so for a couple of hours for the bird work. You can do it - just think outside the box.
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Re: Dog training in the city or suburbs?

Postby jhoughton » Sun Aug 31, 2008 7:41 am

It depends where in Atlanta you live on how far it is to a place to train. I live in Marietta (near the square) and have a couple of places that I can train at without driving an hour. You have to do what it takes sometimes to get the job done. I will also drive down to Milner, I have driven up 90 miles to LaFayette to run the pups at Brenda's and will drive out to Walton on occassion just to give the dogs a new field to run in. Living in the city and having dogs has its challenges, but it is not impossible.

Where in Atlanta are you located? I go out pretty much every week Fri-Sun once the weather cools down a little...you are more than welcome to tag along and I can get you on a few places that aren't that far...
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Re: Dog training in the city or suburbs?

Postby Greg Jennings » Sun Aug 31, 2008 9:47 am

gar-dog wrote:There really is a lot you can do in your backyard.<snip>.healing, <snip> You can do it - just think outside the box.
Do you use a Rx or laying on of hands :mrgreen:
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Re: Dog training in the city or suburbs?

Postby grant » Sun Aug 31, 2008 11:04 am

Be sure to check into local WMAs also... You might have to drive a little bit, but it will be worth it. As the others mentioned, get in with a local clubs of sorts...
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Re: Dog training in the city or suburbs?

Postby JFS » Sun Aug 31, 2008 11:40 am

Thanks for all the suggestions. I sent an email to the folks at navhdaga. It looks like there are some events coming up in September so I will try to check them out. I'm also going to revisit the homers. I found plans for a pigeon house that looks pretty good. I doubt the neighbors would really know what it is (until they see me popping pigeons into the air with a bird launcher), and I found a guy on GON (our local hunting website) that can cut the pieces for me, so I hope to get that in place by fall.

jhoughton, I sent you a PM. I'm also in Marietta (but over close to Roswell)- and would very much appreciate any help or advice you can give me.
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Re: Dog training in the city or suburbs?

Postby RayGubernat » Sun Aug 31, 2008 12:06 pm

JFS -

Until five years ago I lived in a subdivision in central NJ. My property was 100X125. I trained several dogs including three that actually competed and placed in AF trials (2 in walking stakes and 1 in horseback stakes).

The nearest decent place to run my dogs was 45 minutes away. The nearest GOOD place was an hour and a half.

If I can do it you can also.

You can do a lot of things in the yard, in preparation for the weekend(Saturday or Sunday) training session on birds. Honestly, once a dog is trained, once a week on birds is plenty.

The key, I think is planning and preparation. Pick up the birds you need on Friday night or have them boxed and ready Saturday morning so you can pick them up on the way to your training grounds. If your supplier is more expensive, but conveniently located...so what? If there is a preserve nearby that offesr a training package and you can get birds right there...it might be well worth the price of admission.

As far as doing pigeon work in the yard, I suggest that you inform your next door neighbors that you will be training your dog with a capgun and then, either do in fact use a capgun, or use the lowest power .22 crimps you can find. Acorn loads by Fiocchi are pretty mild. If they express any concern, you could show them the pistol and point out that the barrel is solid.

Either way, a blank pistol is NOT a firearm and does not fall under any of the Federal firearm regulations since it is incapable of propelling a projectile. It is, essentially the same as a children's cap pistol as far as the law is concerned.


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Re: Dog training in the city or suburbs?

Postby gar-dog » Sun Aug 31, 2008 2:31 pm

Greg Jennings wrote:
gar-dog wrote:There really is a lot you can do in your backyard.<snip>.healing, <snip> You can do it - just think outside the box.
Do you use a Rx or laying on of hands :mrgreen:


Well, I speak in tongues and become some overcome I just look at a creature and the healing starts. It is really draining both physically and emotionaly. Here is me working some local teens:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUvzYpYXGak
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Re: Dog training in the city or suburbs?

Postby Greg Jennings » Sun Aug 31, 2008 3:27 pm

That's really FUNNY! I laughed so hard I couldn't breath!

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