be careful when throwing bumpers for pups: no long ropes!

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JonBailey
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be careful when throwing bumpers for pups: no long ropes!

Post by JonBailey » Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:12 am

I had a male black Lab pup I got new back in 1997.

He was a pet dog only and I would play fetch with him. I bought one of those rock-hard knobby bumpers at a pet shop and tied a long rope to it: about 5 feet. Bad mistake.

I would twirl the bumper on the long rope vertically to toss it to give it some leverage and throwing distance. My pup would be behind me on my right side instead of heeling on the left like I should have first taught him. The bumper being swung around fast would be close to the ground at the bottom of its arc. One day I was doing this and my pup got too close to the swath of the twirling bumper and got whacked in the head by the swinging bumper. He yelped a couple of times, I kissed him to make it better but he managed to recover shortly thereafter. He may have only been grazed by the fast-moving bumper. In high school I was hit in the back of the head with an airborne softball and it did not tickle whatsoever. I am lucky my pup wasn't seriously hurt or killed. The hard bumpers are much like the plastic clubs deck hands use on party boats to dispatch fish, namely king salmon.

After my puppy got whacked, I then put a very short piece of rope on the bumper to hold it high and throw it. My arm would get tired so then I bought one of those dummy launcher kits that use 22 blanks.

It's probably good to train your dog to sit on your left if you throw retrieval objects with your right hand.

The moral of the story: don't swing an object on a rope so long the dog is likely to get hit by it. Use a short rope and hold the bumper high when throwing. If your arm is weak, get a powered dummy launcher.
"Let Hercules himself do what he may, the cat will mew and dog will have his day." - William Shakespeare

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Sharon
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Re: be careful when throwing bumpers for pups: no long ropes!

Post by Sharon » Thu Jul 26, 2018 4:06 pm

That's good advice. Lots of accidents possible when training.
I had a pup in a vest out with another bigger dog. The terrain was prickly and I didn't want the pup, who was so close to the ground, to get scratched up. The bigger dog didn't like that vest ; she picked up the young dog by the vest and took off! I was horrified, expecting to get my pup back with broken legs. Fortunately, after the older dog dropped her, she was fine . No more vest used.
This is the same pup who almost had a coyote take off with her at 16 months.

They say a cat has 9 lives, but that pup .............:)

https://flic.kr/p/KQtzu6
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JonBailey
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Re: be careful when throwing bumpers for pups: no long ropes!

Post by JonBailey » Thu Jul 26, 2018 5:46 pm

Sharon wrote:That's good advice. Lots of accidents possible when training.
I had a pup in a vest out with another bigger dog. The terrain was prickly and I didn't want the pup, who was so close to the ground, to get scratched up. The bigger dog didn't like that vest ; she picked up the young dog by the vest and took off! I was horrified, expecting to get my pup back with broken legs. Fortunately, after the older dog dropped her, she was fine . No more vest used.
This is the same pup who almost had a coyote take off with her at 16 months.

They say a cat has 9 lives, but that pup .............:)

https://flic.kr/p/KQtzu6
I still feel remorseful to this day for having carelessly clunked my historic pup on the noggin with a bumper. He has passed on from old age. My great aunt died as a little girl, long before my time, when my great-great uncle accidentally dropped her in play and she hit her head on a stove leading to head injuries that were terminal speaking of innocent but serious accidents.

I vow to be much more careful should I ever get any future animals. One of my Lab bitches was killed by a car due to my carelessness as well.

I used to take my dogs boating without life vests (for the dogs) but that will happen no more with me. I must also in the future be careful not to have my dogs
active in hot weather unless they are swimming to cool down or out boating on the breezy lake. I almost gave my male Lab a heat stroke while playing frisbee in a school yard
on a hot summer's afternoon. Field training, fun games or hunting with a dog when it is above 80 degrees should be a definite no-no.

During snowy winter weather, my former Labs could swim out in the river, provided it was not frozen, and not be bothered by it: no shivering, just tail-wagging.
"Let Hercules himself do what he may, the cat will mew and dog will have his day." - William Shakespeare

mnaj_springer
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Re: be careful when throwing bumpers for pups: no long ropes!

Post by mnaj_springer » Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:29 am

Good advice, but I don't worry about those bumps and lumps much. heck, when mine are at a heel and I step on them as I turn I don't feel bad. They should be paying attention.

That being said, there are far more dangerous situations. I'll give an example (second hand): At my house we have a deck with one side facing the walk-out basement (south side) so it has a significant drop (20') to the ground, with a small stepped 3 tiered garden just below. The garden had spikes for tomato plants in it. Apparently my wife threw a ball for the dogs into the yard off the south side of the deck. My pointer, being the genius she is, decided to take the quickest route possible, and jumped from under the bottom rail, down 20', clearing the tomato stakes. I got a call from my wife on the verge of tears because she was scared that our pointer almost impaled herself.

We don't throw that way anymore.

But it brings up a good point... most of training is anticipation of the dog's reaction so you can set it up for success. It's something that can only be developed with experience.
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Re: be careful when throwing bumpers for pups: no long ropes!

Post by DonF » Sat Jul 28, 2018 7:44 am

I recently put a short dope on one of my training bumper's. Find the other and it get's one too. Stormy was not forced buy does well. Started him on a 20' check cord and kept the buck close. That way he's not doing it right I pull him off it. He's learned to pick it up very well. But even with the short rope you could still hit the dog. Another thing with the rope, if you dog is jumping around in anticipation, you could get him. sometimes they'll grab at the buck while being whirled. What I do with Stormy is never throw it while he is moving. He's either on a whoa near me or he's on heel on my left side. When he's on heel, he is standing.
I pity the man that has never been loved by a dog!

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Re: be careful when throwing bumpers for pups: no long ropes!

Post by fishvik » Sat Jul 28, 2018 1:44 pm

My main argument with a rope, particularly with large dummys, is they get in a bad habit of retrieving with the rope. This leads to the dog wanting to "play" with the swinging dummy. I like to use a very short stout rope that just fits through the hole in the dummy. I tie a figure eight knot in the end of the short span so I have something to throw it with and this also resembles a neck and head of a game bird for a little more realism and teaches the dog to grab the "body" of the dummy.

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Re: be careful when throwing bumpers for pups: no long ropes!

Post by polmaise » Sat Jul 28, 2018 2:58 pm

I never threw a Live Pheasant when the dog of any breed was at my side ...either side ...
A long rope on a bumper would be like a Pheasant tail perhaps ?..Just spiffing , but pups would have a go ,and try ..but then those that have been trained to hold and hold on to and pick up and return to hand ...well, they would pretty much do the same with anything ...and even avoid the clout on the head by an inexperienced thrower of a stick for Fido .

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