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White or Flasher Bumpers For Training?

Discussion in 'MichiganWaterfowl.com' started by lefty421, Mar 27, 2018.

  1. lefty421

    lefty421

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    With a new puppy on the way, its looking like i need to restock on bumpers and a few other items.

    I think I have enough orange bumpers to get started, but could probably use a few more white ones for yard work, casting drills, etc...

    Do you guys prefer plain old white bumpers, or do you like the flashers? (50/50 white/black)

    Should I go with all white? Go with mostly white and a few flashers? or forego the white all together and get all flashers?

    Which bumper do you use the most or prefer?
     
  2. stackemup

    stackemup

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    Flashers are nice, white ones are good too. Buy as many as you can afford, because you’ll always need more. Gun Dog Supply is probably cheapest, but I have seen that Rogers has their own brand that appears similar to the Avery hex-a-bumper for around the same price.
     

  3. ajkulish

    ajkulish

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    i just got some of the 4" round flashers from gundogsupply and they are awesome. He's not a puppy anymore, so i went as big as i could. He is now getting used to picking up the larger bumper and in turn grabs the regular 3" exactly how i want it every time. I like the flashers because they will always have contrast against their surroundings, whether that is the sky, grass, or water. The flags are a nice touch too. Makes the dog much more excited for marks.

    http://www.gundogsupply.com/flagman--mark-n-bird-dummies--streamers---flags.html
     
  4. N M Mechanical

    N M Mechanical Premium Member

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    White. You can always make a white bumper become a flasher
     
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  5. Lamarsh

    Lamarsh

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    I have a bit of everything, but I prefer the 50/50 white blacks, whether you buy them like that or make them is up to you. I like them for two reasons, one is they provide a bit more visibility when tossed and two is they have visibility in the snow when doing pile work and you want the dog to be able to see the pile. Losing bumpers in deep snow is easier than you'd think.

    I also have noticed that if I use the exact same size/material of bumper too often my dog shops the pile and cigar carries more. When I change things up or mix up the pile, he shops and cigars less or not at all (but I also found that simply incorporating more forces to the pile also reduces shopping). Not sure why, but has just been my observation with my pup.
     
  6. fowlme

    fowlme

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    I have a mix of black\white and all white. Orange for blinds. Check out EZ bumper. They are very durable and made with non toxic material.
     
  7. lefty421

    lefty421

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    True, but not any easier than turning a flasher into a white one I suppose. haha

    I think I'll go with flashers. better for winter/snow use if nothing else.
     
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  8. ajkulish

    ajkulish

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    I was having the cigar issue too with the regular 3 inch bumpers, moving to the 4" goose size bumpers i linked above ended that. He really makes sure he has a good hold of it. I dont know if ill ever buy a bumper small than that moving forward honestly.
     
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  9. lefty421

    lefty421

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    What exactly is the issue with cigar carrying?
    If not corrected, will it lead to further problems?

    The reason I ask is because my last dog would do it from time to time, but only with bumpers, but I can't say that it was ever an issue while retrieving ducks/geese. I just let it go, or didn't care. Its pretty much impossible for a dog to carry a duck or goose like that, so I didn't worry about the few times it happened with a bumper. I just know it isn't likely to happen with real birds, so I'm not sure why it seems to be a big issue during gun dog training. What is the reason behind not wanting them to cigar a bumper?
     
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  10. Lamarsh

    Lamarsh

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    I'm not entirely sure, maybe some of the more experienced retriever trainers could chime in, but I think it mostly has to do with the fact that cigaring is a symptom of a larger problem--a crummy hold. Dogs that boggle the bumper around with a bad hold seem to also end up cigaring it, and sometimes even dropping it. This can translate into crummy bird retrieves, even though they don't cigar a bird, they may mouth it around, drop it, pluck feathers, etc, all detracting from the proper "hold," which is hold, keep it held, and bring it to hand.

    But the short answer for simply hunting and your dog bringing back birds, is that it probably doesn't matter a ton. In a field trial or hunt test, a dog that brings a bird close to its handler but drops it on the ground and mouths it a bit before bringing it to hand (not uncommon) would fail intermediate and advanced tests, and would most likely not received "full retrieve" points in a trial, so in those cases bad holds can be a problem, but for hunting it's just a matter of how much you mind a dog with a funky hold, being mouthy with birds, etc.

    For me it was the other way around--it stopped when I went to the smaller bumpers, but eventually started again. Aside from doing an FF refresher, the cigaring stops most consistently when I simply mix up either within the same pile or just by using different sizes every week or so .... but honestly, more in laziness, I usually end up using the smaller ones more often than not since I can fit twice as many in a 5 gallon bucket lol (I usually can fit about 16 in one 5 gal). When I set up large double Ts I have to bring a huge decoy bag full of bumpers, and in that case I'll bring everything I have, and mix them up, and the cigaring and shopping isn't as bad.

    But keep in mind that switching bumpers up only slightly helps this issue. It's far from the proper fix. The root of the problem is a bad hold, and the best way to fix it is going back to good hold fundamentals.

    For me, the sloppiness of my dog's hold is typically a reflection of the consistency and neatness (or lack thereof) of my own training and handling. When it gets bad I know I need to get back to some fundamentals, and after that I try to simply keep in mind to not let it get too out of hand, no pun intended.
     
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