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Thread: Antler Dog Training

  1. #1

    Default Antler Dog Training

    I've been working with my yellow lab training her to find deer antler sheds. Anybody ever train a dog to find deer antlers? I'm looking for some training tips. She can find whatever I hide all day long if I let her sniff it first, but I'm having trouble training her to recognize the smell of antlers that are sheds in the woods. Any tips as how to train her to recognize the scent of antlers?

  2. #2

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    I've heard of other folks saying their dog was good at finding antlers. Always wanted to see that in action myself. My guess is it would be difficult for a dog to find antlers via smell since antlers are not living tissue and thus not emitting any odors. At least that's my guess! Perhaps immediately after the antler was shed and still had some blood / deer scent associated with it.... Best of luck!

  3. #3

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    Thanks. I was reading in the new issue of Field and Stream that a started antler dog went for about $7500! Apparently they are getting popular, but not much info is out there yet on training them. I figure I'll give it a try with my yellow lab to keep her working during the offseason. She has a great nose, and if I can teach her correctly, I'm sure she'll be great at it. I'm really wanting to do some shed hunting in the beach regions on POW to see what kinds of sitka deer antlers we can find.

  4. #4
    Member cristancanoe's Avatar
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    You need to train your dog that antler scent is what you want. Associate antlers with a reward that fits your dog's personality. Look up on how to train dogs for cadaver search (air scenting). The methods should be very simular.
    I may try this with my dog. She's a SAR trainee dropout (not enough focus for me) but loves the finding game.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti View Post
    Thanks. I was reading in the new issue of Field and Stream that a started antler dog went for about $7500! Apparently they are getting popular.

    Wow, I love Dogs. But the only way I would invest $7,500.00 in a antler sniffer, is if the guy would be willing to trade for say, three of my $2,500.00 dirt sniffing "pet-Rocks".......

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by AGL4now View Post
    Wow, I love Dogs. But the only way I would invest $7,500.00 in a antler sniffer, is if the guy would be willing to trade for say, three of my $2,500.00 dirt sniffing "pet-Rocks".......
    I agree. I'm think I remember reading that trophy sheds are becoming valuable, so I'm sure it's an investment for the person paying the big bucks for a shed dog. I just want to do it for recreation and out of curiosity. My yellow lab is 5 years old, and from LNR Kennels in Palmer. I'll see if I can teach this dog a new trick, otherwise it might give me an excuse for a new pup.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by cristancanoe View Post
    You need to train your dog that antler scent is what you want. Associate antlers with a reward that fits your dog's personality. Look up on how to train dogs for cadaver search (air scenting). The methods should be very simular.
    I may try this with my dog. She's a SAR trainee dropout (not enough focus for me) but loves the finding game.
    Thanks. I'll do some research on it.

  8. #8
    Member Huntress's Avatar
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    270,

    We didn't really have to train our bullmastiffs to hunt out antlers. They were attracted to them from early on. I think it might be the whole idea of finding a new "bone"?.....leave a shed out and see how long it takes your dog to destroy it...
    Anytime they would find one, you knew because they would stop in one spot smelling the antler that they just found. It was a matter of watching their body language as well. When we would get up to it and find that it was an antler we had "cookies" and a huge party (made a big deal out of it). From then on out its been a favorite thing of theirs in the spring. One has been doing it for 7 years, the other 3 years.
    "In the interest of protecting my privacy I will no longer be accepting Private Messages generated from this site and if you email me, it better be good!"

  9. #9
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    Default Berry dogs

    Purely by accident my Labs started taking me to berry patches. The reward for them was great, they got to eat them. Now I have to fight them off of what I want, especially the currents. If you think of how you could make the antlers enticing, let them chew on a damaged antler, play with it, play fetch with it. That's how I'd do it anyway, if I had an antler.

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