0
addison's favorite bumper drills
07-22-233 mins read
3
"Your time's valuable. Your relationship with your dog is important. And the payoff can be better using better tools." – Addison Edmonds
Training Tips

I’m by no means an expert or a professional trainer, but these are my top bumper drills to get started with retrieving. Keep in mind that everyone trains differently, but all of these drills aim to build trust between you and your dog and get them ready for the field. – Addison Edmonds

“Dead Bird”

Addison’s Bumper Pick: Orange

This is the first step I taught Chevy– I’ve always called it “dead bird.”  Sprinkle some dog food or treats in an area of your yard, let your dog run around, and when they get somewhat close to the kibble, start saying, “dead bird.” This will teach them to put their nose to the ground and start hunting.

Once your dog gets the hang of it, switch to use a bumper instead of food. I like to put feathers in the bumper, hide it when he’s not looking, and send him on a blind retrieve. When he starts getting close I’ll say, “dead bird,” just like when we did the drill with the food. By this point, your dog should know to start hunting the area to find the bumper.

I like to use the orange bumper with this. Since dogs have a harder time seeing orange, it helps them learn to rely on using their nose to find it, which becomes really valuable in the field.


“Deep”

Addison’s Bumper Pick: Flasher

I don’t know if this is an official drill, but it came in handy with Gunner. I’d put the bumper on a hook or an easy disconnect at the bottom of the pool– just something weighted that’s going to pull it down. I’d stand on the side of the pool with him and say, “deep,” which meant he needed to go underwater and look for it. Gunner picked it up pretty quickly.

“Deep” is pretty helpful if a wounded duck dives down and grabs hold of any vegetation that can help them stay underwater, or if they go swim around before popping back up. Dogs naturally look for birds on top of the water, so by teaching him “deep,” he knew to go underwater and look for it.

For this one, I’d recommend using the flasher bumper. Since it’s further underwater, this will help it stand out and allow the dog to locate it quickly.


“Up”

Addison’s Bumper Pick: White

I like to use “up” with Chevy in the middle of other drills to keep his awareness up. When he’s not looking, I’ll go hang a bumper off of a tree limb at a height where it’s just reachable from him. Ideally it’s pretty close to the trunk of the tree so he can jump off of the trunk to get up there if needed. I’ll send him toward the tree, stop him under the branches, and then start repeating, “Up,” until he learns that the bumper is up in the tree. I like to put feathers in the bumper to help with their detection, especially when it’s hanging up higher. Chevy picked up on this one pretty quick.

Your dog is going to look at you a bit confused the first time you do this drill, so make sure you start by hanging the bumper a bit lower. Show them where it is and keep saying, “Up,” until they get it. As your dog gets the hang of it, keep putting the bumper higher and higher into the tree. The loop on the end of the bumper rope makes it really easy to hang on branches.

I like to use the white bumper for this drill since it’s easier to see in lower light and shaded areas. It’s a great drill to prepare your dog on the off chance a bird lands in a tree or brush pile .…or for training other skills, like getting a refreshment out of the refrigerator.


T-Drill

Addison’s Bumper Pick: White, Orange, and Flasher

I’m not sure if this is officially called a t-drill, but it’s by far the drill I use most often. If you picture your yard as a baseball field with you and your dog standing on the pitcher’s mound, put a pile of bumpers on first, second, and third bases. I like to put them about 30-40 yards away from where Chevy and I are standing.

This one is fun because it quickly builds trust between you and your dog. The first time you do a t-drill, do a very hard direction/cast with your hands so it’s easier for them to pick up on. Since there are three piles of bumpers, you can tell them which way to go. This will help with at least 80-90% of your retrieves, since your dog trusts you to point them in the right direction and you trust them to take a straight line to the retrieve. You don’t need to over complicate it early on.

 

Ready to start training? Learn more about how Man's Best Bumper is the ultimate dog training tool.

z
small_gunmetal
small_tan
medium_tan
medium_gunmetal
intermediate_tan
intermediate_gunmetal
large_tan
large_gunmetal
small_du_green
medium_du_green
intermediate_du_green
large_du_green
medium_mossy_oak_bottomland_tan
medium_mossy_oak_bottomland_gunmetal
large_mossy_oak_bottomland_tan
large_mossy_oak_bottomland_gunmetal
small_black
medium_black
intermediate_black
large_black
intermediate_mossy_oak_bottomland_tan
intermediate_mossy_oak_bottomland_gunmetal
intermediate_mossy_oak_bottomland_black
large_mossy_oak_bottomland_black
small_mossy_oak_bottomland_black
medium_mossy_oak_bottomland_black
small_mossy_oak_bottomland_tan
small_mossy_oak_bottomland_gunmetal
G1™ KENNEL
Regular price
$550
Sale price
$

The market's toughest dog crate, proven to save lives.

View More Details
Quantity must be 1 or more
-
+

z
blaze-orange_traditional
black_traditional
blaze-orange_combination
black_combination
mossy-oak-bottomland_combination
mossy-oak-bottomland_traditional
TIE-DOWN STRAP KIT
Regular price
$90
Sale price
$

GUNNER tie-down straps are used to securely anchor your dog crate to your vehicle and are the only ones that we recommend for 5 Star Crash Test certified safety.  Read why it's important to use GUNNER straps for safe travel. 

Made with an extra-thick custom cambuckle for additional break strength and a synthetic material to ensure you can leave these out 24/7. Now offered in two strap length options to accommodate a greater variety of setups.


View More Details
Quantity must be 1 or more
Strap Color:Blaze Orange
Strap Length:Traditional
-
+

z
medium_black
intermediate_black
large_black
PERFORMANCE PAD
Starting from
Regular price
$90
Sale price
$90

This GUNNER tough-skin insert provides a 3/4” pad of cushion for the crate, as well as waterproof comfort for the sporting dog’s tired joints on the ride home.

View More Details
Quantity must be 1 or more
Performance Pad Color:
-
+

z
Liquid error (snippets/quickview-popup line 42): product form must be given a product
small_black
Regular price
$550
Sale price
$
blaze-orange_traditional
Regular price
$90
Sale price
$
medium_black
Regular price
$90
Sale price
$90
share this story
MORE LIKE THIS
The Greatest Honor of My Life | #GunnerDogs
You may recognize Gloria Goñi as a 2023 GUNNER Effect winner. A year and a half later, Gloria's b...
How Every Color Kennel Fares in the Summer Heat
We tested the surface and interior temperatures of every kennel we've released after a full day o...
2024 Spring Cleaning Guide
It’s that time of year: As you’re knocking out your spring cleaning, don’t forget to clean your d...

THE PACK OPINION

ADDED. COMPLETE YOUR SETUP

PERSONALIZED KENNEL NAME PLATE

$30
I've reviewed and approve the design shown in the preview

ADDED. COMPLETE YOUR SETUP

FOOD CRATE NAME PLATE

Regular price
$30
Sale price
$
I've reviewed and approve the design shown in the preview

ADD TO COMPLETE YOUR SETUP

FOOD CRATE NAME PLATE

Regular price
$30
Sale price
$

Sizing Guide

Kennel Fit Finder

Vehicle Fit Finder

Kennel Dimensions