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Before I began using the extendable leash, I had one young dog who, when bringing his first water retrieve in, decided that he would much rather play "keep away". He unexpectedly bolted out of the water and raced back up the footpath through the woods and to the parking area near the swimming hole. Seeing him dart between vehicles near the road was heart stopping. Fortunately, no harm came to him. An extendable leash can provide an added measure of safety - particularly if your water location is at a public access or park.

Keeping Your Cool

We’ve found a useful and practical way to recycle some old, wire panel-type, dog kennel crates - and keep our dogs more comfortable in the process.

Our doghouses are located inside an outbuilding with individual access to fenced, outdoor runs. The doghouses are built of wood and have metal, spring-hinged doors. They keep the snow and wind out in the winter, but can really heat up in the summertime. In order to add badly needed hot weather ventilation, we decided to put some old, wire panels, dog crates to use. To do this, we cut the sturdy wire to fit using a hack saw. Then we removed part of the wood top from each doghouse and replace it with a section of the grate. The ventilation grates are held in place with strips of scrap wood screwed to the doghouse frame.

For the Birds

There are many ways to make a clip wing pigeon. Some yank out flight feathers from the wings, others snuggly wrap rubber bands around the flight feathers - near the "elbow" of the wing, and some prefer to use tape for that purpose. One of the benefits of using rubber bands or tape is that afterwards, it can easily be removed without damage to the feathers. To facilitate ease of removal, after wrapping the flight feathers two or three rounds with tape, you can fold the end back onto itself. Another means is to simply cut through the tape with a jack knife, when finished.

My husband formerly worked at a factory producing all sorts of tape - so we’ve experimented. Our personal preference is for electrician tape. It is easy to apply and seems to do the job even in cold or wet situations.

"As with all training for young pups, remember to keep it upbeat, brief, and fun."

Typically, when we train dogs, there will be some pigeons intended for the older dogs as flyers and some for the younger as clip wings. They are all kept in the same bird crate when we are training in the field. The problem was in identifying those pigeons taped and those that were flyers when we were trying to fish them out of the crate. A simple switch from basic black electricians tape

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