You can easily teach your dog to retrieve game if you have the right type of equipment to teach them how to do it correctly. Dog training dummies are designed exactly for this purpose and come in a variety of different shapes, sizes, and colors. In this review piece, we will look at the best dog training dummies available to buy, will answer your most commonly asked questions, and provide a guide on what to look for when buying the best dog training dummy and why it’s worth buying one.
This plastic dummy is a great training tool for young and adult dogs and has been manufactured from durable vinyl that floats. There’s a valve in the dummy that allows you to adjust the weight or firmness of the dummy to suit your requirements – using air or water. Textured knobs along the surface of the dummy prevent hard mouth and the material is BPA-free for safety. Choose from orange, white, or black & white – which allow you to teach your dog to use their eyes or noses first.
Available in orange/white or black & white
Adjustable weight and firmness
Textured knobs to prevent “hard mouth”
This duck dummy for dogs has been manufactured from durable PVC with a foam filling that has a lifelike feel – your dog will hardly know the difference from this dummy and a real bird. The special design encourages the dog to pick up and hold correctly and is a true-to-life copy of a mature bird with a real bird weight. The design will not absorb water and is odor-repellent. Like many other dummies of this kind, the head of this bird is soft and floats, just like the real thing.
Durable PVC outer body & foam filling
Water & odor repellent
Weight & appearance of a real mallard
These dog bumpers have been specially designed with six flat sides which promote an easier grip. Alongside the shape, the raised texture also forms part of the clever design to give a very strong hold. These training tools are totally valveless which means that they will not absorb water and the firm material reduces the urge for your retriever to chew them. A throw rope is included with the dummy.
6 x sides for better grip
Firm material to reduce chomping
Throw rope included
When buying gun dog training dummies you want to feel confident that the brand that you’re considering purchasing from knows a thing or two in the field – luckily Browning has been established since 1878, so we feel confident that these guys know how to make the best training tools of the trade. This canvas bumper has been specially designed for the purpose of retrieval and has been made with strong fabric and a floating throw rope.
Floating throw rope features a rubber ball for better velocity
Available in large and small sizes
Everything about this training dummy has been designed to give the same look and feel of a genuine pheasant. This soft foam construction is totally tear-resistant and can float in water. There are no loose parts and you can even add scent to create a more realistic training experience for your dog.
Look & feel of a genuine pheasant
Floats in water
Solid foam with no loose parts
If you’re looking for retriever training dummies that can float in water then you will need to look no further than this particular model. Practice in the water with this dummy which has been constructed from durable rubber that is easy on your dog’s teeth.
4 x plastic dummies included (orange & white)
Made from durable rubber
Throw rope included
Below, we answer your most commonly asked questions regarding dog training dummies and reveal the things you should consider when buying one.
Keep reading to find out more…
There are countless benefits to using dog training dummies when teaching your dog how to retrieve correctly. Here are just a few of the benefits:
Soft-Mouth – training a dog using plastic dummies that have been specially designed for the purpose of retrieval encourages your dog to keep a “soft-mouth” and not bite down too hard. This is absolutely essential when you are training hunting dogs.
Feels Real – dummies that have been designed to look like birds will give a real experience that can be used again and again. The weight, feel, and look of the bird is often realistic and most even have soft heads that float in the water. This teaches your dog how to use their mouths correctly to handle certain types of bird and game.
Nose or Eyes – dummies are available in a variety of colors and it’s important to remember that your dog sees color differently from human eyes. Certain colors are easier to find for the dog, whilst more difficult colors and tones promote the dog to use their noses and get low to the ground in order to follow the scent.
What is it that you want your dog to retrieve? That’s the first thing that you will need to ask yourself before you embark on your training dummy research. If your dog is new to the experience then you will want to consider a starter dummy that they will be able to retrieve easily before moving onto dummies that are more difficult to detect and require dogs to use other senses for retrieval. Dog bumpers can be water-resistant and valveless or contain a valve which allows the owner to adjust the weight and firmness.
When training your dog to use a dummy the most important thing is to ensure that your dog has an incentive to recall the dummy, maintains interest, and is able to drop the dummy into your hand. There are a few ways that you can use dog bumpers. Firstly, you can try using treats to incentivize your canine to recall the dummy. Practice throwing the dummy and offering a small treat once the dummy is released into your hand. Dog owners can hinder training by being too keen to take the dummy from their dog. Try ordering your dog to sit for a few moments whilst he has the dummy – as this teaches positive reinforcement and allows the dog to feel confident in his actions. Practice using smaller weights that are easier to find first before progressing onto heavier weights over longer distances.
A: Dummies are available to buy in a variety of materials such as plastic and rubber, but you can also buy canvas bumpers. It’s a good idea to have a variety of dummies to use as then your canine will not get used to recalling the same sizes and textures.
A: There is no one correct answer to this, unfortunately. Many people believe that a firm dummy will discourage chewing whereas other dog trainers believe the same for soft dummies which offer far less resistance.
A: Dog training dummies have been built to last but of course, this depends on the quality of the product. Always purchase from reputable brands and do your research beforehand.
Our favorite trainer by far was the SportDOG Plastic Dummy – Hunting Dog Training Tool which is suitable for dogs of all ages and contains a valve that allows the dog owner to adjust the weight and firmness of the dummy.