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Thunder Equipment Training Forum

Danny Farmer - 'Drills and Setup to Improve Marking'

Our training forum has been developed to answer questions and provide education relating to how this equipment can be used to train any level of dog for field performance. It is the ultimate, easiest machine to use from training your lifelong duck dog companion to preparing for the National Field Trial Championship.

You will see very quickly why a launcher with 5 bumpers is much more desirable than 1. More and more individuals, by themselves, are relying on equipment and technology to enjoy their dogs and enhance their level of training from hunting to competition. Through many of the training scenarios you will see how multiple shots can be used to introduce new skills and reinforce concepts. Remember: The less you walk in the field and reload the more time you can spend training!

If you would like information on how to use this equipment more effectively or how to get started, drop us an email and we will be happy to help. We believe in this equipment and hope you will come along on our journey as we take hunting and competitive retriever training to new levels!

When talking with retriever trainers the topic about multiple marks that fall in different areas from the same gun station often arises. The conversation evolves around the ability to shoot two or more different fall locations from a remote launcher without gunner assistance. It is true that one Thunder launcher will only shoot to one location per machine. There is a main reason our launcher is designed in this fashion and a reason the vast majority of amateur and professional trainers do not throw multiple marks out of the same gun location to different fall areas using a remote launching system.

Shooting marks to different locations without using a live person for gunner assistance can very quickly confuse your dog and teach them to switch and return to an old fall area. Then the trainer, because they don’t have live person gun help or the ability to shoot another mark to the same spot, has no option but to attempt to handle their dog to the mark. This can create confusion, heighten the dog’s possibility in the future of “popping”, and potentially cause them to quit their hunt and start looking for trainer assistance if they cannot immediately locate a fall.

Being able to remotely shoot another mark to the exact same area is a MAJOR benefit of our multiple shot launcher that shoots in the same location!

The only way to successfully perform the above training setup while minimizing the possibility of enhancing unwanted, negative behaviors is to use two Thunder Launchers positioned in opposite directions. This gives unlimited ability to adjust mark angles and locations.

I know you are thinking, great idea since you manufacture them, but hear me out. If you purchase two individual launchers you have ultimate training flexibility. You can connect two launchers together with one Dogtra or Garmin receiver, using the multiple output ports, and shoot an unlimited array of angle back marks from the same gun station to the same or different areas with the ability to repeat a mark immediately to the same area if the dog has trouble. You can then split the launcher locations to other areas in the field and shoot individual marks by only adding an additional receiver and still have the ability for follow up shots described above. This allows the individual trainer unlimited training and setup possibilities with the same equipment for single or multiple marks.

Happy training! Please submit other questions or ideas to me for further discussion.

- Doug