Pup and ducks

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Pup and ducks

Postby Stoneys52 » Wed Dec 04, 2013 5:54 pm

My lab is six months old. We've been training whenever I can and playing as well. Everytime I shoot she watches for a bird. All the obedience is down pat, pretty well. She retreives dead pigeons pretty well, sometimes she gets a little playful with it. She also loves water. She also is fine with decoys. I know she's not
Completely trained yet but I'm debating on taking her out with
Me. It will probably be two weeks before I get
To go out again, but I'm thinking about taking her on a short leash(steady until my
Signal shows some progression, but just in case). Just was wondering if anyone would share there thoughts or experience wit me.
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Re: Pup and ducks

Postby Raves24 » Wed Dec 04, 2013 6:22 pm

No one on here can tell you if your pup is ready or not. If it was my dog, I would say no. My pup did not get his first hunt till 14 months old. At 6 months he was way to immature to even think about taking him out. It would have been a disaster. If you do decided to take him, leave ur gun at home and only take 1 buddy with you. This will be more of a training session for you and the pup then a hunt. Let your buddy shoot a few birds and go home on a happy note. Make it short and to the point. Please make sure your dog is not gun shy and he is not teething when you take him. If he is not ready for this and you take him to early, you might spend a lot of time fixing what you break. It could also be very benifical for him to get live birds. This is your call.
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Re: Pup and ducks

Postby Stoneys52 » Wed Dec 04, 2013 6:36 pm

She's not gun shy, she loves them haha, I took her pheasant hunting this year just to get her out and stuff. She did pretty well and we limited out. But pheasant and waterfowl are two different ball games
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Re: Pup and ducks

Postby Duckdon » Wed Dec 04, 2013 7:37 pm

I don't know your dog or you, but if it was my 6 month old dog it would be hunting. Hunting a young dog is more about training and less about killing limits. Just my opinion. Don
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Re: Pup and ducks

Postby Jarbo03 » Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:57 am

Duckdon wrote:I don't know your dog or you, but if it was my 6 month old dog it would be hunting. Hunting a young dog is more about training and less about killing limits. Just my opinion. Don


X2

My old lab was born in late August, he hunted ducks, geese, quail, and pheasant thie same season, he knew the game by the end of January. Made the training we started in February very easy. Understand, as Duckdon said, hunting at that age is about the dog, not filling the bag.
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Re: Pup and ducks

Postby Irishwhistler » Thu Dec 05, 2013 4:21 am

Raves24 wrote:No one on here can tell you if your pup is ready or not. If it was my dog, I would say no. My pup did not get his first hunt till 14 months old. At 6 months he was way to immature to even think about taking him out. It would have been a disaster. If you do decided to take him, leave ur gun at home and only take 1 buddy with you. This will be more of a training session for you and the pup then a hunt. Let your buddy shoot a few birds and go home on a happy note. Make it short and to the point. Please make sure your dog is not gun shy and he is not teething when you take him. If he is not ready for this and you take him to early, you might spend a lot of time fixing what you break. It could also be very benifical for him to get live birds. This is your call.



X2. Are you using any kind of formal training program? If yes, then which program? Very few dogs are ready to actually hunt at 6 months. A retriever at that age is still very imature and has much to learn. Channel YOUR eagerness into positive training experiences for the dog. You will likely miss a lot of important foundational work that could create serious holes in your progressive training. Go slow and be thorough. You will likely not regret doing so.

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Re: Pup and ducks

Postby Duckdon » Thu Dec 05, 2013 8:29 am

Stoney

Let me start by saying I do not strictly follow any one training program but more a hodge podge of about 5 programs with a bunch of other stuff thrown in. Not saying my way is the best, it just works for me. Not uncomman for me to hunt everyday for a month or more so how would I "train" if I did not take a pup in the field with me?

I start my pups real young in the field. Not a very popular theroy in some groups but it works for me. Youngest was a 6-7 week...........yes, I said week old, English Setter pup that was so small he had to ride in my brothers coat pocket. His momma was in the field so he went with. He turned out to be, maybe the best dog I have ever hunted behind. The years have dimmed my memory but what I remember was good. He also caught his first wild, wounded rooster pheasant that day.....

If a 6 month old pup starts with me in the field at the beginning of the season I would expect that dog to be on over 100 wild birds by seasons end. Yes, pup will make mistakes....so what. Train him in the field. Will there be "holes", sure. So what, close them.
I do not train for testing......I do test. I train to hunt and exposure for me is the key to making a solid hunting dog. My latest 2 V-dogs were born in December and January. Both were bear hunting in their first spring. One was on her first bear at 5.5 months old. The other was 7.5 months old. Both were in the field at 7 and 8 months old on wild birds when the season opened.

Like I said, I don't know you or your dog. Don't know your goals. If it were me I would hunt that young dog. I would know my dog and I would put that dog in a position where it would succeed.

By the time I take a dog in the field, pup is gun proofed, has excellent recall or wearing a check cord, has been on lots of big game, live birds, upland as well as waterfowl. Has at least be introduced to tracking blood, doing drags and search work. Is tracking and catching live birds on land and water. Is collar conditioned and wearing an e-collar. Has a good handle on blinds and doing water blind searchs. Is fully kennel , truck and boat trained. Is bold and confident in manner.

Good luck with your dog no matter what way you choose to go. Remember, it's about the dog. Don
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Re: Pup and ducks

Postby Nsea » Thu Dec 05, 2013 8:54 am

I follow a similar recipe as Duckdon for my Boykin, I blend several programs in part because boykins don't train the same way as labs. There is a program used by some versatile hunting breeds that encourages and is partly founded on taking an untrained pup into the field to help develop their natural instinct and for the enjoyment of the dog. Think back to your first hunt, you were nervous, didn't know exactly what to do but when those birds swung in you knew you liked it and wanted to go again! Same applies to the pup.

I say take him without the gun the first time or two but make sure you have a dry place for him to sit and its not freezing cold otherwise you could end up with a whiney dog later on. At this point the goal is for him to have fun.
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