How young is too young???

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How young is too young???

Postby WATERFOWLER1973 » Mon Jun 06, 2005 1:06 pm

Hi Everyone,

Just wondering about everyone's thought on the cut-off age to bring your pup out hunting for the first time. Now I know really depends on the dog, but from your own experiences, what is the age you first started taking your dog on a hunt. Mine will be 9 months old and is doing really well in the water at 4 months, so I think he'll be alright for this season. Since this is my first, I'm just looking for some advice.

Thanks

By the way he is a Boykin Spaniel.
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Postby JJ McGuire » Mon Jun 06, 2005 1:29 pm

What are you planning on hunting? How many other folks will be there? Anyone else bringing dogs? What will the conditions be like? How successful will the pup be on the retrieves? Are you willing to give up shooting and work with the pup?
Nine months is fine but depending on the answers I would say yes or no.

Hot long day going after dove with many other shooters and dogs I'd leave the pup at home.
Early morning hunt for teal with you, a buddy and his dog - I'd say bring the pup.
In a field for the opener on goose I would also pass, a wounded gander can give a pup nightmares.
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Postby WATERFOWLER1973 » Mon Jun 06, 2005 2:07 pm

Thanks for the reply.

Definitely catch your drift. Not only have to consider the dog, but also the hunt. Will probably take him upland bird hunting before our duck season opens. I also do want to take him in the field for geese, but maybe I will only let him go after the ones that can't fight back. As far as duck goes, I will probably break him in with short retreives and make sure I am hunting with people with a lot of patience.
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Postby Greg Wile » Mon Jun 06, 2005 2:09 pm

My lab went on her first hunt and retreived her first dead / crippled birds at the ripe old age of 8 months. She did a bang up job of it to. That was 3 seasons ago.
Build memories, take a kid out doors and teach them about nature by interacting with it, hunting and fishing.

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Postby shrpshtr » Mon Jun 06, 2005 2:27 pm

jj hit the nail on the head. there are a lot more factors involved than how well your dog retrieves bumpers. try getting him involved with as many different "hunting" situations as you can before the season starts. if possible, take him to the blind/field/etc. that you'll be hunting in and let him work on getting in and out, sitting still, familiar with the surroundings, etc. personally, there weren't very many situations i would leave my dog at home in, except where he is unfamiliar or could get hurt! note: jj is very right about the problems a goose, or even some divers, can cause for a pup.
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Postby donell67 » Mon Jun 06, 2005 3:20 pm

i have got my pups in the spring and hunted them in the fall.
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Postby gsphunter » Mon Jun 06, 2005 5:31 pm

There is nothing like hunting to get a dog's drive and intelligence up. Just make sure your dog is solid on OB so you are not fighting that the whole time you are out. There will be plenty of other things to work out the first few hunts without fighting the dog's lack of OB. This is one mistake I made. I thought it was so cool to have a hunting dog and I wanted it to hunt so bad, but what I didn't realize was how miserable it was having an unmannerly hunting dog in the field.

Try to keep your hunter numbers down or have people agree to take turns shooting, and definitely be prepared to pass on shots or not shoot for a day so you can work your dog.
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Postby gahunter » Mon Jun 06, 2005 5:35 pm

My pup will be closing in on 9 months when dove season rolls around and I think that I will take him along on our little family hunt. There will only be 4 or 5 of us on a small field and we all know Gus good, so I think that it will be good for a first hunt for him. I just hope that we have some birds. If I go to a big shoot, I will leave him at home but it will kill me.
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Postby fabes468 » Wed Jun 08, 2005 7:07 am

well i dont have a dog yet and i was just wondering, since we are kinda on the topic, at what age do you usually start to train your dog.
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Postby duckbuster » Wed Jun 08, 2005 8:00 am

i took mine out at 8 months and never had a problem with him...but then again i never had to introduce him to water when i was out running him he just decided that he was gonna swim.
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Postby gsphunter » Wed Jun 08, 2005 8:09 am

fabes you start training the day you bring pup home. Of course this is not hard core retriever training or anything, but letting the pup know what the rules of the house are and such. Best advice is to get a book. Trying to explain training from begining to end takes a book to cover.
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Postby fabes468 » Thu Jun 09, 2005 6:03 pm

ok thanks for the advice gpshunter
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