4 year old lab to old to start?

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4 year old lab to old to start?

Postby dbohunts » Thu Feb 09, 2006 8:56 am

I have a lab who just turned four. Is it possible to train him if I start now or should I invest in a new pup? He is obedient on basic commands and loves the water. I recently got "Water Dog" and he emphasizes the importance of beginning at an early age. What do yall think? Can it be done? :help:
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Postby smokinquacknc » Thu Feb 09, 2006 10:20 am

ive heard of people training older dogs in to good dogs, but ive never tried it. i do know however that dogs i have had in the past seem to learn a lot better early on, you may be able to teach your four year old dog but i think you would be better off getting a pup with a good hunting or field trial background good luck with that, let me know what you decide.
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Postby littleray » Thu Feb 09, 2006 12:31 pm

I haven't tried it either, but I have read alot of articles that say it can be done. I started from a pup using Water Dog and had problems to overcome. An older would have problems too, but the main thing that is going to help you is that you already have the basic obedience and that goes a long way. You could probably get a more straight forward answer by asking someone that has gotten a dog from the lab rescue of NC or maybe someone that works with that organization. I'm sure they have experienced an older lab being trained for duck hunting.
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Postby Pot Hole » Thu Feb 09, 2006 2:16 pm


Depending on what your expectations are, and how much interest this dog has in retrieving, you should be able to at least develop him to what would be considered a "started dog" level. If he's had basic obedience, conditioned to gunfire, and picks up and holds feathered game without hesitation, then you at least have some building blocks from which a retriever can be developed. I do know there have been some top field trial performers that didn't get their start until they were over a year old, but depending on your dog's interest level (or lack thereof), you may be better off with trying to start a new dog than trying to break an older one. It really boils down to the dog, and what you have to work with.

Feel free to PM me if you have any more questions.
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