introducing my lab to formal upland training???

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introducing my lab to formal upland training???

Postby Louka » Tue Feb 26, 2008 4:01 pm

I'm hoping to get some training tips to help my lab with pheasants. She's got a good nose, been able to put up a few birds, but hasn't really done any formal training in it. I've just hidden bumpers w/ wings throughout a 200yrd x 50yrd patch of millet or corn. She gets out of the kennel, and gets on the scent, retrieving the bumpers back to me as I walk down the middle. Anything would be great, thanks.
Mark........ Louka!
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Postby birdslayer » Wed Feb 27, 2008 7:50 pm

How old is she?
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Postby Louka » Wed Feb 27, 2008 8:31 pm

year and a half. I really haven't done much upland hunting, but I'm getting into it, and she seams to enjoy it a lot.
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Postby birdslayer » Tue Mar 04, 2008 11:59 pm

First of all buy an electric collar. If you dont buy one you will regret it. Your dog without a collar will probably run like crazy once she picks up a pheasants trail. Mine did. They are kind of expensive but very much worth your money. The best deal is a sportdog collar. They range from 150 up to too much. With a little obedience training, instinct and a collar you should be good to go. I have heard one of the most important things about training a dog is to train them often. Even if its only 10 min. a day. Good luck.
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E-Collars are only as good as the handler using it.

Postby littleriver » Sun Mar 09, 2008 2:32 pm

If you are not experienced with collars forget it. Everything you would use an e-collar for you will have to conventionally train him on first.

If you have someone who is experienced and can help you with the collar that is great.

I have been training all my life. I live in South Dakota and we seem to run across a pheasant or two every now and then.

You want to teach your dog to quarter, stay in range, intro to the gun, collar conditioning if you choose to use one, hold, FF, and obedience.

What I would worry about first is getting that young dog on birds and birds and more birds. Just take him out in the field and let him explore. Dummies are great but the last time I checked there wasn't a season on dummies yet.

Once you make a young dog bird crazy you can make a lot of mistakes in his training and still come out of it with a good bird dog.

I would advise getting some pigeons. I never use roosters for breaking young dogs in on birds. They can spur a young dog and just like becoming gun shy, your favorite gun dog just became your favorite house pet.

Once you get that pup bird crazy and he is actually starting to run out of range put a 30+ foot check cord on him. Let him pull it through the weeds. It will both slow him down a bit and make it easier for you to catch him if you need to. This is how you will start to teach him the boundaries of the range you want him at.

Remember, you shouldn't train with an e-collar. You need to conventionally train your dog on each command first so he realizes what he is being corrected for. You also need to collar condition him prior to just going and using the collar in the field. Big mistake if you don't do this. You could get lucky and not have a problem, but why chance it?

This is also a good time to teach the pup to start switching directions. I teach them to switch both on the whistle and Hupp. I realize you will probably want to teach him hand signals as well but a simple hupp and he quarters the opposite direction is a lot easier then giving him left and right casts all afternoon. You don't want to make hunting like work.

when you want the pup to change directions, simply give your command, snap the check cord and walk the other direction. You will be amazed how quick they pick this up.

There are dozens of other steps but you will figure it out as you go or if you need help ask someone.

The secret in making a great bird dog is simply getting him on as many birds as possible.

Good luck
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Postby Louka » Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:30 pm

Thank littleriver, i was kindof uneasy about that e collar thing, i definetly am not as good a trainer as she is a dog and i think i could ruin her fast with one of those... so THANK YOU. like i said, she's put up a few birds 8 or 10 just wild in the corn field, and she's crazy birdy. I should have added this part... she been duck hunting all season, very good with shot, steadyness, retrieving. The tips on quartering, range, and direction are great. we've been working on it a bit and i think we're going to pay N play this weekend. I'll let you know. thanks again
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Postby Louka » Mon Mar 31, 2008 10:06 am

It's been awhile since the preserve hunt, but I figured I'd give an update. Louka (that's the dawg"s name), quartered great, ranged nicely 20-30 yrd max, and put up 6 pheasants and 4 chukar. Responded very well to the whistle commands, and retrieved all birds directly to hand!!! I felt like my kid just graduated college!! The best part of it all is that the first rooster she put up was right infront of my father, he made a great shot, and it was the best way I could have said thank you for him introducing me to wing shooting. Thanks again for the help guys.

-Adam
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