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Adopting a 5-ish year old lab

PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 4:48 pm
by IdahoD
So I've got a buddy that will be moving and cannot take his yellow lab with him and has talked to me about adopting him. This dog has a ton of drive to hunt, marks well, not even a little gun shy, friendly, but does not sit and stay and breaks early almost every time. We usually just use him to hunt rivers where the consequences of an early breaking dog are not as detrimental to the hunt, but swatting cripples is almost always out of the question. I would always leave that to my buddy just to be safe.
My question is, should I adopt this dog, is there any way to break a full grown dog from breaking early? Has anyone been down that road? I have never trained a dog before, I'd worry about causing more problems, but I do have the time to work with him. I do like the idea of skipping the puppy stage, and the dog is friendly as they come, especially around my kids. And for as much energy as he has to hunt, he's also a couch potato when hes home, so not a high strung lab. Hes got some upside and some downside. What do you think? Is it possible for a beginner like me?

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Re: Adopting a 5-ish year old lab

PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 6:23 pm
by HNTFSH
If you're willing to adopt a buddy's dog as a pet and TRY to train it then more power to you. It's harder to undo habits than it is to train them though. I'm guessing there's little obedience trained at all and that's where it will all have to start - without any hunting involved and especially in the house and yard.

It's mostly a matter of your investment into training the dog. Reading a book won't do it.

Sounds fun to me, if you have the time and commitment.

Re: Adopting a 5-ish year old lab

PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 8:52 pm
by ohio mike
I say go for it! I'm of the opinion a dog is never to old to learn.

Re: Adopting a 5-ish year old lab

PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2020 4:47 am
by Dakota Creek
Agree with HNTFSH .... if you are going to give this a go, I would go back to basic obedience to start. If you are not sure on the obedience, see if you can find some obedience classes in your area. I would look for classes run by someone (or dog club) who run competitive obedience (vs the classes held at Petsmart).... not that you are going to do that, but they will likely have the most experience with different dogs and different needs.

You don't state where you are located .... assuming Idaho from your "handle" but look to see if there is a retriever club in your area. Should you want to hunt the dog, the club members will have a tremendous amount of hunt training experience to help. For the club membership fee you gain training knowledge, club training days with equipment and hopefully a mentor to help you on your journey with your new buddy!

Re: Adopting a 5-ish year old lab

PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2020 6:29 am
by hailyeah56
By all means adopt him. Buy a stakeout. Image Obedience classes are fine and good, but with a habitual criminal like this one, you will not be able to trust him once the guns start going off and the birds start falling. The stakeout will save both of you a lot of aggravation. I would get him used to being staked out next to me. I do this with pups in the backyard while I am sitting in a lawn chair drinkng a beer, cooking or whatever. Reward him for relaxing on it and staying calm when you get up to do something. Then progress to throwing a bumper. When he relaxes, praise him. Progress to working him off the stake some and on it . Pick up most of what you throw. On rare occasions when he is real relaxed, let him have one, but get it in his head you are more happy with him sitting there and being quiet than retrieving, even if that isn't true. And when hunting season comes around, hunt him on the stakeout.If he were mine at this age, I would probably hunt him on the stakeout from now on. If you shoot a dove that is on open ground. Leave him on the stakeout. Reward him for "honoring" you while you pick up the bird. Just use him on difficult birds. At his age he will not lose enthusiasm and get confused thinking he isn't suppossed to retrieve. Same thing with a duck that would be easy for you to wade to. Let him honor you. He'll get better and with his experience he will be an asset.

Re: Adopting a 5-ish year old lab

PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:31 pm
by California Sprig
If you want to adopt this dog you should so first because you want to give him a good loving home, make him a family members and not just to have a hunting machine. After you adopt him you’ll have plenty of time train him and deal with the bad habits.

Re: Adopting a 5-ish year old lab

PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2020 11:58 pm
by IdahoD
Appreciate the feedback from everyone! We thought it over pretty hard and ultimately decided against it, and it wasnt the dog, it was us. As much as he would be a great fit for our family, there was just some logistics that we need to work out before getting a dog in general. I wont go into details, but suffice it to say that in a few months we'll be better prepared to give a dog a great home, and I'd feel bad for trying to force that timeline on this dog and give him a few crappy first months with us. As much as I'd like to have him, he deserves better.

He let him go to another guy we know who should provide him with a happy home, I'll likely get see him again.

Again, I appreciate the help from everyone, we just wanted it to be right for the dog before we got one.

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Re: Adopting a 5-ish year old lab

PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2020 5:40 am
by Rick Hall
Glad to see it worked out well for the dog.

Re: Adopting a 5-ish year old lab

PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2020 6:26 am
by HNTFSH
Be a good time to start learning how to train a nice gun dog pup and then pull the trigger sometime this summer while the waters warm.