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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all!

I've been wanting to get into hunting ever since I started shooting. I love skeet shooting, and figure duck hunting will be the best place to start. My main reason for starting with duck hunting is I want to hunt with a retriever. I think I have found a very good hunting dog breeder/trainer, Scatterguns Labs, in St Augustine FL. I'm going to visit this weekend to watch their techniques.

My first question is what can you do to keep the dog happy during the offseason? Is there anything like the field trial's they show on the Outdoor Living Network, where the handler shoot in the direction of pre-placed training ducks (not sure what you call them), and the dog retrieves it? What other options are there? I was planning on very thoroughly training the dog, to the point I could run them on a bicycle for exercise. I recently lost a beautiful Labrador Retriever, and hindsight being 20/20, it is clear that better training and more exercise/fun time may have saved her life. I will not make those mistakes again.

Thanks!

Here's a link to my personal background from my first post in the New Members thread in the Honey Hole:
http://www.duckhuntingchat.com/viewtopi ... 3557#23557
 

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Welcome Chris, I think you will find this a great place for ideas for your new pup. There are all kinds of off season activitys to participate in and if you are new to training you might want to consider joining a retriever club, I'm sure there is one in your area. I wish you well.
 

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Chris even if you don't want to join any clubs, just working the dog yourself will keep it happy. I would strongly recomend joining a club though, because they are usually an invaluable source of experience and knowledge. I run my dog about 4 to 5 times a week just to keep her mind right (it would be terrible living with her if I didn't).
Since you are getting a retriever, retrieving will also keep the dog happy. Just throw a bumper around for 15 minutes every day. Have fun with the puppy.
 

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welcome to the sight chris....good luck with your new dog. im sorry to hear about your last one rose. i think running with the bike sounds like a good idea and the clubs sounds like it could be fun for both you and your dog....good luck :smile:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks all! I hadn't thought about a club - I will definitely look into that! I'm also thinking I will take the dog to the actual hunting WMA during the offseason and I can throw bumpers for it to retrieve. The Guana River WMA is only 45 minutes away, so we could easily go there frequently during the offseason.

I've put my name on a waiting list for first pick from a litter that should be due in 2-4 months . I'm going to meet the dam, and maybe the sire, this Saturday. They are both OFA Good and two grandparents are OFA Good and the other two grandparents are OFA Excellent. The breeder/trainer is only about 30 minutes from my house, so we will be able to visit the puppy frequently until it is 8 weeks old. They also say the puppy should be swimming and doing some retrieving (as much as a 10-14 lb pup can do) by 6-8 weeks old.

After talking to the breeder/trainers, I am confident we will have a very well OB trained dog. And it sounds like the hunting training will go very well also. They require that the owner participate in the training. Being that it is so close, I'll be able to go there for any gun training that is needed.
 
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