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hey guys i'm just curious how important it is to get your dog out in the field and get him some experience. i've taught mine alright his OB is good and he's great with a bumper (though he is definantly not perfect with either), but i'm worried hows he's going to react once we our actually hunting. i've talked to some people about this and they said get the OB right and the dogs instinct will take over. i'm not looking for a champion just a good hunting buddy. i guess what i'm asking is can training only go so far before you just got to get out there and make some mistakes in the field. my lab is going to be a year old in a little he was too young to hunt this fall and his first season is this coming fall.
 

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The advice you've received is VERY sound. Get the OB asbolutely ROCK SOLID before you hunt the dog. If you've got a good dog, the instinct is built in. If it falls from the sky, they want to go get it, and in most cases, bring it back. If your OB is solid then you can control the dog and override, and direct their instincts.

Once you get the OB rock solid, hunting experience is THE WORLD, for both your dog and yourself. You have to learn how to function effectively in the field together.

Just my opinion...
 

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well i can remember my old dog and other dogs that I have hunted with always made mistakes in their first couple of years, I believe that this an inevitable situation. Until the dog knows what they are there to do they are going to make some mistakes. One thing that my dad and I did with our old setter was to actually take him out in the field with live guns and birds (that w e bought for that purpose) to simulate hunting situations. hope that helps good luck

Scott
 

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If OB is solid as a rock, and the dog has been introduced to gun fire then it is time to introduce them to the hunt. Make sure the first time you hunt your dog, you are the only one gunning over him. Make sure and make the retrieves easy on him, once he gets more comfortable and in the routine, then you can have you buddies come out and gun over the dog. I see too many guys take a dog hunting for the first time and there are two or three guys gunning at birds. Take him out with one guy, set him up for success. Make the dog sucessful, know when to call the shot, know when your dog will fail and avoid him failing.

Good luck, its a blast!

Mike
 

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I will put another vote down for obedience. Drive will take a dog a long ways, but your ability to train and have the dog do what you want will take him the rest. Simulate hunting scenerios(Sp?) before the season(rememeber you dont hunt bumpers)
 

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really depends on what you want. if you want a "hunting dog" then the sooner you can get him experience, the better off the both of you will be. like previously mentioned, make sure of the fundamentals 1st. if you want a field trial dog, then work with bumpers and i wouldn't worry about hunting him.
 

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It's all sound advice especially the OB, get that down pat and the rest will come alot easier.
 
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