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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a few questions. Ok, a lot of question. I have a Two year old Black Lab mix. (Dega) What she is mixed with ...the vet can not even tell. She is a gun freak. If I do any kind of shooting she is running out in front of me looking for whatever it is she thinks she needs to be looking for. She works well for pheasant and has flushed a few birds for me. But I have the same problem that a few others have; she will not put the bird in her mouth. I have brought home a few ducks and tried to have her catch them. She shies away from them like she is not allowed to touch them. But she with catch a ball out of the air from 30 yards away. She will retrieve toys, sticks, balls from the water also. 1st, is she too old to work with? 2nd, I have an eight week old ACK Yellow lab (Indy...I know, I have a NASCAR problem) that is more than interested in the ducks. Can I work with both of them at the same time despite their ages, or work with them separately? I don't know if I have the time for that.

The black one also lacks that "second coat" and gets cold easy when wet and sitting still. I know I can get her a neoprene vest and all that, but I think I need to solve a few other problems first. She is in "play mode" all the time. She will nudge her snout against my leg and drop the tennis ball by my feet for an hour if I let her. I'm not sure how to make her think that playing with a bird is play/work time also. Those are not the terms I am looking for but lack the knowledge of how to put it.

Dega is also VERY attached to me and will barge in when I try to spend time with the pup. I can't even go hunting alone with out her sitting by the door whining the whole time, driving my wife nuts. I am not sure where to begin. I really do not want to give the pup up for training for a few weeks...If that is how it works. The pup is also a pet first, hunter second. Her mom is a great hunter and I would hate to see that wasted. Any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks.
 

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Ok this should work ,,, get a pigon and get a fence post ,,, put the fence post in a field and tie a string on the post that is about 30 or 40 feet long, tie the other end to the pigon and hide it, then go get your dog and flush the bird and let him chase it. Then grab the string and pull it down so the bird comes down too him. Next pull it and let him catch it and if he wants too chew on it let him at first and then do it all over again but this time let him chace it for a bit and then shoot the bird. I have done this for many pointers and it has worked .

TOM

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I vote that you concentrate on Indy and let Dega be. While it is possible to train Dega, I think your time would be better spent making Indy the pure hunter. It is tough enough to train a 2 year old dog that is from a fantastic pedigree, much less deal with the unknowns you've got here. Seems like she functions well as a flusher, be grateful you didn't have to work a lick to bring that out. After you get Indy trained, come back and work on retrieving with Dega. By then, with Indy scooping up every feather that hits the ground, Dega might teach herself due to the competition!

All dogs don't need to be hunters, the tennis ball freaks are quite fun as well. Train her to be a "Dock Dog"!

Course that is just my opinion... Dega isn't my dog

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hey guys...thanks for the replys. Trying to divide the time of training the pup and hunting is tough. I guess the ends will justify the means. Maybe the guys I duck hunt with will put up with me bringing the pup along on the hunt to get her used to it. They are the ones that will also ultimately benefit from the results. I am getting her to retrieve toys right now. I guess I should start using a duck wing next. I don't know. Thanks again!
 

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Just train when you can, but don't let it get in the way of hunting. The pup is too young to get out there this year. Just spend 5-10 minutes a day with obedience work. About the time hunting season is over you can step it up a notch or two. The dog needs to be older before any earnest training begins.

Have fun, kill ducks, the dog will still be there!

By the way, there is no reason to have to have a lab that is a pet first and a hunter second. They can do great at both! Natural multi-taskers...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks Steve. I was hoping to run into guys with dogs the first day of lake season so I could ask some questions about local training. Nope. None. Oh well, the season is still early. I am hoping that Canada has some crappy weather soon to drive the ducks down twords us.
 

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Snafu-

Like Steve said, work on obedience when you get free time after you get back from hunting. It only takes 10 minutes a day. Save all the wings off your ducks you shoot and play with your dog with them. Tape them to a small nerfball and play fetch, just always make it fun. I personally like to get my dogs birdy at a very young age.

Your pup should be about ready next season as long as you work on obedience. Obedience is so important, it often gets over looked. Find a NAHRA or similar dog club around there, people are often more than willing to help for free. If you have any questions post them up on here, Steve and some other guys are very knowledgable and more than willing to help.

Mike
 
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