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Old 05-11-2008, 10:10 PM
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Default Bird Dog training?

We just adopted a 2.5 yr old Golden Lab that I want to start working with for hunting.
When I was a teenager I trained a Retriever(from a puppy) for hunting, this guy being older, I'm not sure how to go about training this dog.
Would I be better off finding some classes or can I do this on my own from a book or video?
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Old 05-11-2008, 10:12 PM
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Default Re: Bird Dog training?

I think it depends on how much free time you have. Training take consistency at least to begin with. We sent ours to a camp, he flunked out though. Was still a great dog!!!
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Old 05-11-2008, 10:18 PM
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Default Re: Bird Dog training?

Any recommendations on books or videos?
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Old 05-11-2008, 10:22 PM
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Default Re: Bird Dog training?

Check Cabelas dog section!!
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Old 05-11-2008, 10:36 PM
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Default Re: Bird Dog training?

Hey that's a great idea! I will take a look tonight.
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Old 05-11-2008, 10:47 PM
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Default Re: Bird Dog training?

Hey Fyshstykr,

Check to see what's available for training by a pro. I've had a couple of bird dogs (Pointer and German Wirehair) and left them with a trainer to at least start them. Both dogs turned out to be monsters in the field, but the Pointer was hard to keep up with since he was a wide ranging dog. The old saying about the only way to hunt them was on horseback or by helicopter sure rang true with him LOL. Spending some money on a professional was a good investment. Let us know what ou decide to do.

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Old 05-11-2008, 10:56 PM
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Default Re: Bird Dog training?

Thanks Phil,
That is probably good advice, there is a trainer that lives out by my In-laws place, maybe I will go talk to him tomorrow.
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Old 05-12-2008, 08:41 AM
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Default Re: Bird Dog training?

You have to get he basic obedience down now. From there you can start with other things geared toward gun dog training. Here are a couple of books that may help; 10 minute Retriever by the Dahls, Game Dogs by Wolters (don't pay attention to the time line given) and Training the HUnting Retriever by Tarrant. Check and see if any are in the libraries around your area. Also, see if there are any HRC clubs in your area - sometimes are a very good resource. My local club is Roadrunner HRC. Don't take your pup to a gun range to get her used to gun fire; a sure method to make it gun shy.

Be careful about sending her to a trainer. Some trainers (not all) will put too much pressure on a untrained dog to get it to preform and may ruin it. Depends on the dog.

I have two Labrador females. I trained them up to a seasoned hunt test dog level. I use them for upland and waterfowl - Labs can do it. My older lab is a now retired, couch dog and big as one. My younger lab is a fire breathing retrieving machine; two speeds - full blast and asleep.

If you need more information; send me a PM.

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Old 05-12-2008, 12:22 PM
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Default Re: Bird Dog training?

Thanks Truchsa,
Do you think that with him being 2.5 yrs old, that this is going to be very much more difficult than going from a pup?
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Old 05-12-2008, 04:11 PM
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Default Re: Bird Dog training?

Depends on the pup. All dogs have their personalities, just like us. Has the dog had any type of training before in the way of obedience, retrieving and such? That could be a factor. Labradors have the instincts in them, you just have to mold them for your use, in this case, hunting game birds.

Get the dog some obedience going. It lays a foundation for more serious training later on. And, be realistic, with a solid training program (you can do it, I did it) she may be ready for some easy hunting at the end of the year, don't worry the mistakes because the dog wasn't train before you got him. Also, for now, get him some duck, or pheasant, or geese wings to play with and get used to holding feathers. And, keep the play time easy and short while you do the obedience stuff (it keeps their interests up on birds).

Once you hunt birds with a trained gun dog, you will never hunt birds without one. Enjoy your journey.
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